Since the Greeks discovered magnetite 2,000 years ago, electricity and magnetism have been subjects of scientific mystery. Today there are few devices that do not rely on these phenomena to operate. This course will provide the non-technical student with a general understanding of the role that electricity and magnetism play in our modern world. The course will be presented in three sections. Week 1 will provide an overview of the basic principles of magnetism and electricity, and the scientists who discovered them. Week 2 will focus on the world of electric power. Traditional power generation, electric lighting (from carbon arc to LED), batteries, electric cars, and modern alternative energy technologies will be discussed. Week 3 will cover the broad engineering topics of telecommunications and digital electronics. Telegraph, telephones, vacuum tubes, radios, transistors, microwaves, microprocessors, and computers will be covered. State of the art topics such as fibre optics, satellite communications, the Internet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cell phones will be explained. During the daily lectures, the design of commonplace electromagnetic devices will be explained. This will include such things as key fobs, security cards, memory sticks, and even those portable devices in restaurants for you to pay your bill.
Bob Rose is a retired electrical engineer and worked 35 years in Alberta’s electric power industry. Bob has given 300 volunteer science presentations in Edmonton school classrooms. He has lectured at 14 science teachers’ conferences. In 2009 he received a Fellowship from Engineers Canada for his lifetime contributions to the profession. Bob has been an instructor at six previous ELLA sessions.