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2010 Summer Meeting

2011 AAPT Summer Meeting
July 30-August 3, 2011
Omaha, Nebraska

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PST1E06:

The Third Semester - Advantages of a Dedicated Waves/Fourier Course
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Monday, Aug.1
  Time: 8:45 PM -9:30 PM
  Author: David Kaplan, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
618 650 2479, dkaplan@siue.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: Keeping physics majors is a national priority today. Yet, many are currently lost in a transition for which they are not adequately prepared - that from first-year physics, for which the main mathematical and physical prerequisites are well defined, to modern physics and other intermediate and upper-division courses in which students are expected, with rapid on-the-fly "coverage," to quickly become proficient with properties of wave equations, wave superposition, concepts of Fourier analysis, Fourier integrals, the bandwidth theorem and more. All too often, the result has been memorization, frustration and exodus. The introduction of a third-semester dedicated course on waves and Fourier analysis as a prelude to modern physics and quantum mechanics helps in this. In this presentation we describe some of the distinct advantages of such a course for retention of physics majors and aspects of the curriculum for such a course that we have developed.
  Footnotes: None
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