Physics Book Club


    NEW Course! “Physics books written “for the layperson” can be a wonderful introduction to the crazy world of modern physics. The fascinating concepts of quantum mechanics, wave-particle duality, relativity, extra dimensions, string theory, gravity waves, dark matter and more can be explained to a significant depth even without using math. Super exciting for anyone interested in how the universe works!” ~Dr. Tanya Hughes



    Step 1: Register Your Student

    Step 2: Enroll Your Registered Student

    InstructorDr. Tanya Hughes
    Content LevelsGrades 6-7 • Middle School
    Grades 7-8 • Junior High
    Grades 9-10 • Lower High School
    Grades 11-12 • Upper High School
    Course Length16 weeks
    Live Webinars Held OnThursdays 2:00 - 3:00 PM Pacific - 8/17/23 - 12/16/23
    In Physics Book Club, we read popular books about modern physics written for the layperson.  These books are non-mathematical, yet examine the subject at a significant depth.  This club will take students into modern physics, where common sense doesn’t always apply and things get weird! The goal is to pique students’ interest and give them an introduction to questions that puzzle physicists today.
    In this semester, we will read two books:
    • We Have No Idea by Jorge Cham and Daniel Whiteson – a light-hearted description of all the things about the universe we DON’T know (though along the way we also hear about a lot of things that we DO know, like relativity, gravity, the standard model, and quantum mechanics).
    • Quantum Enigma by Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner – a college-level, non-mathematical explanation of the weirdness of quantum mechanics.
    In class, we will discuss the ideas and our questions, and see where these ideas & questions take us!  For some topics, this will include some background so students can more fully understand what they’re reading.

    What to expect in the Required section in the classroom each week:

    • Students will need to read about 40 pages per week
    • Students will also prepare one slide listing their thoughts/questions from the reading. We will share these in class as a start to our discussion.

    What to expect in the Highly Suggested  & Optional sections in the classroom each week:

    • Supplementary links to related videos or websites

    What to expect during the weekly webinar:

    • We’ll share the slides the students created and review the content from the week’s reading. Students will not be required to orally present their slide if they don’t want to. I’ll give some background information on the week’s topic if needed. We’ll discuss questions that come up for the students during the reading, and see where the ideas lead us!

    What to expect during the semester:

    • Reading two popular science books
    • Having a fun group in which to discuss the ideas!
    • Gaining a good understanding of the ideas
    • Be introduced to modern physics and some current questions physicists have!

    Before taking this course, students should be able to: 

    • Read at an upper high school level.

    Students should be willing to:

    • Read about 40 pages per week
    • Write down their thoughts and questions on a slide each week

    Required text and materials:

    • We Have No Idea by Jorge Cham and Daniel Whiteson
    • Quantum Enigma by Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner