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Filename: 49981054431eaa5c990c91b18fabe08a1725be86.doc pg. 1 Authors: P. Laws & H. Pfister Last Modified: 6/2/2002 01:23:00 PM PHILOSOPHY, POLICIES & PROCEDURES PHYSICS 131/132 Dickinson College AY 00-01 Authors: P. Laws, H. Pfister I hear, I forget I see, I remember I do, I understand Lao Tse PHYSICS: FROM THE PRACTICAL TO THE PROFOUND Physics is a science that attempts to unify elements of the natural world by means of observation, mathematics, and the use of precise language. Using methods developed by physicists, we can describe many events that occur in our everyday lives. The principles of physics provided a basis for most of the technologies that are an essential part of modern life. In this sense, physics is practical . Many laws developed by physicists, such as the law of conservation of energy, are of tremendous practical importance. These same laws also help physicists understand the very tiny constituents of matter as well as the motions of giant clusters of galaxies. Thus the study of physics helps us understand some fundamental relationships between the matter in our surroundings and the evolution of the universe. In this sense physics is profound . You are about to begin your own exploration of the natural world using some of the concepts, tools, and methods commonly employed by physical scientists. Thus, you are beginning what we hope will become a grand journey from the practical to the profound that will continue long after you have completed introductory physics. THE WORKSHOP PHYSICS PHILOSOPHY In traditional science courses, attending lectures, reading a textbook, and solving textbook problems are the primary learning activities. These activities are typically supplemented by a weekly laboratory session taught by an instructor other than the lecturer. The emphasis in traditional courses is more on what you know than how you know. Physics is fundamentally an experimental science. The theories, laws, and mathematical descriptions of the physical universe that have been created during the past 3000 years are based on the experience and observations of our ancestors. In Workshop Physics, the lecture and laboratory elements of the course are integrated. Thus, your understanding of physics is enhanced by class discussions, as well as your own predictions, observations, and experiments. Your ability to perform observations, take data, analyze results, and write reports will be enriched by the use of a personal computer. The computer, when equipped with sensors and software, can be used for data collection and display, mathematical calculations, graphing, drawing, the simulation of physical events, mathematical modeling, and word processing. The use of direct experience, new computer tools, and active participation will enable you to have a much more extensive learning experience. In addition to beginning to master an important body of knowledge and learning how to solve traditional physics problems, you should be able to develop your reasoning ability and computer and laboratory skills to a much greater extent than you would in ordinary introductory physics courses. In fact, in Workshop Physics your powers of
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This note was uploaded on 04/05/2011 for the course ENG 262 taught by Professor Tolda during the Fall '09 term at Grand Valley State.

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DsonWP_Policies - Filename:...

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