A Guide To Physics Problems. Part 2. Thermodyna...
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ForewordIt is only rarely realized how important the design ofsuitable, interesting problems is in the educational process. Thisis true for the professor who periodically makes up exams andproblem sets which test the effectiveness of his teaching and alsofor the student who must match his skills and acquired knowledgeagainst these same problems. There is a great need for challengingproblems in all scientific fields, but especially so in physics.Reading a physics paper requires familiarity and control oftechniques which can only be obtained by serious practice insolving problems. Confidence in performing research demands amastery of detailed technology which requires training,concentration, and reflection again, gained only by workingexercises. In spite of the obvious need, there is very littlesystematic effort made to provide balanced, doable problems that domore than gratify the ego of the professor. Problems often areroutine applications of procedures mentioned in lectures or inbooks. They do little to force students to reflect seriously aboutnew situations. Furthermore, the problems are often excruciatinglydull and test persistence and intellectual stamina more thaninsight, technical skill, and originality. Another rather seriousshortcoming is that most exams and problems carry the unmistakableimprint of the teacher. (In some excellent eastern U.S.universities, problems are catalogued by instructor, so that a gooddeal is known about an exam even before it is written.) Incontrast, A Guide to Physics Problems, Part 2 not only serves animportant function, but is a pleasure to read. By selectingproblems from different universities and even different scientificcultures, the authors have effectively avoided a one-sided approachto physics. All the problems are good, some are very interesting,some positively intriguing, a few are crazy; but all of themstimulate the reader to think about physics, not merely to trainyou to pass an exam. I personally received considerable pleasure inworking the problems, and I would guess that anyone who wants to bea professional physicist would experience similar enjoyment. I mustconfessv
PrefacePart 2 of A Guide to Physics Problems contains problemsfrom written graduate qualifying examinations at many universitiesin the United States and, for comparison, problems from the MoscowInstitute of Physics and Technology, a leading Russian PhysicsDepartment. While Part 1 presented problems and solutions inMechanics, Relativity, and Electrodynamics, Part 2 offers problemsand solutions in Thermodynamics, Statistical Physics, and QuantumMechanics. The main purpose of the book is to help graduatestudents prepare for this important and often very stressful exam(see Figure P.1). The difficulty and scope of the qualifying examvaries from school to school, but not too dramatically. Our goalwas to present a more or less universal set of problems that wouldallow students to feel confident at these exams, regardless of thegraduate school they attended. We also thought that physics majorswho are considering going on to graduate school may be able to testtheir knowledge of physics by trying to solve some of the problems,most of which are not above the undergraduate level. As in Part 1we have tried to provide as many details in our solutions aspossible, without turning to a trade expression of an exhaustedauthor who, after struggling with the derivation for a couple ofhours writes, As it can be easily shown.... Most of the comments toPart 1 that we have received so far have come not from the studentsbut from the professors who have to give the exams. The mosttypical comment was, Gee, great, now I can use one of your problemsfor our next comprehensive exam. However, we still hope that thisdoes not make the book counterproductive and eventually it willhelp the students to transform from the state shown in Figure P.1into a much more comfortable stationary state as in Figure P.2.This picture can be easily attributed to the present state of mindof the authors as well, who sincerely hope that Part 3 will not beforthcoming any time soon. Some of the schools do not have writtenqualifying exams as part of their requirements: Brown, Cal-Tech,Cornell, Harvard, UT Austin, University of Toronto, and Yale. Mostof the schools that give such an exam werevii
happy to trust us with their problems. We wish to thank thePhysics Departments of Boston University (Boston), University ofColorado at Boulder (Colorado), Columbia University (Columbia),University of Maryland (Maryland), Massachusetts Institute ofTechnology (MIT), University of Michigan (Michigan), Michigan StateUniversity (Michigan State), Michigan Technological University(Michigan Tech), Princeton University (Princeton), RutgersUniversity (Rutgers), Stanford University (Stanford), StateUniversity of New York at Stony Brook (Stony Brook), University ofTennessee at Knoxville (Tennessee), and University of Wisconsin(Wisconsin-Madison). The Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology(Moscow Phys-Tech) does not give this type of qualifying exam ingraduate school. Some of their problems came from the final writtenexam for the physics seniors, some of the others, mostlyintroductory problems, are from their oral entrance exams or
These guidelines were compiled from the suggestions of several people. Please feel free to contact us if you have anything to add. [Note: In August 2015, the Physics Department changed the structure of the general exams. There is now only a single written exam rather than Part I and Part II. The current written exam is most similar to the old Part II exam, but the resources below for Part I may be useful for general study.]
By far the best way to study is to do old exams. While the exams have been recently revised, they are still the best guide to the sorts of topics and problems that professors in this department consider relevant. Many years' worth of past exams and their solutions are available free in the Physics Reading Room (room 4-332). The exams have a tendency to creep upward in difficulty over the years and then get revised downwards in a sudden jump. Try not to be too surprised (or worried) about fluctuations in difficulty between different exams. It happens, and the passing scores fluctuate along with the difficulty.
Food is an important part of our lives, yet there is a lack of understanding around the energy contained in food and how to properly prepare it. With the adult obesity rate above 42% in the United States and approximately 48 million cases of food poisoning each year, there is an apparent need for education around our eating and cooking practices. The application of physics can help solve these problems and the focus on food can make physics topics more engaging for students. This unit is designed for 11th and 12th grade physics students as a culminating activity for the topics of energy and thermodynamics. Prerequisite knowledge for this unit includes vectors, forces, work, energy, kinetic energy, and potential energy. Working in small groups, students must apply their knowledge of the topics listed above along with their newly acquired knowledge on thermodynamics to calculate the energy contained in a food sample, the amount of exercise to expend an equal amount of energy, and to experimentally determine the thermal diffusion constant of their food sample. Students will also be required to individually discuss the significance of their investigations and the limitations of their experiment in a concise, one-page summary paper.
This introductory, algebra-based, two-semester college physics book is grounded with real-world examples, illustrations, and explanations to help students grasp key, fundamental physics concepts. College Physics can be can be downloaded now by clicking on the "Get this book" button below. This online, fully editable and customizable title includes learning objectives, concept questions, links to labs and simulations, and ample practice opportunities to solve traditional physics application problems.
In addition to graduate student involvement in this work, we will be drawing in selected advanced undergraduate students to participate in the process of testing and assessing the curricular materials. We will focus in particular on students who plan to become high-school physics and chemistry teachers. These students can benefit tremendously by participating in the instructional activities in the tutorial sessions (whether these occur during recitations, labs, or "lectures"). As they walk around the room, listening to students' comments as they work through the materials and providing guidance by asking leading questions, these future teachers will gain first-hand experience with common learning difficulties and strategies for confronting them. As a result, they will be able to make valuable contributions to the curriculum development work by providing insight into student learning difficulties. They will also help in directly monitoring student responses to the new materials. In work at Southeastern Louisiana University (as well as at the University of Washington), this type of participation by undergraduate students has been extremely beneficial to all concerned (as well as being very cost effective).
The following information has official approval of the Department of Chemical, Biomolecular, and Corrosion Engineering and The College of Engineering and Polymer Science, but is intended only as a supplemental guide. Official degree requirements are established at the time of transfer and admission to the degree-granting college. Students should refer to the Degree Progress Report (DPR) which is definitive for graduation requirements. Completion of this degree within the identified time frame below is contingent upon many factors, including but not limited to: class availability, total number of required credits, work schedule, finances, family, course drops/withdrawals, successfully passing courses, prerequisites, among others. The transfer process is completed through an appointment with your academic advisor. 781b155fdc