Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite

Edward F. Redish

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In our discussions of waves on a taut spring and of ray optics, we have focused not just on what happens, but on what is the mechanism – that is, on how our observations can be interpreted as a result of the behavior and interactions of what we assume to be the component parts (e.g., beads and massless springs, light particles or rays, etc.). Give one example of mechanism that we have used in class and discuss whether you found it useful in “making sense of the physics” or not. Explain why or why not. Note: This is an essay question. Your answer will be judged not solely on its correctness, but for its depth, coherence, and clarity.

Page last modified February 25, 2010: G42