PHY 101 Term Paper Assignment

Fall 2009

Write a term paper, about a topic in physics from one of these three categories: biographical, technological, or a real natural phenomenon. The paper must be more than 2.5 and less than 3 pages long. The paper must have one (and only one) diagram. The diagram may not be cut and pasted from the internet---the diagram must be created by you!


Hand in your Title in class on Tuesday, October 20. Prof. Stump must approve the title. A purely theoretical topic (e.g., "string theory" or "quantum computing" or "time travel") will not be accepted. The paper must be about something real. Also, If you choose to write about a biographical subject, it must be historical --- not about a modern day scientist.


In writing the term paper you may look up information on the internet. (Include the internet sites in a Bibliography.) However, you may not cut and paste text from the internet. Also, do not quote excessively from your references. Rewrite all the information in your own words!


Example titles
You don't have to choose one of these titles; you should pick your own topic, within the three types of paper (biographical, technological, or natural). I'm just giving you these titles as examples, for guidance. Choose your own topic.

Biographical examples

· The life of Galileo

· Faraday’s discovery of electromagnetic induction

· Benjamin Franklin’s famous kite experiment

· Galvani and Volta

· Heinrich Hertz and electromagnetic waves

· Marie Curie and radioactivity

Technological examples

· How does a spark plug work?

· Nuclear reactors

· Rocket Science


· Transformers

· Production of X-rays

Physics in a natural phenomenon

· Lightning

· Solar physics – energy from the sun

· Solar and lunar eclipses

· Aurora Borealis

· The tides

· Physics in a thunderstorm

Due dates:

October 20 - Title; the title must be approved.

November 10 – Complete Rough Draft

November 24 – Final Draft for grading