TPT 50th Anniversity book - page 24

The Physics Teacher
is my favorite science
teaching journal. I read it in my living room,
on airplanes, in foreign countries, and more
recently I have found a new spot: on a sun-
drenched bench along the Packard pathway that
winds through the oldDavid and Lucille Packard
estate next door to me in Los Altos Hills.
The collection of people who have written
The Physics Teacher
over the years has
included Nobel laureates as well as teachers
in middle school. The articles are peer
reviewed, have been carefully read by the
editors, and contain few scientific errors.
The editorials are gems
of wisdom and the
supplemental materials
(posters, trading cards,
items, as were the
holiday features such
as physics carols. For
many years columns by
Dick Crane, Al Bartlett,
and others were not to
be missed, and now we
have columns such as
“Little Gems” by Chris
Chiaverina, “Websights”
by Dan MacIsaac, “YouTube Physics” by
Diane Riendeau, and “Physics Challenges for
Teachers and Students” by Boris Korsunsky.
And who fails to chuckle, as well as learn,
from cartoons by Paul Hewitt? “These are,” as
the song goes, “a few of my favorite things.”
Quite a number of authors write popular
versions for
The Physics Teacher
of their
more technical papers in scientific journals. I
adopted this practice, for example, for articles
on such subjects as magnetic levitation
(maglev), the acoustics of the glass harmonica
(singing wineglasses), and the acoustics of
percussion musical instruments. But the most
valuable articles, for most readers, are the
hints for teaching physics. For several decades
now, my students have benefitted from ideas
I have “borrowed” from experienced teachers
who write for
. It is amazing the kinds of
clever ideas that teachers
continually have.
If I could make
The Physics
it would be
to greatly expand its
circulation. It is a
journal of physics for
the public as well as
for physics teachers. I
would like to see it in
every public library
and certainly in every
college library. I would
like to see it for sale at magazine counters
in airports. It is significantly higher in
quality than most magazines that try to pass
for general interest science publications. It
remains my favorite science teaching journal.
Tom Rossing, Distinguished Physics Professor Emeritus at Northern Illinois
University, is currently a visiting professor of music at Stanford University.
Since retiring fromNorthern Illinois he has also been a visiting professor at the
University of Edinburgh (Scotland) and Seoul National University (Korea).
He is the author of more than 400 publications (including 17 books, 9 U.S.
and 11 foreign patents), mainly in acoustics, solid-state physics, magnetism,
environmental noise control, and physics education. He is a fellow of ASA,
APS, AAAS, and IEEE. His biography appears in the
New Grove Dictionary
of Music and Musicians
Who’s Who in America
. He received the Robert
A. Millikan Medal (AAPT), Silver Medal in Musical Acoustics (ASA), and
Gold Medal in Acoustics (ASA). He is a Past President of AAPT.
Tom Rossing
It is amazing
the kinds of
clever ideas
that teachers
continually have.
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