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Physics 131: Introduction to Physics - Newtonian Mechanics

Argendu Pattanayak
Faculty Member: Arjendu Pattanayak
Class Description:
An introduction to classical mechanics using the Newtonian worldview. The kinematics and dynamics of some simple systems including objects in free fall, simple harmonic motion, planetary motion, and the motion of charged particles in electromagnetic fields are investigated using Newton's laws, vector analysis, and the conservation laws of linear momentum, angular momentum, and energy. Comfort with algebra and the integration and differentiation of elementary functions is assumed.


Watch/Download Full Video (Flash Video 91.6MB Mar27 09): 24:08 min

Class Video



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Chapter 1: Course Goals and Course Design: Investing Effort (Flash Video 26.7MB Mar27 09) (7:01 min)
Arjendu describes the challenges of teaching Newtonian physics and the no-lecture approach he has developed for helping students manage the material, replacing lectures with in-class problem solving.

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Chapter 2: Developing the Physics Instinct (Flash Video 9.7MB Mar27 09) (2:33 min)
Arjendu articulates the need for students to be able to "see" abstract mathematical forms that correspond to physical phenomena in order to fully understand the principles of physics.

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Chapter 3: Keeping it Simple (Flash Video 9.4MB Mar30 09) (2:27 min)
To minimize confusion Arjendu advocates beginning with simple concepts and terms before moving on to greater complexity and the need for iteration in the learning process.

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Chapter 4: Seeing Physics (Flash Video 8.9MB Mar30 09) (2:22 min)
Arjendu reiterates the need for students to be able to visualize physical phenomena as expressed by abstract forces and concepts.

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Chapter 5: The Frictionless Wall (Flash Video 18.9MB Mar27 09) (4:58 min)
Arjendu expresses his pleasure at seeing his students ask questions that reveal their deeper understanding of physics, and the consequent need for him to adjust his teaching to respond to their new understanding.

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Chapter 6: Design, Improvisation, and Clarity (Flash Video 15.5MB Mar27 09) (4:08 min)
Arjendu reflects on how his no-lecture method has changed his role as a teacher both in the classroom itself and in the preparation for each class. He also discusses changes he will make in the future to further enhance student learning.