Physics department to offer summer entertainment and arts class as LER

Lights, camera, action!

The physics department is reviving its Physics in Entertainment and the Arts class (course 21040) this summer, as a three-credit science LER fulfillment.

“This (course) might be of interest to artists,” Thomas Emmons, professor of physics, said, because it deals mainly with the relationship between color and light and sound and musical instruments.

Physics in Entertainment and the Arts first appeared as a course in the early 1980s, Emmons said, and is now making a comeback – although with a few changes to include information about CDs, iPods and DVDs.

The class conducts labs explaining music scales, liquid crystals, lenses and mirrors and modern electronics, among other things. The science behind sound and light waves, electromagnetic waves, vibration and decibels will be also introduced.

Because of the new lab science requirement for incoming freshmen, the class is being restructured over the summer to include a lab for fall students. Places are limited in the Summer II session to 16 seats.

Although summer students won’t receive a lab credit, one hour each day is devoted to practical or hands-on work, Emmons said.

The course is not math-oriented, and students are only responsible for about 10 equations involving basic algebra throughout the course.

“I don’t want (students) to think we’re going to spend the whole day writing equations on the blackboard,” Emmons said. “It’s not like that at all.”

– Allison Remcheck