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[Phys-L] Re: PHYS-L Digest - 24 Mar 2005 - Special issue (#2005-104)

Rick Tarara replied to my one-liner:

Notice the 'First semester:' here. Thermo/E&M/optics form the core of many
2nd semester courses. The two biggest casualties of the 'less is more'
approach seem to be rotations and fluids.


> >First semester:

1. Kinematics (1d and 2d)
2. Newton's first law as a statement about reference frames.
2a. The concept of a reference frame.
3. Newton's second law applied to a variety of situations.
4. Newton's third law.
5. Conservation of momentum.
6. Conservation of energy.
7. Rotational kinematics.
8. Rotational dynamics.
9. Conservation of angular momentum.
10. Gravity.

> What about some thermo?

Let me get this straight, Rick: you teach mechanics in one semester,
then thermo/E&M/optics in a second semester of the same number of

That sounds like a very heavy second semester. I believe that a
natural point to segue from mechanics to thermo is when energy is
introduced, so it more naturally fits into the first semester.

Also, what about oscillations and mechanical waves? To my tastes, I
would put higher priority on these two topics than rotations (at
least kinematics, and as much of the dynamics as I could bear to
toss, perhaps keeping only torque & angular momentum).
Carl E. Mungan, Asst. Prof. of Physics 410-293-6680 (O) -3729 (F)
U.S. Naval Academy, Stop 9C, Annapolis, MD 21402-5040
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