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A cluster of young galaxies forming in the distant uni­verse. Sub­aru/­NASA/JPL-Caltech | Courtesy

The physics department is bringing back two space-related classes in the fall. Cos­mology, taught by Assistant Pro­fessor of Physics Ryan Lang, will cover the history of the uni­verse. Asso­ciate Pro­fessor of Physics Paul Hosmer will teach Mete­o­rology, the study of weather.

Neither course has been taught for several years. The department is bringing back the courses to encourage an appre­ci­ation for the sub­jects.

“We don’t know what 96 percent of the uni­verse is,” Lang said. “So we’ve made up words for them — dark matter, dark energy.”

Lang said the class will be acces­sible to everyone, not just physics majors. The minimum math requirement is high school algebra.

“You don’t get this kind of thing in a standard physics course,” Lang said.

The class will focus on astro­physics, par­ticle physics, and the­o­retical physics, as well as grav­i­ta­tional waves, a focus of Lang’s.

“I’m most excited to talk about my grav­i­ta­tional waves research. That’s what I’m working on,” Lang said.

Physics Department Chair Ken Hayes said he last taught a cos­mology course in fall of 2015.

“Given the sig­nif­icant exposure to physics and astronomy offered in the new physics core course, I hope that a sig­nif­icant fraction of the stu­dents whom have taken Physics 100 would be stim­u­lated to con­sider taking more physics at the intro­ductory level,” Hayes said in an email. “Both Cos­mology and Mete­o­rology are offered at a level similar to Physics 100, so all Hillsdale College stu­dents should find the courses acces­sible and hope­fully very inter­esting.”

In addition to Cos­mology, Mete­o­rology will also be returning in the fall, taught by Hosmer.

“I think a lot of people are nat­u­rally inter­ested in mete­o­rology,” said Hosmer, adding that he wants the class to be “studying what happens in the atmos­phere in a quan­ti­tative way.”

The class will study satel­lites, space weather, and Mars travel, among other sub­jects.

“It’s very pur­pose­fully for the general audience,” Hosmer said.

Junior biology major Emily Holtyn said she is taking the class next semester because she has always been inter­ested in weather.

“Weather just fas­ci­nates me,” Holtyn said. “I wanted to be a storm chaser for a while.”

Hosmer said the class will also include some outdoor obser­vation.

“This is the beauty of physics,” Hosmer said. “You can learn a lot from the quan­ti­tative aspects, but, on the other hand, there’s an aspect of nature anyone can under­stand qual­i­ta­tively.”