our class blog


January 4, 2012

Welcome to the web log for Dr. Shields’ Physics classes.

Physics is nothing more than the study of nature; it is rational man’s attempt to understand the universe in which he is situated. While the human race has been trying to do this for thousands of years, it has only been in the last 400 years or so that math and philosophy have progressed to the point to make significant advances in physics possible. The discoveries of Newton, the rationalism of Descartes, and the empiricism of Locke established nature as a logical, predictable, and orderly place.

We are still in that era of discovery and progress. Every day, physicists learn new and amazing things about our universe, from the behavior of subatomic particles to the composition of distant stars. In fact, recent discoveries have even begun to challenge some of our most fundamental beliefs about physics. I hope class will join the legacy left by Newton and Galileo. They looked in awe at Creation and became the great question-askers of their time. It is through similar question-asking that we will discover some of the eloquent and universal laws that govern our world.