Section Information

This semester, the Honors Physics Section will explore what it would take to visit an extra-solar planet - a world beyond our own solar system, with its own independent sun. Students in Honors Physics will learn about the physics of space exploration and the mathematics of alien worlds. You will develop your own independent team project to send a probe to an alien world - those of the TRAPPIST-1 star system. I am very excited about our theme, and I look forward to working with all of you.

-- Stephen Sekula, Associate Professor of Physics

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Fondren Science 127 - Tuesdays, 6:15PM - 7:30PM

Instructor Information

Prof. Steve Sekula
Christopher Milke

General Information

The Honors Physics Section is intended to provide honors students with additional activities, information, and challenges to allow them to broaden and deepen their physics knowledge while concurrently taking the introductory physics course sequence. The framework of this syllabus is intended to allow honors students to go above and beyond the normal classroom environment without creating a huge additional burden on the students. Honors students should be looking to go a little further than non-honors students, and this syllabus reflects that.

Participants in the Honors Physics Section will engage in the following activities each semester:
  • They will use class time to engage in learning exercises that synthesize information from the 130X introductory physics courses, allowing them to find more breadth and depth in the subject of physics.
  • They will have access to expertise from outside the classroom environment, including faculty, staff, and students from SMU and other institutions, as well as individuals with a physics background working in private industry. The goal here is to enrich their learning environment by giving them direct access to experts at various levels of the field.
  • They will engage in a coherent, semester-long project. Preparing for, and delivering, this project will be the focus of various activities throughout the semester. Honors students will be expected to learn to present their work to an audience, including (but not limited to) their peers in the Honors Physics Section.
  • Students will pass or fail the section based on an assessment of their work and participation, to be determined by the instructor.
  • Students earn the HONORS designation on their transcript by passing this section, having a GPA of 3.0 or better and earning a grade of a B or higher in the course corresponding to this honors section.

Course Materials