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Common Science Experience - Science Foundation Courses

SCNC1112 Fundamentals of Modern Science (6 credits)


Course Objectives:

This course aims to provide students an overview of the giant web of knowledge that makes up science. This course adopts an integrated approach and encompasses physics, astronomy, earth sciences, chemistry, and biology, and focuses on the general principles and unifying concepts of science used in various disciplines to describe the diverse phenomena and objects in the natural world. The fundamental laws of each discipline, the historical developments and the modern frontiers, and the interconnectedness of different science disciplines will be introduced and highlighted.


Course Contents & Topics:

(1) Universal principles and unifying concepts of science

(2) Fundamental structure of matter

  • Structure of matter
  • The quantum world
  • Elementary particles and standard model

(3) Atoms and molecules

  •   Matters and atoms: The periodic table
  •   Chemical bonds and chemical reactions
  •   Important molecules: water, carbon, molecular cluster
  •   Nanoscience and nanotechnology

(4) DNA/Genetic

  •  Molecules of life
  •  Genomics and DNA; Genetics and inheritance

(5) Cells and systems

(6) Organism and environment

  •  The origin and evolution of life
  •  Ecology and environment

(7) Earth and Beyond

  •   Solid Earth, Earth's atmosphere and hydrosphere
  •   Earth's motion in space
  •   Planets, the Sun, and the solar system
  •   Cosmology  


Course Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this course, students should be able to: 

  1. Acquire an understanding of the historical development of modern science, the essence and spirit of scientific inquiry methods, and the role of science in the advancement of civilization over time.
  2. Understand and be familiar with the fundamental scientific principles and concepts.
  3. Appreciate the diversity of different scientific disciplines and develop multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives on scientific issues.
  4. Critically and creatively appraise received ideas and established knowledge.
  5. Develop curiosity in science and an appreciation of sciences as related to different Science Majors and as a form of life-long learning.


More course details can be found at: