Physlets : Teaching Physics with Interactive Curricular Material / Edition 1

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Overview

This manual/CD package shows physics instructors--both web novices and Java savvy programmers alike--how to author their own interactive curricular material using Physlets--Java applets written for physics pedagogy that can be embedded directly into html documents and that can interact with the user. It demonstrates the use of Physlets in conjunction with JavaScript to deliver a wide variety of web-based interactive physics activities, and provides examples of Physlets created for classroom demonstrations, traditional and Just-in-Time Teaching homework problems, pre- and post-laboratory exercises, and Interactive Engagement activities. More than just a technical how-to book, the manual gives instructors some ideas about the new possibilities that Physlets offer, and is designed to make the transition to using Physlets quick and easy. Covers Pedagogy and Technology (JITT and Physlets; PER and Physlets; technology overview; and scripting tutorial); Curricular Material (in-class activities; mechanics, wavs, and thermodynamics problems; electromagnewtism and optics problems; and modern physics problems); and References (on resources; inherited methods; naming conventions; Animator; EFIELD; DATAGRAPH; DATATABLE; Version Four Physlets). For Physics instructors.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780130293411
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley
  • Publication date: 9/26/2000
  • Series: Educational Innovation- Physics Series
  • Edition description: BK&CD-ROM
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Preface

The World Wide Web makes it possible to transmit multimedia-enhanced documents interactively in a platform-independent fashion using Hypertext Markup Language, html. These documents are prepared and transmitted as text documents and can, therefore, be prepared with any text editor. Yet the html browser displays full multimedia information, including animated text, graphics, video, and sound. The recent introduction of the Java programming language by Sun Microsystems makes it possible to add platform-independent programs to this multimedia stew. Java accomplishes this trick by specifying a relatively simple Virtual Machine (VM), which can be implemented on any computer architecture (i.e., UNIX, Macintosh, or Windows Meyer 1997)). Although this VM does not provide as rich a set of tools as the native operating system, the virtual machine can have a user interface with buttons, a drawing canvas, and other graphical elements. There may be virtue in simplicity. Small, platform-indepen4ent programs are well suited for instructional purposes such as homework problems. These applets can be embedded directly into html documents and can interact with the user. This is accomplished with a scripting language such as JavaScript. We refer to the Java applets written at Davidson College for physics pedagogy as Physlets. This book demonstrates the use of Physlets in conjunction with JavaScript to deliver a wide variety of Web-based interactive physics activities.

The goal of this book is to enable you to incorporate Physlets in your instruction, whether you are a relative Web novice or are ready to write pages of JavaScript. Clearly, this is more than just a technicalhow-to book; we hope to give you some ideas about the new possibilities that Physlets offer. It often happens that the most valuable applications of new technologies are new teaching paradigms. But it takes considerable time and effort for these paradigms to become apparent. The examples presented in this book and on the accompanying CD are designed to make the transition to using Physlets quick and easy. This text provides examples of classroom demonstrations, traditional and Just-in-Time Teaching homework problems, pre- and post-laboratory exercises, and interactive engagement activities. Of course, if you already know how you want to use Physlets, you may turn to Part Three of this book, a reference to Physlet methods, and start scripting. But even hard-core programmers will appreciate the ease with which a preexisting Physlet problem, described in Part Two and available on the CD, can be modified for use in a new context. CONTENTS

Part One gives an overview of the pedagogy and the technology. After a brief introduction ("What Is a Physlet?"), we will argue that new methods are needed in the teaching of physics. If you already believe this to be true, you may feel free to skim Chapter 2 ("JiTT and Physlets," by Evelyn Patterson and Gregor Novak) and Chapter 3 ("PER and Physlets," by Aaron Titus and Melissa Dancy). In subsequent chapters, we will describe the underlying technology and how to install Physlets locally on your desktop or Web server. The core technology of Java and JavaScript is discussed in Chapter 5. Since Physlets are flexible and users can write their own problems, Chapter 6 gives a tutorial on how to script three of the most used Physlets, Animator, Efield, and DataGraph.

In Part Two, we give examples of curricular material that can be used as in-class exercises and homework problems in introductory and advance physics courses. There are over 100 of these examples in Part Two. These examples and an additional 80 problems are available on individual html pages on the CD that accompanies this book. The Additional Resources portion of the CD contains even more examples of curricular material from other institutions.

Part Three provides resources for instructors who are interested in scripting beyond the tutorial in Part One. These resources include a detailed description of the methods for version 4 Physlets: Animator, Bar, BField, Circuits, DataGraph, Data Table, Efield, EnergyEigenvalue, Faraday, Hydrogenic, Molecular, Optics, Poisson, and SurfacePlotter. COMPANION WEBSITES

Many of the Physlet problems provided in Part Two are included on Prentice Hall's Companion Website for Douglas Giancoli's two physics texts, Physics: Principles and Applications (5th edition) and Physics for Scientists and Engineers (3rd edition). The site is located at http://www.prenhall.com/giancoli. These resources are also available on Prentice Hall's Companion Website for College Physics (4th edition), by Jerry Wilson and Tony Buffa, at http:www.prenhall.com/wilson. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

There are a great many people and institutions that have contributed to our efforts, and we take great pleasure in acknowledging their support and their interest.

We thank our colleagues Dan Boye, Larry Cain, Tim Gfroerer, and John Yukich at Davidson College for their use of Physlets in the classroom and the productive discussions that developed from this use. Larry Martin at North Park University was an early adopter of Physlets and has provided numerous suggestions for improvements to both the programs and the text. Andy Gavrin at Indiana UniversityPurdue University, Indianapolis, has helped us to more closely tie Physlets to the Just-in-Time Teaching technique.

Mur Muchane has provided invaluable computer and network support throughout this project and Laura Cupples helped design and organized the Physlets CD.

W.C. would like to thank the numerous students who have worked with him over the years developing programs for use in undergraduate physics education. Some of our best Physlets are the result of collaborative efforts with student coworkers. In particular, we would like to single out Mike Lee, Cabel Fisher, and Jim Nolen.

M.B. would like to thank Anne Cox, Edward Deveney, Harry Ellis, Bill Junkin, and Steve Weppner for many useful and stimulating discussions about the incorporation of Physlets with existing curricular material.

Special thanks to Evelyn Patterson at the United States Air Force Academy; Taha Mzoughi at Mississippi State; Aaron Titus of North Carolina A&T; Loren Winters, Taylor Brockman and Jeremy Portzer at the North Carolina School of Science and Math; Robert Beichner, John Risley, Margaret Gjertsen, Jeff Saul, Scott Bonham, Duane Deardorff, David Abbott, Rhett Allain, Melissa Dancy at North Carolina State University; Larry Martin, Tait Swenson, and Robin Trautman at North Park University; and Morten Brydensholt at Orbit. All of these people contributed Physlet problems that appear on the Additional Resources part of the CD and and on the Davidson Web site.

We also thank Melissa Dancy and David Hestenes for the inclusion of the Physlet-based Force Concept Inventory (FCI) on the CD.

Workshops have been an especially fruitful arena for the give-and-take of ideas with fellow faculty. The Physlet strategy could not have grown and matured without these opportunities and the exchange of ideas that they afforded.

Some people have been such frequent contributors of time and ideas that we have brought them in as the authors of Chapters 2 and 3 of this book. However, we would like to thank Evelyn Patterson, Gregor Novak, Aaron Titus, and Melissa Dancy again, both for their writing and for the many valuable ideas we have gained during our associations with each of them.

We would like to thank Larry Cain for the many hours he spent reading the manuscript and making suggestions. Any mistakes that remain are likely the result of changes made since his last inspection.

Both of us express our thanks to Alison Reeves and her coworkers at Prentice Hall for supporting the development of Physlets while Java was still an untested technology, for encouraging us to write this book, and for securing permission to include problems from the Prentice Hall Companion Website in this text. Numerous others at Prentice Hall have helped in the production process, but we would especially like to thank Kim Dellas, Mike Banino, and Alison Lorber.

We also wish to express our sincerest thanks and apologies to those who have encouraged us the most: our spouses, Barbara and Nancy.

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Table of Contents

Foreword.

I. PEDAGOGY AND TECHNOLOGY.

1. Pedagogy and Physlets.

What Is a Physlet? A New Teaching Paradigm. Interactive Engagement. Media Focused Problems. Appropriate Technology. Video, Interactive Physics, and Physlets.

2. JITT and Physlets.

What Is JITT? WarmUps and Puzzles. Puzzles. Physlet-Based WarmUp Questions: A Look at What They Offer. JITT in Review.

3. PER and Physlets.

Effectiveness of Animation. Comparison of Students' Problem Solving. Think-Aloud Interviews of Students Solving Physlet Problems. Physlet-Based FCI. Conclusions from PER.

4. A Tour of Physlets.

Examples. Installing Physlets.

5. Technology Overview.

A History of Java. Java Language. Class Files. Embedding. Parameter Tags and User Interfaces. Scripting Overview.

6. Scripting Tutorial.

Authoring Tools. Animator. Efield. Datagraph. Data Connections. Scripting Tips.

II. CURRICULAR MATERIAL.

7. In-class Activities.

Mechanics. Electromagnetism. Advanced.

8. Mechanics, Waves, and Thermodynamics Problems.

Kinematics. Newton's Laws. Work and Energy. Gravity. Momentum. Rotational Dynamics. Simple Harmonic Motion. Statics. Waves. Sound. Fluids. Thermodynamics.

9. Electromagnetism and Optics Problems.

Electrostatics. Gauss's Law. Electric Potentials. Capacitors. Circuits. Magnetic Fields. Faraday's Law. Electromagnetic Waves. Optics.

10. Modern Physics Problems.

Special Relativity. Hydrogenic Wavefunctions. Square Wells and the Schrödinger Equation.

III. REFERENCE.

11. Resources.

Available Physlets. JavaDoc Output.

12. Inherited Methods.

Clock Methods. Data Connections. Miscellaneous Methods.

13. Naming Conventions.

Common Methods. AddObject Method.

14. Animator.

Embedding. Data Sources. Methods.

15. Efield.

Embedding. Data Sources. Methods.

16. Datagraph.

Embedding. Data Sources and Listeners. Methods.

17. Datatable.

Embedding. Data Sources and Listeners. Methods.

18. Version Four Physlets.

Bar. Bfield. Circuits. Eigenvalues and QM Wavefunctions. Faraday. Hydrogenic. Molecular. Optics. Poisson. Surface Plotter.

Bibliography.

Appendix A: Glossary of HTML and Java Terminology.

Appendix B: Copyright and Conditions of Use.

Index.

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Preface

Preface

The World Wide Web makes it possible to transmit multimedia-enhanced documents interactively in a platform-independent fashion using Hypertext Markup Language, html. These documents are prepared and transmitted as text documents and can, therefore, be prepared with any text editor. Yet the html browser displays full multimedia information, including animated text, graphics, video, and sound. The recent introduction of the Java programming language by Sun Microsystems makes it possible to add platform-independent programs to this multimedia stew. Java accomplishes this trick by specifying a relatively simple Virtual Machine (VM), which can be implemented on any computer architecture (i.e., UNIX, Macintosh, or Windows Meyer 1997)). Although this VM does not provide as rich a set of tools as the native operating system, the virtual machine can have a user interface with buttons, a drawing canvas, and other graphical elements. There may be virtue in simplicity. Small, platform-indepen4ent programs are well suited for instructional purposes such as homework problems. These applets can be embedded directly into html documents and can interact with the user. This is accomplished with a scripting language such as JavaScript. We refer to the Java applets written at Davidson College for physics pedagogy as Physlets. This book demonstrates the use of Physlets in conjunction with JavaScript to deliver a wide variety of Web-based interactive physics activities.

The goal of this book is to enable you to incorporate Physlets in your instruction, whether you are a relative Web novice or are ready to write pages of JavaScript. Clearly, this is more than just a technical how-to book; we hope to give you some ideas about the new possibilities that Physlets offer. It often happens that the most valuable applications of new technologies are new teaching paradigms. But it takes considerable time and effort for these paradigms to become apparent. The examples presented in this book and on the accompanying CD are designed to make the transition to using Physlets quick and easy. This text provides examples of classroom demonstrations, traditional and Just-in-Time Teaching homework problems, pre- and post-laboratory exercises, and interactive engagement activities. Of course, if you already know how you want to use Physlets, you may turn to Part Three of this book, a reference to Physlet methods, and start scripting. But even hard-core programmers will appreciate the ease with which a preexisting Physlet problem, described in Part Two and available on the CD, can be modified for use in a new context.

CONTENTS

Part One gives an overview of the pedagogy and the technology. After a brief introduction ("What Is a Physlet?"), we will argue that new methods are needed in the teaching of physics. If you already believe this to be true, you may feel free to skim Chapter 2 ("JiTT and Physlets," by Evelyn Patterson and Gregor Novak) and Chapter 3 ("PER and Physlets," by Aaron Titus and Melissa Dancy). In subsequent chapters, we will describe the underlying technology and how to install Physlets locally on your desktop or Web server. The core technology of Java and JavaScript is discussed in Chapter 5. Since Physlets are flexible and users can write their own problems, Chapter 6 gives a tutorial on how to script three of the most used Physlets, Animator, Efield, and DataGraph.

In Part Two, we give examples of curricular material that can be used as in-class exercises and homework problems in introductory and advance physics courses. There are over 100 of these examples in Part Two. These examples and an additional 80 problems are available on individual html pages on the CD that accompanies this book. The Additional Resources portion of the CD contains even more examples of curricular material from other institutions.

Part Three provides resources for instructors who are interested in scripting beyond the tutorial in Part One. These resources include a detailed description of the methods for version 4 Physlets: Animator, Bar, BField, Circuits, DataGraph, Data Table, Efield, EnergyEigenvalue, Faraday, Hydrogenic, Molecular, Optics, Poisson, and SurfacePlotter.

COMPANION WEBSITES

Many of the Physlet problems provided in Part Two are included on Prentice Hall's Companion Website for Douglas Giancoli's two physics texts, Physics: Principles and Applications (5th edition) and Physics for Scientists and Engineers (3rd edition). The site is located at http://www.prenhall.com/giancoli. These resources are also available on Prentice Hall's Companion Website for College Physics (4th edition), by Jerry Wilson and Tony Buffa, at http:www.prenhall.com/wilson.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

There are a great many people and institutions that have contributed to our efforts, and we take great pleasure in acknowledging their support and their interest.

We thank our colleagues Dan Boye, Larry Cain, Tim Gfroerer, and John Yukich at Davidson College for their use of Physlets in the classroom and the productive discussions that developed from this use. Larry Martin at North Park University was an early adopter of Physlets and has provided numerous suggestions for improvements to both the programs and the text. Andy Gavrin at Indiana UniversityPurdue University, Indianapolis, has helped us to more closely tie Physlets to the Just-in-Time Teaching technique.

Mur Muchane has provided invaluable computer and network support throughout this project and Laura Cupples helped design and organized the Physlets CD.

W.C. would like to thank the numerous students who have worked with him over the years developing programs for use in undergraduate physics education. Some of our best Physlets are the result of collaborative efforts with student coworkers. In particular, we would like to single out Mike Lee, Cabel Fisher, and Jim Nolen.

M.B. would like to thank Anne Cox, Edward Deveney, Harry Ellis, Bill Junkin, and Steve Weppner for many useful and stimulating discussions about the incorporation of Physlets with existing curricular material.

Special thanks to Evelyn Patterson at the United States Air Force Academy; Taha Mzoughi at Mississippi State; Aaron Titus of North Carolina A&T; Loren Winters, Taylor Brockman and Jeremy Portzer at the North Carolina School of Science and Math; Robert Beichner, John Risley, Margaret Gjertsen, Jeff Saul, Scott Bonham, Duane Deardorff, David Abbott, Rhett Allain, Melissa Dancy at North Carolina State University; Larry Martin, Tait Swenson, and Robin Trautman at North Park University; and Morten Brydensholt at Orbit. All of these people contributed Physlet problems that appear on the Additional Resources part of the CD and and on the Davidson Web site.

We also thank Melissa Dancy and David Hestenes for the inclusion of the Physlet-based Force Concept Inventory (FCI) on the CD.

Workshops have been an especially fruitful arena for the give-and-take of ideas with fellow faculty. The Physlet strategy could not have grown and matured without these opportunities and the exchange of ideas that they afforded.

Some people have been such frequent contributors of time and ideas that we have brought them in as the authors of Chapters 2 and 3 of this book. However, we would like to thank Evelyn Patterson, Gregor Novak, Aaron Titus, and Melissa Dancy again, both for their writing and for the many valuable ideas we have gained during our associations with each of them.

We would like to thank Larry Cain for the many hours he spent reading the manuscript and making suggestions. Any mistakes that remain are likely the result of changes made since his last inspection.

Both of us express our thanks to Alison Reeves and her coworkers at Prentice Hall for supporting the development of Physlets while Java was still an untested technology, for encouraging us to write this book, and for securing permission to include problems from the Prentice Hall Companion Website in this text. Numerous others at Prentice Hall have helped in the production process, but we would especially like to thank Kim Dellas, Mike Banino, and Alison Lorber.

We also wish to express our sincerest thanks and apologies to those who have encouraged us the most: our spouses, Barbara and Nancy.

Read More Show Less

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