How is physics taught and learned. Teaching strategies, class examples and demonstrations; learning resources, career advice, etc. For explicit problems, use the 'homework' tag instead.

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Problem books for concept building in applications of Riemannian and other geometries to mechanics

As a student of physics I have learned solving Euler equations for rigid bodies by solving examples and exercises in self-contained books rather than understanding the proofs of Euler equations (I ...
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TQFT lectures with exercises

I'm interested in topological quantum field theory and study works of Witten and others by myself. Does anybody know where can I find any good exercises in this subject? By "good" I mean something ...
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Where can I find accesible educational material on the formation of the solar system?

I'm kind of scathing my head over this. First of all, I'm not a physicist of any kind, I'm a software developer, but I'm also a bit passionate about astronomy(usually read the news) and in my free ...
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71 views

Any economical quantitative electrostatics experiments for the university level?

I'm seeking for some safe experiments for undergraduates in the electrostatics context. We have a Van-de-Graaff generator in our fundamental physics lab but this kind of devices are useful for ...
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54 views

Torque on shaft

Consider a generator which supply power using a shaft to a turbine. The torque applied on shaft by generator is $T$. As the shaft has constant angular velocity the turbine should also be applying ...
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53 views

Competition Physics Book for High School Physics

I am currently a high school physics student who has recently started participating in some physics competitions. Although I have an alright understanding of the physics and mathematics and can ...
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Book with solved examples and exercise problems for SUSY

I am learning supersymmetry right now. I am mostly following Bailin and Love. I try to connect all the steps from the book and complete the derivations in order to get comfortable with the ...
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444 views

Dirac action and conventions

I have a (possibly) fundamental question, which is driving me crazy. Notation When considering the Dirac action (say reading Peskin's book), one have $\int dV\;\bar{\psi}\left(\imath\not\partial-m\...
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Demo of Classical Example of a Spin 1/2 System

I was wondering if there are demos of spin 1/2 systems that anyone knows of. Are there any classical systems that are symmetric under a rotation of $4\pi$ and not $2\pi$?
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What is abbe's rule in optics?

I have read wikipedia but can't really understand what they mean to say. The usual explanations are given in terms of Fourier optics, which I don't yet have the background for. Can anyone explain it ...
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46 views

How to teach/learn physics - reference request

I remember reading a paper (or a transcript of a talk) which describes the process of learning/teaching physics as a landing on a planet. In order to find a suitable place to land, you need to orbit ...
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67 views

explaining qubits to beginning CS students

&I have 15 minutes as a guest lecturer to explain the notion of quantum computing to CS students in a Theory of Computation class. There is a lot of information on the web, e.g., http://...
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173 views

Reasons to consider the coefficient of restitution velocity independent - conditions when this does apply

In high-school mathematics textbooks a bouncing ball is often considered as an example of an exponential decay. One can easily derive this if one assumes that the coefficient of restitution is ...
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Layman explanation and demonstration of positive lightning

Inspired by the thunderstorm overhead, and after reading the question and answers Voltage and current of positive lightning - what is an effective means to explain this phenomenon to a layman? Also, ...
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Solutions for Kittel's Introduction to solid state physics 6th edition?

I'm looking for the solutions of Kittel's 'Introduction to solid state physics' 6th edition. I can only seem to find the solutions for the 8th edition online. Does anyone have the pdf to it? Or ...
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What is an overview of secondary school astronomy textbooks for students who have taken some calculus?

I teach mathematics at the secondary level. This year my students have founded an astronomy club. Most have finished two semesters of "college-level" calculus and are familiar with the derivative, ...
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Direct comparison of energy measurements for kids

I am planning a few physics & science sessions in the woods with 14 year-olds. The theme for one of the sessions is Energy, and my aim is to show them how gravity, solar radiation, wind (air ...
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Web utility for viewing $x$-$t$, $v$-$t$, and $a$-$t$ graphs

I'm wondering if there exists any utility on the web which displays $x$-$t$, $v$-$t$, and $a$-$t$ graphs for, say, a number of well considered example animations. The utility should allow pausing, ...
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356 views

Using a role-play to teach ohm's law

An education research project: can a role-play be used to help understand Ohm's Law? I need to have this analogy checked for scientific validity. A group of 25 primary children will participate, with ...
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79 views

Application of wavelets in computational electromagnetics

I am a first-year graduate student (electrical eng.); wavelets is one of the courses that I am taking presently. As part of the course, I plan to explore application of wavelets in computational ...
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503 views

Introductory exercise set with solutions for string theory

I am trying to self-study string theory, beginning with Ibanez and Uranga (String Theory and Particle Physics). Unfortunately, the book contains no problems, so I'm not sure whether I am fully ...
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194 views

Describing the Higgs mechanism to non-particle physicists

I'm sure I'm not the only person with this problem at the moment. I have been asked to give a public (not quite public, scientists, just not physicists) about 'this Higgs boson thing'. I am trying to ...
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Comparison of electron deflection tube and Hall effect

Consider an electron deflection tube (something like this: http://www.ld-didactic.de/documents/en-US/GA/GA/5/555/555624e.pdf). Suppose you apply a magnetic field perpendicular to the screen. Then ...
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Physical side of TQFT

How would one go about understanding the physical side of TQFTs? What are the best introductory resources? I know Atiyah axioms but I don't know any QFT.
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Solutions manual for Peres' book 'Quantum Theory: Concepts and Methods'

I'm working through Asher Peres' book 'Quantum Theory: Concepts and Methods,'and finding it immensely useful. I fully Recommend it! But when working on the problems in it I'd like to check my ...
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How to understand why a reciever cannot hear, see or catch waves of all frequencies at the same time

I am explaining about how antennas work to my son. Like, how antennas need to be set for certain frequencies or wavelength. As an example, i provide the example of eyes and ears as receivers and how ...
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Exercises with solutions in dimensional analysis - reference request

I am currently trying to brush up on my skills in dimensional analysis, and computing with units. Is there a good source of worked examples, and exercises with solutions? I'd prefer to have solutions ...
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Are there computerized ontologies for Relativity and (Experimental) Physics? How to contribute?

As machines and automation can generally assist humanity in physical activities, and even exceed mere human capabilities, so, increasingly, also in tasks of reasoning. A basic component of the latter ...
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Gedankenexperiment to derive the Robertson uncertainty relation without confusing it with the obersver effect

In the last years there seemed to be much activity on the meaning Heisenberg's uncertainty relation. The main point of the discussion was Heisenbergs noise-disturbance-relation (see: http://arxiv.org/...
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Intuitive model to show difference between photon energy and light intensity?

What would be a good (intuitive, easily comprehensible) model to explain the quantum nature of light insofar as there is a fundamental difference between intensity and photon energy? One example (not ...
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316 views

Experiment to verify a spring constant

In my high school physics class, I had students do a Hooke's Law lab to measure an unknown spring constant. Once we compared everyone's data we came up with a class value for $k$ of 253 N/m. We then ...
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38 views

Resources on Solar Neutrino Physics

For a project I'm doing for an introductory Astrophysics course, I'm trying to understand the nuances of solar neutrino physics. However, most of what is said while explaining neutrino oscillations ...
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Is passing on knowledge/information from one body to another and the resultant state is ever studied as any branch of physics?

Does any branch of physics, study the passing off of information/knowledge from one body to another ( body would obviously be living beings here, as they only can do so ). And resultant changes in the ...
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Quantum distance ladder

There is a lecture on how facts about the cosmos can be derived form rather simple observation. Is there an analogy for the small scale? Is there a technically simple observation that would imply, say,...
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How to move from Special to General Relativity

I have understood special relativity nicely, and right now I am trying to learn general relativity from D'Inverno's book. I an finding it rather difficult to understand the pre-requisite math (i.e. ...
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References requested on departments with recitation sessions

What physics departments offer recitation sessions for their physics courses on the undergraduate level? If there is a site which has such info it will be greatly appreciated.
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86 views

Why are there no explicit calculations in some articles

I am always baffled how in all the articles (theoretical ones), there is no explicit calculations, or at least some reference how to find it, or where to find it (the calculation). I get that, for ...
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406 views

Making a 3D physics engine, realistic? If so, where do I begin my research?

As a programming (technology), physics and math project in school, I'm considering programming my own 3D physics engine as a learning exercise. The physics engine should then be able to be used in a ...
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531 views

Starting string theory studies in grad school

How is it possible for a grad student to do research in any modern area of string theory like AdS/CFT or ABJM if they need to start grad school by having to learn QFT from scratch? Is there a time-...