Junior Laboratory

The discussion of the nature of scientific theory and the relation of theory to observation continues in the Junior Laboratory through readings in the foundations of modern mechanics, chemistry, and genetics accompanied by experiments that reproduce as far as possible the conditions under which basic discoveries in these sciences were made. The fall term focuses on the mathematization of physical phenomena. You'll begin with Galileo's work on strength and motion of matter, move on to the constitution of matter with readings from Black, Lavoisier, Dalton, Thompson, Gay-Lussac, Avogadro, Cannizzaro, Berzelius, Faraday, Mendeleev and others, and conclude with quantum theory. Spring term focuses on comparison of Neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory with physicochemical theories, beginning with Darwinian evolution and moving on to genetics with Mendel, Sutton, Morgan, Wilson, Dawkins and others.