Trinket Physics Update

Ok, it’s the summer.  Yay (not yay).  I’m currently teaching a summer section of algebra-based physics and it’s pretty tough since they meet for 1 hour + 15 minutes 4 days a week.

Anyway, my goal was to finally finish my trinket physics book and use that for class.  I’m not going to finish it by the end of the semester, but I have learned some things.

  • Stick to your narrative.  I started off with my own idea but then it sort of merged into something that would match up more with traditional textbooks.  DON’T DO THIS!  I need to stick to the original plan (which I will lay out below).
  • More calculations with python.  There are some parts that don’t have much python.  MORE COWBELL.
  • My original plan was to use the momentum principle.  However – there is a problem.  I start off with kinematics (and acceleration) and you need acceleration for circular motion.  My new idea is to introduce the momentum principle as \vec{F}_\text{net}=\frac{\Delta \vec{p}}{\Delta t} = m\vec{a}.
  • Case studies are great.  I like to take something like orbital motion and just explore a bunch of stuff.
  • Students want more homework.

Ok, here is my new plan.  Break the curriculum into 4 parts.

  • Kinematics (position, velocity, acceleration).
  • Momentum Principle
  • Work-Energy
  • Angular Momentum Principle

That means some stuff gets skipped.  I don’t need to focus on statics so much – or special forces.  Focus on the big things – planet motions are great.

More to come.

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