FT 012-L Confronting the Mysterious
Dennis Krause, Department of Physics
Every day we encounter claims of extra-scientific phenomena such as ghosts, ESP, UFOs, astrology, strange creatures (e.g., Big Foot), dowsing, etc. Are they real? Should you invest money in cold fusion research or a device which liberates energy from the vacuum? Can one travel faster-than-light or backward in time? Can we really trust the way we perceive the world? How does one go about answering these types of questions? This tutorial will examine how a scientist investigates claims of phenomena that lie on or beyond the present boundaries of science. Readings and videos will explore a wide range of extraordinary claims and the works of people who investigate them. Students will then carry out and present the results of their own investigations.