Experimental Physics Research Academy

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July 1 – July 21, 2018

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The Experimental Physics Academy focuses on modern physics, specifically mechanics, electromagnetism, quantum dynamics and astrophysics, with an aim to provide hands-on experience and laboratory work within Penn’s vast research facilities. With time to experiment with advanced hardware and settings, students move past memorized equations to gain an understanding of cause and effect, and ultimately an appreciation of physics on a higher level.

If you attend a School District of Philadelphia public or charter high school, you may be eligible to attend a Penn Summer Academy free of charge with a Penn Summer Scholarship.

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Features

Morning lectures include topics as varied as kinematics, geometric optics, Newton’s laws, physical optics, Ohm’s law, energy conservation, Einstein’s Special Relativity, computational physics, wave-particle duality, Plank’s constant, and the speed of sound and light.

In the afternoons, students break out into special interest groups, including, but not limited to: non-Newtonian fluids, radio astronomy, high-energy physics, alternative energies, cloud chambers, and quantum phenomena, to engage in experimental laboratory work.

Throughout the program, students will learn to build sensing circuits to determine the speed of light, will visit an automotive museum to gain insight into inertia and mechanics, and will visit a local amusement park to collect and analyze data documenting the acceleration of roller coasters, culminating in small group presentations in which students present their findings.

See this program’s 2017 syllabus (PDF).

Prerequisites: Previous physics experience is encouraged, though not required.

Faculty

Bill Berner

Program Director: Bill Berner
Bill Berner serves as the Demonstration Laboratory Coordinator for Penn’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. Before joining Penn, Bill taught high school Physics for more than 25 years.

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Penn Summer

3440 Market Street, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3335

(215) 898-7326
summer@sas.upenn.edu

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