Postprint version. Published in American Journal of Physics, Volume 78, Issue 1, January 1, 2010, pages 40-46.
Copyright © 2010 American Association of Physics Teachers. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Association of Physics Teachers. The following article appeared in American Journal of Physics and may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.3225922.
For instructors wishing to use physics as part of an international or general education course, the framework for a course based on the “longitude problem” from the 1700s is described. The longitude problem is teeming with basic principles of physics and astronomy, which makes it ideal for a non-science-major-based college-level course. This paper summarizes the longitude problem in the context of conceptual physics and astronomy and outlines an appropriate curriculum. Specifics on teaching such a course in London, as part of an international studies program, are discussed.