Satellite altimetry was developed in the 1960s soon after
the flight of artificial satellites became a reality. From the
vantage point in space, a radar altimeter is able to measure
the shape of the sea surface globally and frequently. Such
measurements have a wide range of applications to oceanography,
geodesy, and geophysics. The results are often revolutionary.
For example, in oceanography; it takes a ship weeks
or months to cross the ocean making measurements while
the ocean is constantly changing its circulation, temperature,
The purpose of this course is to explore the development and content of
the major ideas that have led to our understanding of the physical universe.
As in any science course you will learn about many of the important concepts,
theories, and laws that make up the content of the science, physics
in this case. But this course goes beyond that; it presents science as experience,
as an integrated and exciting intellectual adventure, as the product of
humankind’s continual drive to know and to understand our world and our
relationship to it....