Star Trek Physics Course Offered
“I can’t change the laws of physics. I’ve got to have 30 minutes,” says Scotty, the Scottish engineer in the Star Trek movie franchise. Although Professor Philip Kesten cannot help us change the laws of physics like Scotty can, he can help us understand its laws in his class Physics of Star Trek.
There are no prerequisites to sign up for this course because Kesten wanted to “make sure that students get all of the background they need for all of the physics and all of the math” through his lectures. Kesten hopes to encourage students to learn the real-world applications of physics through his teaching.
Although this course was somewhat challenging to construct, there are many physics examples in Star Trek – such as warp drive, transporter beams and time travel – that can be learned and understood by students.
Classes comprise of short clips of Star Trek and lectures that aim to help students understand and apply physics to problems. On the last day of class, after a quarter of hard work, students get the opportunity to enjoy a full screening of a Star Trek episode.
Kesten provided an example of a problem a student may come across in his course.
“It makes no sense to talk about warp drive unless you know how long it would take to get even to Vulcan, which is ‘only’ 16.5 light years away. How do we measure the distance to faraway places?” said Kesten. “So I teach students about parallax, the apparent shifting of an object’s position when you look at it from different places. Then I ask them to go out and determine how far it is to the top of Mount Hamilton, which we can see from campus.”
Fallen Palms Put Out Power Near Campus
The strong winds on Tuesday caused a power outage on Franklin Street, leaving at least four houses and businesses along Franklin Street, The Alameda, Sherman Street and Lafayette Street all the way up to Togo’s without electricity for about three hours.
Some palm fronds and palm trees on Franklin Street between Sherman Street and The Alameda impacted some high-tension cables, knocking out one of the high voltage wires, which in turn impacted the cable system.
Silicon Valley Power, the city of Santa Clara’s power company, was on the scene for about two and a half hours working to repair the cables. The power company workers risked electrical shock while repairing the damage.
“Anytime one is dealing with high voltage wires, it is a dangerous job,” said Casey Potts, duty battalion chief for the Santa Clara Fire Department. “Its not always a problem contacting the wire. But just getting close to high-voltage wires, you can actually get electrocuted by just getting near them. They do not have to actually be touching the person.”
Campus Safety Services was on the scene shortly after it happened, and helped the fire department evacuate the area and keep the street secure. Students were notified by CSS via text and email to steer clear of this area located behind the Leavy School of Business. After the cables were fixed, students were notified the area was safe again.
From staff reports. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.