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Re: [Phys-L] Survey of Physics

Require students to complete reading logs, scan to .pdf with phones using
Office Lens or CamScanner (I prefer CS), and upload to class LMS for credit.
Reading and reducing technical text is worthwhile in itself.

Dan M

Dan MacIsaac, AAPT Fellow, Professor of Physics & Graduate Coordinator
Adjunct Professor of Earth Science and Science Education
SUNY Buffalo State College, SAMC278, 1300 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo

On Jul 25, 2020, at 14:48, Brian Whatcott <betwys1@sbcglobal.net> wrote:

About having a hard time getting kids to read books any more. I have an instant solution. One that will (usually) engross their attention for many hours. Something I just learned myself. Let me explain.I set down to answer a Quora question. These are often at junior high/ high level though some rise to freshman college level. Specifically I set down an answer to this question:How can you find the water temperature without a thermometer?My answer was in lab form: materials, beaker, heater, timer blah, blah, blah.[find the time to boil a given volume of ice water, and compare to the time to boil the specimen.]...to which I received the comment: "Too complicated for the average person."I looked over some other responses: Index of refraction; thermal co-efficient of expansion.So I rewrote my answer: find an electric kettle. Waste a little of the test water to lift the kettle to near test liquid's temperature. Time how long to boil. Compare with boiling the same volume of ice water.Specific heat is not exactly linear, but can be sensitive.
Then I was moved to find the sensitivity and linearity of measuring other physical properties of water.Surface Tension.Viscosity.Speed of Sound. etc. It turns out, that water properties may vary from <1% to ~80% over the temperature range 0-100 deg C for these properties.Their linearity with temperature varies from pretty good, to awful too.
I can suppose that letting kids loose on finding such a measurement method, might offer worth-while learning, an incentive to look up book data that would be helpful right there, right then. In other words; learning by doing. That is in fact what research physicists do !
[Sorry about the long quote trail - I am responding directly on a mail URL rather than via mail reader ] On Saturday, July 25, 2020, 12:42:25 PM CDT, Richard Tarara via Phys-l <phys-l@mail.phys-l.org> wrote:

Let me add a note here. Unfortunately, you will have a very hard time getting students to read any book you choose. Even with quiz questions taken directly from the book, I couldn't get them to read the last few years. Since by that time I had my lectures all on PowerPoints, I ended up just posting those with references to books like Kirkpatrick and Hewitt, but they would barely bother to reread the PPs that they had seen just once in class.

Richard W. Tarara
Professor of Physics, emeritus
Saint Mary’s College
Notre Dame, Indiana

Free Physics Instructional Software
Windows and Mac
sites.saintmarys.edu/~rtarara/software.html

-----Original Message-----
I can concur on Kirkpatrick, used it for years. I accused him at a summer meeting of stealing my lectures as we were pretty much of the same mind. 😉

Richard W. Tarara
Professor of Physics, emeritus
Saint Mary’s College
Notre Dame, Indiana

Free Physics Instructional Software
Windows and Mac
sites.saintmarys.edu/~rtarara/software.html

-----Original Message-----
From: Phys-l <phys-l-bounces@mail.phys-l.org> On Behalf Of Snow POP
Sent: Saturday, July 25, 2020 1:07 PM
To: <Phys-L@phys-l.org> <Phys-L@Phys-L.org>
Subject: Re: [Phys-L] Survey of Physics

Though it has some notable flaws, we are still using Hewitt’s “Conceptual Physics.” The students generally like it. Students can find the penultimate edition pretty cheap.

We’ve also used Kirkpatrick and Wheelers “Physics: A Worldview.”

Larry

On Jul 24, 2020, at 9:49 AM, Timothy Folkerts via Phys-l <phys-l@mail.phys-l.org> wrote:

I am teaching a Survey of Physics class for the first time and I would
love suggestions for a good textbook. I have taught lots of physics
and physical science, so I can build on that background. I would love
something OER, but the Openstax books I am familiar with all seem to
be at too high of a level.

Also, I would appreciate any key suggestions for topics or approaches
that have worked for you for this sort of student in this sort of class.

Tim Folkerts

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