Education Articles

Here is the collection of expert education articles that deal with academia, pedagogy and education in general. Some of these are in the perspective of the student, some as an administrator and others as a teacher.

mechanical conservation of energy

Why Bother Teaching Mechanical Energy Conservation?

Note: It is assumed that the reader has read part I and part II of the series.Is Mechanical Energy Conservation Free of Ambiguity? Can We Do Better…
abacus introduction

An Introduction to the Traditional Abacus of China and Japan

Introduction Abacuses are commonly seen in ancient civilizations around the world as a convenient tool to do simple calculations. In this article, we…

Why Work Ethic Is a Key to Success for Science Majors

After earning a 4.0 GPA in his first semester as a Physics major at an esteemed state university, our son (and homeschool grad) attributes his…

Finding Niches for Publishable Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate interest in research is a good thing; it's even better if they aspire to publish their work for review and consideration from a broader audience.…

Very Little Excuse To Ask A Question Cold

We frequently get questions such as these:"What is energy?""What are Cooper Pairs?""What is conservation of momentum?"etc...etc.And…

Revamping Undergraduate Introductory Physics Laboratory

This is a compilation of my blog entry on this singular "project" to change the way we conduct the introductory physics laboratory in most US universities.…

What Is The Most Important Thing That You Learned?

I mentioned in an earlier Insight what I think are the most important things you can learn by being on Physics Forums. This time, I tackle the question…

Real Research in Unexpected Places – Boat Ramps

Read part 1 -Backyards, Barns, BayousWhen I was offered a job at the Air Force Academy, it seemed like an opportunity to exercise both my commitment…

Exploring the Problem of Fake News and Science Reporting

During and even after the recent US election campaign, there were numerous reports of fake news, made-up news, and other kinds of news that were deemed…

Real Research in Unexpected Places – Backyards, Barns, Bayous

21st-century science labors under the myth that good experimental science requires expensive lab facilities in a university or institutional setting.…

Why Study Physics? A Bit Goes a Long Way!

If you don’t plan to become a scientist or an engineer, is there a good reason to study physics?  I say, “Yes,” because knowing just a little bit…

Blaming Government for Teacher and Scientist Failures in Integrity

The article, "Governmental policy is wrecking science," makes some interesting points but is fundamentally in error, because government policy is only…

Why Is Quantum Mechanics So Difficult?

Strangely enough, QM's formalism isn't any more difficult than other areas of physics. The mathematics of the "standard" QM isn't any worse than, let's…

Why Imagination Without Knowledge Is Ignorance Waiting to Happen

Introduction My feelings on people who think that imagination is more important than knowledge are well-known. These people simply are parroting Einstein's…

Why You Should Not Use Wikipedia As Your Primary Source

It is no secret to anyone who has read my posts in this forum for a while that I do not like Wikipedia. I think that there's a fundamental flaw with the…

The Most Important Thing You Can Learn from Physics Forums

It is a bit pompous of me to think that I can actually tell you the most important thing you can learn from Physics Forums (PF). After all, each one of…

False Physics Major Dichotomy: Theorist or Experimentalist?

Many physics majors believe that pursuing a Ph.D. in physics requires they make a choice between theory and experiment. Due to my weaknesses in math,…