{[ promptMessage ]}

Bookmark it

{[ promptMessage ]}

Instructors_Guide_Ch12 - 12 Newtons Theory of Gravity...

Info icon This preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
12 Newton’s Theory of Gravity Recommended class days: 2 Background Information Although satellite motion and celestial mechanics are somewhat peripheral to the text’s primary focus on the physics of earthly objects, this chapter does contribute to the overall coherence of the text. The Newtonian synthesis that united earthly and heavenly motions was an important historical event that propelled physics into the forefront of the developing modern worldview. Some attention to these issues helps to unify and conclude several strands of thought that have been developed in Part I and Part II. In addition, Newton’s law of gravity and the physics of planetary orbits will reappear as models for Coulomb’s law and for Rutherford’s planetary atom. Although superseded by quantum mechanics, the Rutherford atom is an important stepping stone on the road to understanding atomic structure. This chapter provides an opportunity to spiral back to several points of conceptual difficulty and to give students an opportunity to reinforce their understanding. These include: Difficulties with circular motion. Difficulties understanding and using energy conservation. Difficulties interpreting energy diagrams. Some instructors like to introduce gravitational fields and even Coulomb’s law at this time. Although sympathetic to the idea, I’ve found that this approach does not work. Most students have major conceptual difficulties with the idea of charge and with the properties of charges, and a large effort will be made in Part VI to deal with these difficulties. In addition, students have an excep- tionally difficult time with the concept of a field . Fields are very abstract and intangible entities, and another major effort will be required for students to understand and use the field model of interactions. Until these issues are dealt with, simply defining “the force between charges” and “the gravitational field” is a hollow exercise, devoid of any connection to physical phenomena or situations. Students can memorize the definitions, but few have any idea what they mean or how to apply the information. Consequently, I’ve found it advantageous to defer charges and fields until there is adequate time to develop the concepts.
Image of page 1

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern