Cliff's Nodes: Editorials from <i>The Physics Teacher</i>

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JHU Press, 2006 - Science - 338 pages
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Cliff Swartz is a passionate advocate for better physics teaching, based on a curriculum that is quantitative and includes experiments "with a purpose." Here, in a collection of editorials written for The Physics Teacher magazine—along with a few new ones—he cajoles, chides, preaches, and provides a good swift kick in the intellectual pants for those who are working to share physics with the next generation.

Gleaned from a lifetime in the lab and in the classroom, Swartz's book is chock-full of wisdom for neophytes as well as seasoned veterans. Favorite editorials such as "Practically Perfect in Every Way" and "Justifying Atoms" provide the reader with an insider's view of the state of physics teaching over the three decades that Swartz edited The Physics Teacher. His advice and opinions—often thought-provoking or controversial—should not go unheeded.

 

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Contents

True ConFessions
21
Why Dont Poets Like Physics?
35
Extrapolations and Prognostications
49
ParHI CHEER BELDDm
53
s This Generation DiFFerent?
59
Saying the Sooth
66
What the Student Sauu
80
Why Do We Heed Labs?
82
The Road to Panacea
189
Salus en ffldchina
195
Back to normal
201
The RumpelstiltsNin Factor 204
204
Razzmatazz and Rll That Jazz
218
Touchstones
233
Physics Can Be Phun and Rlso Phony
238
Demise oF a Shibboleth 245
245

Listen
95
fln Elementary Proposal For ElementarySchool
108
dlore Sage Rdvice The HighSchool Physics
114
Downhill Thoughts
127
The Facts oFLiFe 142
142
Judicious Hoopla
156
The Hawthorne EFFect and Other mysteries
170
modern PhysicsFill Year Long
175
GOOD CHIOiriGS
181
new Fad Old Fraud 254
254
Rbsolute Errors
263
InsigniFicant Figures
266
Trinity 5urel
279
Circular Reasoning
293
misconceptions For GrownUps
296
Believing Is Seeing
310
Dimensionless Constants
326
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Clifford Swartz is a professor emeritus of physics at State University of New York, Stony Brook. He is the former editor of The Physics Teacher and has written numerous physics texts for students from kindergarten to graduate level. He was the recipient in 2007 of the Melba Newell Phillips Award and in 1987 of the Oersted Medal, the most prestigious award of the American Association of Physics Teachers. He is the author of Back-of-the-Envelope Physics (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003).

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