Assignment: Scientific Review Essay

Instructor: James Donelan

Due date: First draft: October 21; Second draft, October 26; Final draft: October 27, 1999.

Scientific Review Essay

Research and write a 4-5 page review of a concept in modern physics. The purpose of this paper is to write a clear description of one of the topics we explored in the science readings: Einsteinís General and Special Theories of Relativity, Heisenbergís Uncertainty Principle, black holes, E=mc2, or any other concept you can identify and define.

Locate two or three descriptions of the concept, including at least one you find from additional research in the library or on the web, but no more than one of your sources should be from the web.

After locating at least one additional source, write a summary of your findings. Use subheadings. Make the report objective. In a scientific paper, you are not expected to offer your own opinions on the inherent interest or utility of the subject, but rather to organize the findings of others. In your description of the concept, be sure to explain the arguments scientists have made about it, and its relation to the data, either from observations or from experiments, that scientists use to support their arguments. In the conclusion, however, you may comment on the significance of the topic for other areas of interest in physics, for instance, the effect that Einsteinís General Theory of Relativity had on astronomy.

Here is a recommended structure for this paper:

If you click on the "Read Group Papers" button, you will be able to see a sample paper I have provided. Keep in mind that this essay is meant to give you an idea of what one looks like, not to provide a model of perfection. In addition, you must strive particularly hard in this assignment to avoid unconscious (and conscious) plagiarism, that is, you cannot, may not, and must not use the precise phrasing of any of your sources in your own essay, and you may use direct quotations only briefly and infrequently. Your task is to bring together the versions of the concept you explore into one, clear statement, not to repeat what others have said word-for-word.