How the World Works

PHSC 107
Taught in
Spring 2019
Course Level
Lifelong Support

Course Description

This course seeks to enable students to observe and understand the world around us and how it works, using the lens of physical science. Participants will be invited to learn the fundamentals of physics, chemistry, earth science, and astronomy, and to use them to gain a new perspective on science and everyday life.


  • Patterns of Motion and Equilibrium
  • Newton’s Laws of Motion
  • Momentum and Energy
  • Gravity, Projectiles, and Satellites
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Thermal Energy and Thermodynamics
  • Heat Transfer and Change of Phase
  • Static and Current Electricity
  • Magnetism and Electromagnetic Induction
  • Waves and Sound
  • Light
  • Atoms and the Periodic Table
  • The Atomic Nucleus and Radioactivity
  • Elements of Chemistry
  • How Atoms Bond and Molecules Attract
  • Mixtures
  • How Chemicals React
  • Two Classes of Chemical Reactions
  • Organic Compounds
  • Rocks and Minerals
  • Plate Tectonics and Earth’s Interior
  • Shaping Earth’s Surface
  • Geologic Time —Reading the Rock Record

Required Text

  • P. G. Hewitt, J. Suchocki, L. A. Hewitt. 2017. Conceptual Physical Science, 6th ed. Pearson. ISBN-13: 978-0-13-406049-1.