Thinking in Physics: The pleasure of reasoning and understanding by Laurence ViennotThinking in Physics: The pleasure of reasoning and understanding by Laurence Viennot

Thinking in Physics: The pleasure of reasoning and understanding

byLaurence Viennot

Hardcover | April 1, 2014

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Read this book if you care about students really understanding physics and getting genuine intellectual satisfaction from doing so. Read it too if you fear that this goal is out of reach - you may be surprised! Laurence Viennot here shows ways to deal with the awkward fact that common sense thinking is often not the same as scientific thinking. She analyses examples of frequent and widespread errors and confusions, which provide a real eye-opener for the teacher. More than that, she shows ways to avoid and overcome them. The book argues against over-emphasis on "fun" applications, demonstrating that students also enjoy and value clear thinking.
The book has three parts:
• making sense of special scientific ways of reasoning (words, images, functions)
• making connections between very different topics, each illuminating the other
• simplifying, looking for consistency and avoiding incoherent over-simplification
The book is enhanced with supplementary online materials that will allow readers to further expand their teaching or research interests and think about them more deeply.
Laurence Viennot is emeritus professor at the Université Denis Diderot (Paris 7) and contributed to the creation of the LDPES (Laboratoire de Didactique de la Physique dans l'Enseignement Supérieur) laboratory, now part of the Laboratoire André Revuz. She has for a long time been responsible for the Master's course in science teaching,...
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Title:Thinking in Physics: The pleasure of reasoning and understandingFormat:HardcoverDimensions:161 pagesPublished:April 1, 2014Publisher:Springer-Verlag/Sci-Tech/TradeLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:9401786658

ISBN - 13:9789401786652

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Table of Contents

Part I Acquiring reasoning skills: words, images and functions.- Some tools essential for comprehension.- Words we have to understand.- The image: is it really doing its job?.- Graphs and functions.- Some surprising invariances.- Introduction.- The speed of light in vacuo.- Propagation of mechanical signals.- Coefficients of friction.- When mass doesn't count.- The mirror.- The power and non-obviousness of invariance.- Analysis of functional dependence: a powerful tool.- Numerical or functional?.- Even before values: the form of the relationship.- Keeping an eye on a causal reading of relations.- Some factors not apparent in a relation between quantities, by no means always trivial.- Functional dependencies and graphs: an example in geometrical optics.- Neglected treasures, and some hazards highlighted.- Putting into practice.- Introduction.- The field of a mirror.- Deflection of a charged particle by a magnetic field.- Sliding on an inclined plane.- The slide projector.- Flotation between two immiscible liquids.- Part II Physics: linking factors.- Links between phenomena in terms of type of functional dependence.- Introduction.- Delayed signals: from stars to bats.- Graphical version of the Doppler effect.- Even more links? Doppler and Römer.- Investing?.- Links between different approaches to the same phenomenon.- A hot air balloon for teaching.- A ritual colluding with inconsistency.- A very unusual linkage.- Some evidence of intellectual satisfaction.- Yet more links? Weight and gas pressure.- The benefits of changes of scale in analysis.- Part III Simplicity: ruin or triumph of consistency?.- Simple experiments: how to optimise their use.- Is simplicity relevant?.- Archimedes' weighing machine.- The upside-down glass.- The upside-down test-tube.- Beyond the ritual.- Echo-explanations and linear causal reasoning.- When simple experiment challenges simplistic reasoning.- The "Lovemeter".- Final remarks.- Popularising physics: what place for reasoned argument?.- Mission essential, mission impossible?.- Reason and rigour: some critical points.- A tendency among non-specialists: liking stories.- Authors (as teachers): tendency towards the "echo-explanation".- A real margin for manoeuvre.