Cal Poly Pomona

Physics Seminar

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Energy and the Confused Student

John Jewett

Physics Department, Cal Poly Pomona

Energy is a critical concept that is used in analyzing physical phenomena and is often an essential starting point in physics problem-solving. It is a global concept that appears throughout the physics curriculum in mechanics, thermodynamics, electromagnetism, and modern physics. Energy is also at the heart of descriptions of processes in biology, chemistry, astronomy, and geology. Therefore, it is important to discuss the topic of energy clearly and effectively in textbook presentations and classroom lectures. Unfortunately, this topic is filled with possibilities for student confusion if the presentation is not carefully crafted by the textbook or the instructor. There are a number of steps, however, that can be taken in teaching about energy that reduce or eliminate the sources of confusion for students. In this talk, I will outline some of these steps for the treatment of work and will discuss a single energy equation that represents a valid starting point throughout the physics curriculum.


Refreshments at 11:00 AM. Seminar begins at 11:10 AM.
Building 8, Room 241
For further information, please call (909) 869-4014

Last modified on October 1, 2010
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