This course treats the capabilities, techniques, and limitations of the crime laboratory, including emission spectrometry, chromatography, atomic absorption spectrophotometry, neutron activation analysis, and x-ray diffraction. A discussion of physical optics, especially as related to the microscope, is included. These basic principles are applied to the detection and identification of hair, paint, fibers and drugs. Forensic serology and fingerprinting are discussed. Applications in the area of firearms and of document and voice examination are included.
This course combines physics and chemistry in order to better understand our world. Some of the topics discussed are how science views the world, chemistry of the environment and the forces in the physical world as expressed in words, symbol, math and graphs.
Earth Science draws on the sciences of geology, oceanography, meteorology and astronomy in order to gain an understanding of the earth and its place in the universe. Topics explored include minerals and rocks, external processes such as weathering, and erosion by water, wind and ice, internal processes as manifested by volcanoes, earthquakes, and plate tectonics, the oceans both in a static and dynamic sense, the earth's atmosphere again in both a static and dynamic sense, and the solar system and beyond to stars and galaxies.
The course takes a laboratory approach to integrating guided-inquiry techniques with self-directed projects. The goal is to help students acquire a fundamental understanding of the nature of science. Lecture on a large number of topics is replaced with a workshop environment that gives students the necessary time required for constructing a deeper and more permanent understanding.