Questions tagged [physical-sciences]

For questions about teaching and motivating students who are engaged in studying the physical sciences, namely biology, chemistry, and physics.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
3
votes
6answers
13k views

Best way to memorize the conversion between m/s and km/h

If you want to convert for example $2\,\mathrm{\frac{m}{s}}$ to $\mathrm{\frac{km}{h}}$ you have just to multiply it by $3.6$ and get $2\,\mathrm{\frac{m}{s}} = 7.2\,\mathrm{\frac{km}{h}}$. ...
7
votes
1answer
180 views

Scientific results on the usefulness of physical units in secondary education?

When we encounter "real world problems" in math, one can chose different levels of detail with regard to units: from leaving them out completely up to using them everywhere. I'd argue that both ...
8
votes
4answers
382 views

Elementary physics course for pure math student

Are there any mathematical departments which present the course "elementary physics" for pure math undergraduate students, separately? Is there a way to present this course with the most pure ...
1
vote
2answers
268 views

Designing a Good Question on Kinematics: Test and Develop

So I was asked in an interview to design two questions for UK Physics A Level students studying the suvat equations, that is, equations of motion with a constant acceleration. The first needs to '...
1
vote
2answers
100 views

Activities for calc based physics

I was sort of thrown into teaching calculus based physics to a bunch of non-physics majors, who have taken one semester of calculus, and are poor with that material. It is only a 50 minute per week ...
7
votes
2answers
285 views

Structure of math textbooks

Math textbooks for undergraduate and graduate students are almost always structured in the same way. Each chapter/section/etc. has it's definitions, theorems, propositions, etc. with proofs following ...
13
votes
2answers
662 views

What are some activities/projects I can assign to calculus students from bio/chem/physics majors to specifically motivate their interest?

(This question was proposed during the area51 phase.) It's common for chemistry/biology/physics majors to be required to take certain calculus courses. At my school, chem/bio students must take up ...
10
votes
1answer
208 views

Analogies or explanations for duality, at the college sophomore level

This semester I taught the third semester of my college's freshman physics sequence. Nearly all the students are engineering majors. Compared to previous semesters when I've taught this course, I went ...
18
votes
12answers
8k views

How to explain that we live in a three-dimensional world?

How does one explain, clearly and simply, that we live in a three-dimensional world? The explanation has to be understandable for a twelve year old child.
13
votes
3answers
233 views

Does education research support the idea that answer keys are bad?

I am a physics grad student and several of my professors have stated that they are against the idea of posting answer keys (i.e., worked solutions) for homework and/or tests (after the assignment has ...
6
votes
4answers
283 views

What science books would you recommend a curious middle school student to read at home?

OK, this is not exactly a Math Education question, but in lieu of a functioning Science Education site and because in middle schools Math and Science are often taught by the same teachers, I'll ask ...
6
votes
1answer
104 views

What are the fundamentals of writing practice questions for early teen students?

I have to write some practice questions, or toy problems for some students in the age range 11 to 14. This is for a workshop I will be running. The students are encouraged to work on these questions ...
9
votes
0answers
100 views

Literature on student understanding of assumptions

In a discussion with a physics lecturer he mentioned that one major area where students fail is understanding assumptions - for example, if we are interested in two objects hitting each other and then ...
9
votes
3answers
541 views

What are the mathematical prerequisites to quantum mechanics?

Which topics - what skillset in mathematics need the students to possess to be able to proceed with learning quantum mechanics without hitches like need for explaining notation or understanding the ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Applications of Calculus 2 to Physics

I'm teaching a section of Calculus 2 (integration techniques, arc length, surface area, improper integrals, parametric & polar functions, sequences, and series ) next semester and would like to ...
19
votes
5answers
1k views

Physical applications of higher terms of Taylor series

Depressingly many of the physical "applications" of Taylor series that I can find in textbooks and online are actually just applications of linear approximation, since they only take the constant and ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Physics in Linear Algebra

Talking about physical phenomena related to a particular field of mathematics can be interesting for students and might further motivate their study of the subject. For instance, there are ...