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Physical Science 101

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Fri January 19th
Meeting One
Overview of the Course, Syllabus, Grading Policy, Zoom Etiquette, Technological Skills
Lecture One: Introduction to Earth Science
What is Earth Science? Earth's Spheres. Deep Time. Scales of Measurement. Earth's Systems. The Nature of Scientific Inquiry, The Scientific Method
Rock of the Day: Granite
Book of the Day: The Story of Earth by Robert Hansen
Chapter 1


Fri January 26th
Meeting Two
Lecture Two: Matter and Minerals
Definition, Atomic Structure, Properties, Abundance, Mining
Chapter 2
Lecture Three: Rocks; Materials of the Solid Earth
The Rock Cycle, Igneous, Metamorphic, Sedimentary, Ores
Rock of the Day: Amethyst
Book of the Day: The Story of the Earth in 25 Rocks by Donald Prothero
Chapter 3
Fri February 2nd
Meeting Three
Lecture Four: Plate Tectonics
Continental Drift, Plate Boundaries, Hot Spots, Mechanisms
Chapter 4
Lecture Five: Earthquakes and Earth's Interior
Faults, Foreshocks and Aftershocks, Seismology, Scales, Tsunamis, Subsidence, Earth's Layers
Rock of the Day: Blue Schist
Book of the Day: After the Quake by Haruki Murakami
Chapter 5
Fri February 9th
Meeting Four
Lecture Six: Volcanoes and Other Igneous Activity
Flows, Gases and Pyroclastics, Types of Volcanoes, Volcanic Landforms, Plate Tectonics and Vulcanism
Chapter 6
Lecture Seven: Crustal Deformation and Mountain Building
Folds, Faults, Types of Mountain Ranges, Isostasy, Joints
Rocks of the Day: Scoria, Pumice, Obsidian and Basalt
Book of the Day: Volcano Watch by Toni Dwiggins
Chapter 7
Fri February 16th
Meeting Five
Lecture Eight: Weathering, Soil, Mass Movement
Soil Formation, Soil Classification, Soil Erosion, Mass Wasting - Controls and Triggers
Chapter 8
Lecture Nine: Running Water and Ground Water
The Hydrologic Cycle, River Systems, Work From Running Water, Erosion, Deposition, Floods, Groundwater: Storage and Movement of Groundwater, Springs and Wells, Contamination, Subsidence, Latitude, Longitude, Topological Maps
Rock of the Day: Sandstone
Book of the Day: Cadillac Desert by Marc Reisner
Chapter 9
Fri February 23rd
Meeting Six
Lecture Ten: Glaciers, Deserts, and Wind
Glacial Erosion, Landforms, Glacial Deposits, Ice Ages, Evolution of a Desert, Dunes
Chapter 10
Lecture Eleven: Geologic Time
Relative Dating, Law of Superposition, Cross-Cutting Relationships, Inclusions, Principle of Original Horizontality, Unconformities, Disconformity, Fossils, Radiometric Dating, The Geologic Timescale
Rock of the Day: Morton Gneiss
Book of the Day: Atlas of a Lost World by Craig Childs
Chapter 11
Fri March 1st
Meeting Seven
Lecture Twelve: Evolution of Earth
What Makes Earth Habitable?, Birth of a Planet, Origin and Evolution of the Atmosphere and Oceans, Geological Timescale
Chapter 12
Lecture Thirteen: The Ocean Floor
Mapping the Ocean Floor, Continental Margins, Deep-Ocean Basins, Oceanic Ridge System
Rock of the Day: Banded Iron Formation
Book of the Day: The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs by Steve Brusatte
Chapter 13
Fri March 8th

Exam One (Geology, Ocean Floor)

Chapters 1 to 13


Fri March 15th
Meeting Nine
Lecture Fourteen: Ocean Water and Ocean Life
Composition of Sea Water, Variations in Temperature and Density, Ocean Life, Ocean Productivity
Chapter 14
Lecture Fifteen: The Dynamic Ocean
Ocean Circulation, Ocean Waves, Coastal Features
Chapter 15


Fri March 22nd
Meeting Ten
Lecture Sixteen: The Atmosphere; Composition, Structure and Temperature
Weather and Climate, Height and Structure of the Atmosphere, Ozone Hole, Greenhouse Effect, Earth-Sun Relationships, Mechanisms of Heat Transfer, Cloud Cover and Albedo, Electromagnetic Spectrum
Chapter 16
Lecture Seventeen: Moisture, Clouds and Precipitation
Phase Changes of Water, Relative and Absolute Humidity, Dew Point, Stability and Instabilty of Air Masses, Classification of Cloud Types, Precipitation
Chapter 17
No Class March 29th - Spring Break
Fri April 5th
Meeting Eleven
Lecture Eighteen: Air Pressure and Wind
Measuring Air Pressure, Idealized Global Circulation, Jet Streams, Local Winds, Land and Sea Breezes
Chapter 18
Lecture Nineteen: Weather Patterns and Severe Storms
Types of Air Masses, Fronts, Cyclones and Anti-cyclones,Severe Storms: Thunderstorms, Tornados, Hurricanes
Chapter 19
Fri April 12th
Meeting Twelve
Lecture Twenty: World Climates and Global Climate Change
Types of Climates, Human Impact on Global Climate, Climate Feedback Mechanisms, Past and Future Climate
Chapter 20


Fri April 19th
Meeting Thirteen
Lecture Twenty-One: Origin of Modern Astronomy
Early Greeks, Ptolemaic System, Copernican System, Kepler's Laws, Galileo, Constellations, Rotation, Revolution, Precession, Phases of the Moon
Chapter 21
Lecture Twenty-Two: Touring Our Solar System
Terrestrial Planets, Jovian Planets, The Moon, Asteroids, Comets, Meteoroids
Chapter 22
Fri April 26th
Meeting Fourteen
Lecture Twenty-Three: Light, Telescopes and the Sun
Nature of Light, Spectroscopy, Doppler Effect, Telescopes, Structure and Composition of the Sun
Chapter 23
Lecture Twenty-Four: Beyond the Solar System
Stellar Brightness, Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram, Variable Stars, Interstellar Matter, Stellar Evolution
Chapter 24
Fri May 3rd
Meeting Fifteen

Review for Departmental Final
Exam Two (Oceanography, Meteorology and Astronomy)

Chapter 14-24
Fri May 10th
Meeting Sixteen

Departmental Final Exam at Wright College

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