PHYS 214 :: Physics Illinois :: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

James Scholar Assignment #1

Remember: You must choose (and stick with) one of the two tracks.

All summaries or essays must be 1.5 - 2 pages long, single-spaced, 12 point font (PDF, TEXT, or Microsoft Word 2003 or later). Please include your name and NetID on your paper.

Track A: Read the first chapter of "QED" by Feynman (available in bookstores, Amazon, etc.) and write an essay, making connection with the topics we covered in class, and comparing/contrasting the different approaches.

Track B: Misc. Applications: LIGO
First, watch the quite excellent NSF-produced 20-minute video on LIGO:

LIGO video

Next, read an in-depth article regarding updates associated with Advanced LIGO:

Please also read the official summary ( of LIGO's first direct detection of gravitational waves on September 14, 2015 (note: the journal article announcing this detection event can be found at

Finally, write a summary of LIGO, how it works, what objects and events it's designed to observe, and what upgrades involved with Advanced LIGO helped to enable the observation of gravitational waves.

Upload your paper to by the deadline.

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