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Sex or physics discovers the joy of: Quite a surprise, the JOY of sex. Who
would have expected it? Imagine you are in your teens and it will take
another dozen years of intense study to master sex. The years are filled
with uncertainty.  Sex is damn hard. It's not for everyone. You have to
work long hours at it and neglect other things. Will you qualify?  And then
what? Sure, you're good at it but will you get a job doing sex? Come on,
gang, be realistic. What we need is The Joy of Physics. Lavishly
illustrated, it will show all the positions by which you can go blind
squinting at spectra.

Marketing or Physics Finally Learns How to Write a College Catalog Entry:
(Physics 101, in competition with comparable courses of other science
departments, is a Quantitative Lab Science Elective for non-science
majors.) Students, listen up. You don't want to get acid burns on your
clothes. You don't want to cut up frogs. You don't want to spend your days
cracking rocks in the vain hope that the inside will differ from the
outside or your nights freezing on the roof waiting for the clouds to pass
so you can peek at the moon. I didn't think so. Take Physics 101. The
objective is to learn a little useful science and get a grade you and I can
both live with without either of us suffering too much. Sound good?

The Legal Profession or Physics Discovers Advertising: Don't get burned
twice. Your experiment has failed to produce the desired result. It's not
your fault. It's the equipment. It's the manufacturer. They didn't do the
job. Sue them. Physics Legal Aid will handle your case. Remember, if you
don't get paid, we don't get paid. And we always get paid.

The Medical Profession or Physics Discovers Billing: Someone has a sick
experiment. That's your cue and a cue for all other physicists within
hearing. You simply show up one morning, read the thermometer, and mail in
a bill for two hundred dollars. It works like magic. And most patients
recover. The insurance company pays and we all feel better.

Major League Sports or Physics Discovers Free Agency: (Be careful; this
strategy works best for twenty game winners or thousand yard rushers, in
other words Nobel Prize candidates.) My client has worked through his
contract and is not free to sign with any other school run by millionaires.
So bid him up. Maybe when all bids are in he'll re-sign with the same
school for ten times his former salary. Plus incentives. Multi-year offers

Telemarketing or Physics Discovers Matchmaking: Have I got a physicist for
you? She's fresh out of school, our latest product. She programs in many
languages. She builds equipment. She can pull a vacuum with best of
them. And don't worry, fans, she checks for hidden leaks and repairs them.
But that's not all. Your ginsu physicist takes data, analyzes it, fits it
to standard models. That's still not all. At the command WRITE she will
type your paper meeting the requirements of PHYS REV. Attractive enough to
be in your own home yet sufficiently durable for the laboratory, this
physicist will make you the envy of your friends. And she is almost willing
to share housework or babysitting 50/50. Make that 25/75 and you do the
cooking. Not sold in stores.

Astrology of Physics Encounters the Daily Newspaper: (Can you believe the
Hartford Courant?) If today is your birthday and you are reading this
column, you're out of your mind. What are you doing? Get out, get a life,
study physics. (Getting control over my word processor.) Energy will be
conserved.  Use it well. Entropy will be created. Try not to worry.
Discoveries will be made. By someone. (This shows the strong resemblance
between astrological divination and Chinese cookie fortunes.)

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                       Physics Course List

* Do you scoff at artists who put the colors in the wrong order when
  painting a rainbow?
* Do you try to correct people who refer to the clouds above a
  boiling pot as steam instead of water vapor?
* Have you ever wanted to know why it is that 'hot air rises' and
  'cold air sinks', but the higher you go the colder the air gets?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you are a
budding physicist (and you thought that only botanists were budding!).
We strongly recommend that you drop whatever else you are doing
(DROP/ADD forms are available at the Registrar's Office) and enroll as
a physics major. If you need any further convincing, just have a look
at all the wonderful courses we offer.

PHYS 100 Introduction to Physics
       A required course for students in all subject areas which
       require the ability to think (e.g. engineering, physics, math
       Topics Include: energy, momentum, heat, electricity, magnetism,
       optics, gravity
       Prerequisites: Grade 12 Math and Physics

PHYS 110 Non-Calculus Physics
       The ideal course for students in non-scientific areas of
       science (biology, geology, psychology and other such stuff). If
       the only reason you would ever be dragged into a physics class
       is that your degree requirements call for it - this is the
       course for you.
       Topics Include: user-friendly, watered-down versions of all the
       good stuff covered in PHYS 100
       Prerequisites: Grade 3 Math, ability to distinguish between
       moving and parked cars

PHYS 123 Physics for Artsies
       This is admittedly a blatent attempt to increase enrollment in
       physics and simultaneously offer paid early retirement to some
       of our department members. But hey, what about 'Rocks for
       Jocks', or 'Computers for Clutzes'? Why are we expected to be
       the one department in the University that only offers quality
       courses? So if you need a science credit, and want to do as
       little work as possible to get it - remember 1-2-3. (Those who
       have already taken MATH 3.14159 Numbers, Fingers, and Stuff
       will have an advantage in remembering this.)
       Topics Include: which way is up? why tie your shoelaces? the
       difference between steam and ice (time and class intelligence
       Prerequisites: pulse rate greater than 10 beats per minute

PHYS 150 Introduction to Astronomy
       The ideal course for those who wish to study physics without
       having to actually study physics. This is traditionally the
       course of choice for those who think a physics minor would look
       good on their c.v., but who have no interest or ability in the
       Topics Include: which end of the telescope is for looking in?
       Prerequisites: A pledge never to ask the professor his 'sign'

PHYS 200 Modern Physics
       Learn about all the theories and critical experiments of the
       last century, without being burdened with the mathematics that
       would permit you to do something with this knowledge.
       Topics Include: the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (perhaps)
       Prerequisites: readiness to accept that everything we taught
       you in PHYS 100 is only a classical approximation

PHYS 201 E&M #1
       We couldn't teach you Electromagnetism properly in PHYS 100
       because you had not yet taken any vector calculus. Even though
       you still have not taken any class in vector calculus, we
       consider that anybody who has opted to major in physics should
       be able to absorb the entire content of MATH 201 in the first
       week of the term.
       Topics Include: Maxwell's equations
       Prerequisites: PHYS 205, MATH 100

PHYS 205 Optics
       Using your knowledge of electromagnetic fields (which you will
       acquire next term in PHYS 201) we introduce the subject of
       light - what is it and how does it behave?
       Topics Include: did you know that nearsighted people have eyes
       that are too strong, not too weak?
       Prerequisites: PHYS 201

PHYS 207 Mechanics
       No, this is not a course in car maintainance!
       Topics Include: trajectories, oscillations, Hilbert space
       Prerequisites: PHYS 100

PHYS 300 S&M (Sadistical Mechanics)
       Have you ever wondered what the laws of statistics and quantum
       mechanics say would happen if you were to put
       1,000,000,000,000,000 gas molecules into a container? Take this
       class and find out!
       Topics Include: the Grand Ole Canonical Partition Function
       Prerequisites: PHYS 100, MATH 523

PHYS 312 QM (Quantum Mechanics)
       This is what we wanted to teach you in PHYS 200, but weren't
       able to because you had only had five calculus courses so far.
       Topics Include: is your cat really alive?
       Prerequisites: PHYS 200

PHYS 400 E&M #2
       Having weeded out all but the most highly intelligent students
       with PHYS 201, we are now able to get into the real meat of the
       subject of Electromagnetic waves and fields.
       Topics Include: optics, relativity, gauge transforms
       Prerequisites: PHYS 201, every math course you can get

PHYS 456 Advanced Physics for Artsies
       We are presently the only Physics Department in the world to
       offer an advanced physics course especially geared for
       humanities students. Our consistent offering of this course is
       evidence of our belief that Physics is indeed a subject for
       everyone. In fact, Dr. M.C. Skewaired (who has been teaching
       this class for the last 14 years) has often said in defense of
       the funding for the course 'if I ever get any students, they
       will love this class'.
       Topics Include: which way is down?
       Prerequisites: PHYS 123

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From: <sinan#NoSpam.lumina.ro>
I am a Physics teacher at The International School of Bucharest. Your site
is a real treasure, and  I wanted to add a small jewellery:
It happened in my class..
'We were talking about the acceleration of free-fall. I wrote a 'g' letter
on the board, and asked 'How can we measure this constant? Do you have any
idea?' One of them stood up, came to the board, and measured the length of
the 'g' letter on the board, and said 'by a ruler, teacher!'

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Here is a simple experiment that will teach you an important electrical
lesson: On a cool, dry day, scuff your feet along a carpet, then reach your
hand into a friend's mouth and touch one of his dental fillings. Did you
notice how your friend twitched violently and cried out in pain? This
teaches us that electricity can be a very powerful force, but we must never
use it to hurt others unless we need to learn an important electrical

It also teaches us how an electrical circuit works. When you scuffed your
feet, you picked up batches of "electrons", which are very small objects
that carpet manufacturers weave into carpets so they will attract dirt. The
electrons travel through your bloodstream and collect in your finger, where
they form a spark that leaps to your friend's filling, then travels down to
his feet and back into the carpet, thus completing the circuit.

Amazing Electronic Fact: If you scuffed your feet long enough without
touching anything, you would build up so many electrons that your finger
would explode! But this is nothing to worry about unless you have
                                     Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"

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From: "Frank Bohan" <franbo#NoSpam.globalnet.co.uk>

Although we modern persons tend to take our electric lights, radios,
mixers, etc., for granted, hundreds of years ago people did not have any of
these things, which is just as well because there was no place to plug them
in. Then along came the first Electrical Pioneer, Benjamin Franklin, who
flew a kite in a lighting storm and received a serious electrical shock.
This proved that lighting was powered by the same force as carpets, but it
also damaged Franklin's brain so severely that he started speaking only in
incomprehensible maxims, such as "A penny saved is a penny earned."
Eventually he had to be given a job running the post office.
                               -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"

Ben Franklin may have found  electricity,  but  the guy who invented
the meter  is the guy who came  off  with  the real gold out of this
whole process. --- Unknown (may also be Dave Barry)

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From: "Keith E. Sullivan" <KSullivan#NoSpam.worldnet.att.net>

Dear Dr. Science,

I am interested in Fourier Transformations and the Theory of
Distribution.  Can you help me?

       -- Prabir Mitra, Katowice, Silesia/Poland

What could you possibly need help with?  Why, those transformations are
as plain as the nose on my face.  Think of them as a filter that detects
random patterns and sends them far, far away.  The Theory of
Distribution is the way the random garbage finds its way to the dump.
The dump used to be on Staten Island, but now it's on a barge, circling
the world, looking for a port that will accept it.  If Poland doesn't
watch out, all the world's random patterns will end up there or in
Czekoslovakia.  Throw them into the Baltic, it's already so polluted no
one will notice.  At least that's what the Soviets thought.

All Dr. Science material Copyright 1996 Duck's Breath Mystery Theatre.
All rights reserved.

Dr. Science <Doc#NoSpam.drscience.com> http://www.drscience.com

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From: ablang#NoSpam.mailcity.com (Ron Ablang)
                            Physics saves lives

One day our professor was discussing a particularly complicated
concept. A pre-med student rudely interrupted to ask, "Why do we have
to learn this pointless information."

"To save lives." the professor responded quickly and continued the

A few minutes later, the same student spoke up again. "So how does
physics save lives?" he persisted.

"It keeps the ignoramuses like you out of medical school," replied the

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From: livesey#NoSpam.eng.sun.com (Jon Livesey)

I don't know if this counts as a joke, but I was there when it

	Early morning Physics class filled with slightly
	dazed freshmen.    Eager beaver post-doc teaching
	the class asks "The wavelength of the Sodium yellow
	line.   What is it?   You there!"

	Fortunately he has his eagle eye on the guy next
	to me, who mutters: oh shit, and replies "A hundred
	and one?"

	"Hah!" says the postdoc "A hundred and one what?"

	"Um, a hundred and one, point two?"

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From: "Jason Sykora" <theoretical_physics#NoSpam.lycos.com>

Superposition Redefined

As a doctoral student in phsyics, I was recently teaching a freshman lab on
vibrations in strings.  One of the students asked me, "What is

One of the young women in class responded very quickly, before I had the
chance to, "Oh, that is when you are on top!"

Followed a few seconds later by, "I can't believe 
I just said that!"

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From: Kiwini Motutu <shegosay#NoSpam.yahoo.com>
                        "How I Became A Scientist"
             "Things I Said In School That Got Me In Trouble"

By Edmund Johnson

Teacher:  In 1887 Dr Heinrich Herts discovered radio waves.

Edmund:  How did he know they were waving?

Teacher:  Huh?

Edmund: The way you described the motion looks more like they were
        swimming, maybe they should be called radio swims...Maybe they
        were walking or running or giving him the finger.


Teacher: Today we are going to study flux, luminous flux, magnetic flux and
         radiant flux.

Edmund:  This is going to be one fluxed up day.


Teacher: Switch is an electrical device that makes or breaks a complete
         path for the current.

Edmund: Oh no!  Switch is a wooden device my mother breaks from a pear tree
        that makes a complete path from her hand to my behind and
         yes, it is electric!!!


Teacher:  Momentum is linear motion.

Edmund: That means memento, oops, I mean momento is a toe in linear
        motion, just a toe at a time, not the entire foot, that would
        be momentfoot and that is just not a word (pause) Wait!! yes
        it is, I just invented it, I am a scientist!!!

Edmund Johnson

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