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Workshop Physics Activity Guide, Electricity and Magnetism, Module 4, 2nd Edition

Workshop Physics Activity Guide, Electricity and Magnetism, Module 4, 2nd Edition

Priscilla W. Laws

ISBN: 978-0-471-64116-2

Jun 2004

264 pages

Select type: Paperback

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The Workshop Physics Activity Guide is a set of student workbooks designed to serve as the foundation for a two-semester calculus-based introductory physics course. It consists of 28 units that interweave text materials with activities that include prediction, qualitative observation, explanation, equation derivation, mathematical modeling, quantitative experiments, and problem solving. Students use a powerful set of computer tools to record, display, and analyze data, as well as to develop mathematical models of physical phenomena. The design of many of the activities is based on the outcomes of physics education research.

The Workshop Physics Activity Guide is supported by an Instructor’s Website that: (1) describes the history and philosophy of the Workshop Physics Project; (2) provides advice on how to integrate the Guide into a variety of educational settings; (3) provides information on computer tools (hardware and software) and apparatus; and (4) includes suggested homework assignments for each unit.  Log on to the Workshop Physics Project website at

Workshop Physics is a component of the Physics Suite––a collection of materials created by a group of educational reformers known as the Activity Based Physics Group. The Physics Suite contains a broad array of curricular materials that are based on physics education research, including:

  • Understanding Physics, by Cummings, Laws, Redish and Cooney (an introductory textbook based on the best-selling text by Halliday/Resnick/Walker)
  • RealTime Physics Laboratory Modules
  • Physics by Inquiry (intended for use in a workshop setting)
  • Interactive Lecture Demonstration
  • Tutorials in Introductory Physics
  • Activity Based Tutorials (designed primarily for use in recitations)

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Unit 1. Introduction and Computing.

Unit 2. Measurement and Uncertainty.

Unit 3. One Dimensional Motion I—A Graphical Description.

Unit 4. One-Dimensional Motion II—A Mathematical Description of Constant Acceleration.

Unit 5. One-Dimensional Forces, Mass, and Motion.

Unit 6. Gravity and Projectile Motion.

Unit 7. Applications of Newton's Laws.


Unit 8. One-Dimensional Collisions.

Unit 9. Two-Dimensional Collisions.

Unit 10. Work and Energy.

Unit 11. Energy Conservation.

Unit 12. Rotational Motion.

Unit 13. Rotational Momentum and Torque as Vectors.

Unit 14. Harmonic Motion.

Unit 15. Oscillations, Determinism, and Chaos.


Unit 16. Temperature and Heat Transfer.

Unit 17. The First Law of Thermodynamics.

Unit 18. Heat Engines.


Unit 19. Electric Fields.

Unit 20. Electric Flux and Gauss' Law.

Unit 21. Electrical and Gravitational Potential.

Unit 22. Batteries, Bulbs, and Current Flow.

Unit 23. Direct Current Circuits.

Unit 24. Capacitors and RC Circuits.

Unit 25. Electronics.

Unit 26. Magnetic Fields.

Unit 27. Electricity and Magnetism.


Unit 28. Radioactivity and Radon.

Appendix A: Computer Spreadsheets and Graphs.

Appendix B: Computer Data Acquisition Software and Hardware.

Appendix C: Statistical Measures of Uncertainty.

Appendix D: Graphing Data with Uncertainties-Error Bar and Eyeballs.

Appendix E: Mathematical Modeling to Fit Data.

Appendix F: Uncertainty Propagation-Uncertainties After Calculations.

Appendix G: The Method of Least Squares Analysis.

Appendix H: The VideoPoint Software.

Appendix I: Introduction to Mathematica® and Maple®.

Appendix J: Notation and Constants.