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Beginner's guide to the Universe

General data

Course ID: WM-FI-KDH
Erasmus code / ISCED: (unknown) / (unknown)
Course title: Beginner's guide to the Universe
Name in Polish: Kosmos dla humanistów
Organizational unit: Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. School of Exact Sciences.
Course groups: (in Polish) Gr przedmiotów ogólnouczelnianych - Obszar nauk humanistycznych (I stopień i jednolite magisterskie)
(in Polish) Grupa przedmiotów ogólnouczelnianych - obszar nauk humanistycznych i społecznych (studia I st. i JM)
(in Polish) Grupa przedmiotów ogólnouczelnianych - obszar nauk humanistycznych i społecznych (studia II stopnia)
(in Polish) Grupa przedmiotów ogólnouczelnianych - Obszar nauk społecznych (I stopień i jednolite magisterskie)
ECTS credit allocation (and other scores): 3.00 Basic information on ECTS credits allocation principles:
  • the annual hourly workload of the student’s work required to achieve the expected learning outcomes for a given stage is 1500-1800h, corresponding to 60 ECTS;
  • the student’s weekly hourly workload is 45 h;
  • 1 ECTS point corresponds to 25-30 hours of student work needed to achieve the assumed learning outcomes;
  • weekly student workload necessary to achieve the assumed learning outcomes allows to obtain 1.5 ECTS;
  • work required to pass the course, which has been assigned 3 ECTS, constitutes 10% of the semester student load.
Language: Polish
Subject level:

elementary

Learning outcome code/codes:

enter learning outcome code/codes

Short description:

The lecture will contain an introduction to the most fundamental theories of cosmology astrophysics and elementary particles. Each lecture will be divided into 3 parts. the first will be dedicated to the transfer of knowledge, the second one will contain philosophical implications of discussed physical theories while the third one will be focused on unconstrained discussion with the students. The lecture will contain topics like the big bang, black holes, life in the Universe, extra dimensions, and the end of the world.

Full description:

The lecture will contain an introduction to the most fundamental theories of cosmology astrophysics and elementary particles. Each lecture will be divided into 3 parts. the first will be dedicated to the transfer of knowledge, the second one will contain philosophical implications of discussed physical theories while the third one will be focused on unconstrained discussion with the students.

1) – What do we know about the Universe? What does the Universe look like, both locally and globally? How unique is the Solar System and its surroundings? How do we know all this and what does it mean to „know” in science?

2) – The very beginning, i.e., the Big Bang. What the origin of the Universe? Must it have any beginning at all? What’s the difference between the Big Bang in science and pop culture? Possible, realistic scenarios for the beginning of the Universe.

3) – Stars! Our Sun - a typical star in a typical phase of its evolution. There are so many kinds of stars, including dwarfs that live for billions of years, and giants that that will explode in just millions. What’s the origin of stars? What are white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes?

4) – Black holes. What’s that? How can you make one? Can we see any? What happens to the matter that falls into the black hole? Could black holes create another Universe?

5) – Invisible Universe. Dark matter and dark energy contribute 95% to the present-day Energy of the Universe. What are they? What’s their origin? Are we the „dark” ones? Are there entire planets created out of dark matter?

6) – Extra dimensions. How many dimensions may our Universe have? We see 3D with our own eyes, but could there be more, especially in the past?

7) – Exoplanets – other Earths in the Universe. Are there more planets in the solar system and how do we know it? Could we see exoplanets? The most “crazy” examples!

8) – Life in the Universe. Are we alone? How has life on earth started? Is life (as a phenomenon in the universe) probable or improbable? How to estimate how much life there is in the Universe? Should we expect life to be intelligent? Why we haven’t heard from any aliens so far?

9) – Parallel Universes. Is our Universe the only way the world could be created? How could one make billions more? How do other Universes look like? Could there be life in them?

10) – Improbable Universe. There are so many amazing coincidences that enable the existence of life. Is it probable to live in such a Universe? What’s fine-tuning? How all physics we know is crazy finely tuned for life, as we know it?

11) – Universe in its smallest scales. What fundamental building blocks of matter look like? Are there any particles that we don’t know yet? What is the Higgs particle?

12) – The origin of matter. How come we have atoms, stars, and planets? Why the Universe is not filled just by light? What’s the origin of all of the heavy elements, like gold or uranium?

13) - Time travel and sci-fi movies. What’s actually realistic in sci-fi? Could we travel in time? Is it possible to travel through black holes? Lightsabers? Could you travel faster than light? What is teleportation? could we test it in laboratories?

14) - Gravitational waves - the greatest discovery of recent years. How could we measure them? What could they tell us about the history of the universe? How could we use them in the future?

15) - How the end of the universe may look like? possible scenarios of the end of the world. What does “the end of the world” really mean? The end of the life on earth vs the end of earth vs the end of the Universe. What physics tells us about realistic scenarios of the “latter-day”? Maybe there won't be any “end of the world” after all?

Bibliography:

Jeszcze krótsza historia czasu / Stephen Hawking, Leonard Mlodinow ; przekład Jacek Bieroń.

The Nature of Space and Time / Stephen Hawking; Roger Penrose.

Wszechświat w skorupce orzecha / Stephen Hawking ; przekł. Piotr Amsterdamski.

Kosmos Einsteina : jak wizja wielkiego fizyka zmieniła nasze rozumienie czasu i przestrzeni / Michio Kaku ; przeł. Janusz Popowski.

Hiperprzestrzeń : wszechświaty równoległe, pętle czasowe i dziesiąty wymiar / Michio Kaku ; przeł. Ewa L. Łokas i Bogumił Bieniok.

Efekty kształcenia i opis ECTS:

Students will gain knowledge in the field of modern physics and astronomy. They will learn about the fundamental “building blocks” of matter, and about the origin and the future of the Universe (EW1)

1) Lectures will enable students to connect the newest discoveries of science with their philosophical implementations and consequences (EU1)

2) Students will learn basic methods of verifying the validity of scientific theories (EW2)

3) Each lecture will include an open discussion, during which students will improve their critical thinking skills and will get a chance to freely and creatively express themselves. (EK1)

4) Students will learn how to distinguish between cheap pseudoscientific sensation, motivated hypothesis, and proper scientific knowledge (EU2)

5) Students will present knowledge gained during the course by writing 2-5 pages finishing an essay on one of the topics discussed in the lectures (EW3) or by writing a test.

ECTS points: 3

30 h of lectures plus 45 h dedicated to writing the essay discussing one of the topics of the lecture or learning for the test

Assessment methods and assessment criteria:

The lecture will be held in a popular science manner. It won't contain any equations or complicated mathematics. It will be filled with illustrations and animations showing different aspects of the history of the Universe. The lectures will be held in an informal manner, the students will be encouraged to interrupt the lecture at any given moment and ask questions. The end of every lecture will be dedicated to discussion with students about physics itself and the philosophical consequences of modern science.

Students will be evaluated based on their attendance, participation in discussions, and their finishing essay

1) Conditions for grade 5 – student has a basic knowledge of the scientific method (EW2); knows basic building blocks of matter, has basic knowledge on the history of the Universe (EW1), can connect modern scientific discoveries with their philosophical consequences (EU1); has advanced critical thinking skills, is able to accurately distinguish between science and pseudoscience (EU2).

2) Conditions for grade 4 – student has a basic knowledge of the scientific method (EW2); knows basic building blocks of matter, has basic knowledge on the history of the Universe (EW1), can connect modern scientific discoveries with their philosophical consequences (EU1); has intermediate critical thinking skills, usually distinguishes between science and pseudoscience (EU2)

3) Conditions for grade 3 – student has a basic knowledge of the scientific method (EW2); knows basic building blocks of matter, has basic knowledge on the history of the Universe (EW1), usually can connect modern scientific discoveries with their philosophical consequences (EU1); has basic critical thinking skills, usually distinguish between science and pseudoscience (EU2)

Methods to evaluate knowledge and skills of the students:

EW1, EW2- Continuous evaluation during lectures and discussions, essay, test

EW3 – Essay, test

EU1, EU2 – Continuous evaluation during lectures and discussions, essay, test

EK1 - Continuous evaluation during lectures and discussions, essay, test

Grading criteria:

The final grade will consist of

50% Participation in lectures – 10 points

20% Participation in discussions – 4 points

30% Essay – 6 points

or

50% Participation in lectures – 10 points

50% Test– 10 points

Criteria of evaluation:

2 – Below 50% points

3 – 50%-65% points

4 – 65%-80% points

5 – above 80% points

Note: The essay is mandatory for everyone who has decided not to write the test. One must write it in order to obtain a grade, even if one has collected enough points from participation in lectures and discussions.

Classes in period "Summer semester 2020/21" (past)

Time span: 2021-02-01 - 2021-06-30
Choosen plan division:


magnify
see course schedule
Type of class:
Lectures, 30 hours more information
Coordinators: Michał Artymowski
Group instructors: Michał Artymowski
Course homepage: https://teams.microsoft.com/l/team/19%3a82e578ebdda246ab9c883690c8488df7%40thread.tacv2/conversations?groupId=9bda534d-519d-4e0a-9b46-f4ce3e54a1ca&tenantId=12578430-c51b-4816-8163-c7281035b9b3
Students list: (inaccessible to you)
Examination: examination
(in Polish) E-Learning:

(in Polish) E-Learning

Type of subject:

obligatory

(in Polish) Grupa przedmiotów ogólnouczenianych:

(in Polish) PO/H1 - obszar nauk humanistycznych - I stopień/JM

Wymagania wstępne: (in Polish)

Istotą tego wykładu jest całkowity brak wymagań wstępnych. Wykład będzie skierowany do zupełnych laików w temacie astronomii, kosmologii i fizyki cząstek elementarnych.

Classes in period "Summer semester 2021/22" (past)

Time span: 2022-02-01 - 2022-06-30
Choosen plan division:


magnify
see course schedule
Type of class:
Lectures, 30 hours more information
Coordinators: Michał Artymowski
Group instructors: Michał Artymowski
Students list: (inaccessible to you)
Examination: examination
(in Polish) E-Learning:

(in Polish) E-Learning (pełny kurs)

Type of subject:

obligatory

(in Polish) Grupa przedmiotów ogólnouczenianych:

(in Polish) PO - przedmioty ogólnouczelniane (bez obszaru)

Classes in period "Winter semester 2022/23" (past)

Time span: 2022-10-01 - 2023-01-31
Choosen plan division:


magnify
see course schedule
Type of class:
Lectures, 30 hours more information
Coordinators: Michał Artymowski
Group instructors: Michał Artymowski
Students list: (inaccessible to you)
Examination: examination
(in Polish) E-Learning:

(in Polish) E-Learning (pełny kurs) z podziałem na grupy

Type of subject:

obligatory

(in Polish) Grupa przedmiotów ogólnouczenianych:

(in Polish) PO - przedmioty ogólnouczelniane (bez obszaru)

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