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[Phys-l] Non-Student Misconceptions

I still think it is usually not a good use of resources to
make lists of misconceptions that people /might/ have. It
is usually better to deal with the misconceptions that they
/actually/ have.

Also as I wrote on 09/28/2011 01:55 PM:

6) I'm not so much worried about the misconceptions that
the students bring to class as the misconceptions that
the teacher and the textbook author bring to class.

In that spirit I have made a list of about 50 bugs in the
_Conceptual Physics_ text by Hewitt. This is not an
exhaustive list; finding bugs in this book is like
finding sand at the beach.

Some of what I call bugs are just bad pedagogy (rather
than physics misconceptions), such as
-- explaining one thing the students don't know in terms
of another thing that they don't know.
-- a so-called "Concept Check" that calls for rote regurgitation
of words ... with nothing to promote or verify understanding of
the concept.
-- et cetera.

Others are outright wrong physics, including
-- misconceptions about what energy is
-- misconceptions about what entropy is
-- misconceptions about what equilibrium and stability are
-- misconceptions about Galilean relativity
-- misconceptions about special relativity
-- misconceptions about series and parallel circuits
-- misconceptions about nuclear energy
-- et cetera.

You get the idea.

Perhaps the most irksome feature is the reliance on fake data
in the examples and in the set-up for exercises. How can we
say it is OK for the textbook to use fake data but it is serious
misconduct if students use fake data? Aaaarrrrrrgh.

Why do we put up with this?