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‘Fundamentals of Physics’ Explored at Next PU Class

Photo Provided Participants who engage in the livestream classes of the latest People’s University series “Physical Science, The Joy of Discovery” presented online each week by the Ohio County Public Library will be entered in a drawing at the end of the livestream to win a famous scientist tumbler of Marie Curie from Uncommon Goods.

WHEELING — The fifth class in the Ohio County Public Library’s new People’s University series “Physical Science, The Joy of Discovery” will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 11.

Participants will explore “The Fundamentals of Physics” in the Week 5 class. The instructor again will be Dr. Stacey Kefalos Vargas, professor at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va.

Force, pressure, momentum and energy are words used by many, but to a physicist, they are more than mere words. They merge together with mathematics and laws creating a path to describes matter, motion and our universe.

Viewers are invited to join in an ambitious journey through the fundamentals of physics, beginning with classical mechanics, Newton’s Laws and ending with a glimpse into Albert Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity (if space and time permits).

Vargas received her bachelor of science degree in physics from Wheeling College in 1988 and continued her education, earning a masters and Ph.D. in physics from the University of Connecticut. She joined the faculty in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at VMI in 1996.

She was the first women in science and engineering at VMI to receive tenure and promotion to full professor. She is the recipient of a VMI Distinguish Teaching Award and the Thomas Jefferson Teaching Award. In addition to teaching a variety of physics courses, she performs research in laser spectroscopy, free space optics and visible light communication. She has published many articles and received several grants to fund her research. She has collaborated with companies pursuing novel wireless communication technologies.

In 2017, she won the Innovation in Higher Education award from the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council for her novel research using ultra-short-pulse lasers in free space optics communication. She is passionate about her teaching and her research. She resides in Lexington, Va., with her husband and their five children.

The Ohio County Public Library in partnership with the Wheeling Academy of Law & Science (WALS) Foundation is offering the 31st entry in its People’s University series in this six-class online, livestream presentation.

“Physical Science, The Joy of Discovery” takes attendees on a journey through the philosophical and intellectual development of science as a method of accurately weighing evidence, eliminating bias, finding facts, and acquiring knowledge.

Classes in the series explore, in part, themes such science is not political; science is not magical; science is not faith or belief; science is not based on feelings; it’s not a conspiracy and has no hidden agenda. Science is the earnest pursuit of what is true in terms of the best available, logically generated evidence. Science recognizes that it’s OK to be wrong and to learn from it.

Later classes in the series will explore the history and fundamental building blocks of the pillars of physical science: chemistry and physics. Attendees will learn about what matter and energy are and what laws they obey. Additional classes will explore specific applications of chemistry, namely laser technology as well as combating multi-drug resistant bacteria through drug discovery.

Attendees who “like,” comment or ask a question during the live session will be eligible to win a door prize each time. This week, winner of the drawing at the end of the livestream claim a famous scientist tumbler from Uncommon Goods.

All classes meet on Thursday evenings at 6:30 p.m.

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