Light and Sound

Course Code: NATS 1720 A 6.0

Instructor's Name: Carl Wolfe

Course Description:

This course aims to convey an understanding of the basic nature of two very different (and yet in many ways very similar) physical phenomena - light and sound - as well as of our perception of these phenomena, that is of seeing and hearing. The physical concepts central to a modern understanding of both sound and light are introduced and used to understand selected applications such as musical instruments, architectural acoustics, optics, photography, and lasers. Description of observations and their theoretical interpretation is complemented by in-class demonstrations as well as laboratory exploration of selected concepts. The physiology of the ears and eyes, and how it influences the perception of pitch and colour, for example, is also discussed.

Course Format:

Three lecture hours per week plus a total of eight two-hour laboratory periods.

Course Credit Exclusions:

SC/NATS 1520 3.00, SC/NATS 1870 6.00.

Mathematical Content:

Physics has made use of the language of mathematics since at least the time of Sir Isaac Newton. While every attempt is made to use descriptive language in this course, some use of mathematics is unavoidable. More specifically, basic mathematical concepts at the grade 11 level are discussed and used. It is strongly recommended, in particular, that students be comfortable with the basic concepts of algebra, geometry, trigonometry, functions and simple graphs (calculus is not required). All necessary mathematical concepts beyond simple arithmetic will, nonetheless, be reviewed in class as they arise.

Course Outlines:

Course Outline Fall/Winter

Archived Course Outline:

Archived Course Outline