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Grandiose title but useful content : In my opinion, it's fundamental when you teach any topic related to science to clearly make the difference between physical phenomena and their mathematical models, between the map and the land. One way to do so is to push students to learn/express physical laws without mathematics, just with words. The best example of such approach is the famous Berkeley books of physics.

This book from Peter Atkins [1] try to do the same for thermodynamics, and i my opinion, make it. Obviously, it's not a textbook students could use for their exams. Its more a very short (about 130 pages) but complementary book, useful to really understand things on this topic. I especially recommend the reading of the part that concerns the concept of temperature, it's really clear and brilliant. 

The only thing I'm not really agree with is the author's will to raise the zeroth and third laws at the same level of the other ones. Zeroth law only exists to define what is temperature and third law to give a reference value to entropy. In my opinion, they are not fundamental laws of physics, as conservation of energy is for example.

But finally, I warmly recommend the reading of this book, it's short but significant.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Atkins
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This may be of interest to the Physics Education community:

The APS Bridge Program Summer Meeting will bring together experts to discuss efforts to increase the number of underrepresented minorities (URMs) who receive PhDs in physics. This year's conference will focus on exploring and understanding the role of the Master's degree in advancing URMs in physics. Registration closes June 6. http://go.aps.org/1pGOdpH
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"URMs" WTF ? Pathetic....P. Underrepresented minority is a nice way of saying "Low Caste". A PhD in physics is an inherently High Caste calling, just as "efforts to increase the number of (URMs) who receive Ph Ds in physics is inherently silly. It's a question of changing VALUES and IDENTITIES, NOT " the role of Master's degrees". This ( program) is just another excercise in chasing Xeno's tortoise.
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soler soler's profile photoNatasha Dalton's profile photosalvatore ganci's profile photo
 
uhm, uhm, ... and what is the operative definition of "Mass: This is the amount of matter in an object."?
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Please pass along the below announcement to people you think might be interested in this event:

Harvard University and the Smithsonian Institution are organizing a one day neuro-diversity workshop for high school students with Dyslexia, ADHD, and/or Autism Spectrum Disorders with an interest in Astronomy.

Date and time: April 25 2014, 9:30am-5pm
Location: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138, Phillips auditorium 
Registration will open on Feb. 20, space is limited! Participants must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. 
Cost: No charge for the workshop 

What is the goal of the workshop? 
The goal of this workshop is to encourage neurodiverse high school students with interest in astronomy to learn about academic paths open for them, and to share tips on how to help overcome obstacles that they may encounter enroute. 

Who is it for? 
This workshop is open to motivated, bright, young people with dyslexia ADHD, and/or Autism Spectrum Disorders who also have a strong interest in science. 

What will they do? 
During the one day workshop young people will meet astronomers from the Center for Astrophysics, hear about their research and how they overcame obstacles they faced, visit a telescope, and more. 
Most importantly, we hope that through this the participants will learn why having a learning difference can be helpful for science. 

To register please visit: http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/itc/AstronomyforEveryone/
Contact Dr. Smadar Naoz for questions and inquiries, email: snaoz@cfa.harvard.edu
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Doug Holton
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Isn't better to show the phenomenology during your lesson? As simple example: If I talk about atmospheric pressure, isn't so negative measure it? A dynamometer and a syringe slightly modified? "See", "touch" and "measure"?  My vision of teaching was modified after reading a paper such "How to be a good teacher"...
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I keep some cheep bouncing balls in my lab table drawer to demonstrate all sorts of concepts, kinetic energy, thermodynamics, behavior of gasses.  This article talks about kinetic energy and improves upon my bouncing ball demo with a digital "minilab" that tracks a couple of objects' kinetic and potential energy over time.  The article also has self grading questions for the kids to complete.
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Any of you guys need a good physics book?
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Physics Forums Crackpot Index
http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=709338

"This is primarily for fun, but given our experiences here at PF, it could be an excellent crackpot detector tool! Next time you read a post that sounds a bit off, refer to this index. It was compiled by PF staff and science advisors. The higher the point value, the greater the chance it's crackpot!"
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Doug Holton
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Dr. David Hestenes has written quite a bit about Physics Education Research and physics as modeling.  There is more information on his Geometric Calculus Research and Development website.  A good introduction is Oersted Medal Lecture 2002:
  Reforming the Mathematical Language of Physics
                 In: D. Hestenes, Am. J. Phys. 71 (2), February 2003, pp. 104--121.
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David Gall

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Neuroscience education can be promoted by the availability of low cost and engaging teaching materials. To address this issue, we developed an open-source lipid bilayer amplifier, the OpenPicoAmp, which is appropriate for use in introductory courses in biophysics or neurosciences dealing with the electrical properties of the cell membrane. The amplifier is designed using the common lithographic printed circuit board fabrication process and off-the-shelf electronic components. In addition, we propose a specific design for experimental chambers allowing the insertion of a commercially available polytetrafluoroethylene film. This experimental setup can be used in simple experiments in which students monitor the bilayer formation by capacitance measurement and record unitary currents produced by ionic channels like gramicidin A. Used in combination with a low-cost data acquisition board this system provides a complete solution for hands-on lessons, therefore improving the effectiveness in teaching basic neurosciences or biophysics.  (http://arxiv.org/abs/1403.7439)
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Hello,Members!!!.........I just joined the community........I just love Physics more than almost everything else.........Hope you would like my presence in this community.........
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Saransh Choudhary's profile photoSIVANES VIGNES's profile photo
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if you learn to enjoy it then you'll love iy more than anything else........
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Lady Paragons: Building a Women in STEM Community

Guest Blogger Sarah Worsham and founder of Lady Paragons describes the goals of her site and how you can get involved:

Do you remember what led you to a career in science? For me, I grew up with a father who was a physics teacher and then a computer science teacher.  We had a computer in the house for as long as I can remember.  I grew up playing mostly with boys -- my favorite toys were Legos, Transformers and anything space related.  I thought science was cool -- my favorite subject at school and I had some great science teachers.  In high school I decided I wanted to go into engineering so I could design cars.

At college, my engineering classes had a minority of women, especially when I switched from mechanical to computer engineering.  I did have a few female professors, but internships groups we almost entirely male.  After college, being the minority gender was the norm, but I didn't let it bother me.  It still doesn't, at least in terms of working with others, but it does bother me that more women aren't in STEM fields, and aren't in management and leadership roles.

To try to address this problem, my sister, Marie (who is a PhD in Pharmacology and Molecular Chemistry), and I are building an online community at LadyParagons.com where ladies can help ladies succeed in STEM careers.

Read more at Women in Astronomy:
http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2014/01/ladyparagons.html
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Astronomy Teaching Strategies Archive, via NASA
http://astronomy101.jpl.nasa.gov/teachingstrategies/archive/

including a list of several Astronomy Concept Inventories
http://astronomy101.jpl.nasa.gov/teachingstrategies/teachingdetails/?StrategyID=4

Some other astronomy education resources elsewhere include:

Astronomy Education Research Primer (pdf)
http://www.uwyo.edu/caper/_files/docs/astroeducresearchbook-november17-2009.pdf

Astronomy Education Review journal
http://aer.aas.org/

solar system simulator (webgl)
http://mgvez.github.io/jsorrery/

Google Sky
http://www.google.com/sky/

100,000 Stars
http://workshop.chromeexperiments.com/stars/

Musical Solar System
http://www.nihilogic.dk/labs/webgl_musical_solar_system/

PlanetQuest
http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/


The rest of these are via Jason Aufdenberg at my school:

The Universe at Your Fingertips 2.0 (DVD, $)
http://www.astrosociety.org/education/the-universe-at-your-fingertips-2-0/  Here's the list of activities (pdf): http://www.astrosociety.org/uayf/1.1_Table_of_Contents.pdf

The Real Reasons for Seasons
http://lhsgems.org/GEMSSeasons.html

Planetary Geology
http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/topnav/materials/listbytype/Planetary.Geology.html

Kinesthetic Astronomy
http://www.spacescience.org/education/extra/kinesthetic_astronomy/index.html

The History and Practice of Ancient Astronomy (book, $)
http://www.amazon.com/History-Practice-Ancient-Astronomy/dp/0195095391

The ASTR 1010 Lab Manual
http://lyra.colorado.edu/sbo/manuals/astr1010/astr1010.html
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Here are 47 physics problems, with solutions, created for students in Richard Feynman’s physics class. Most are fairly difficult, all of them are interesting.
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A free ebook that is a collection of articles on preparing future physics teachers, by the Physics Teacher Education Coalition http://www.ptec.org/items/detail.cfm?ID=11618
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Derek Padilla

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Useful spot to upload LaTeX-generated documents for students to use and annotate. Also a decent repository of resources from other instructors. (Combined with +writeLaTeX to edit LaTeX files online and collaboratively--similar to Google Docs.)
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Doug Holton
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A great link thanks Alexandre
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