Showing posts with label how. Show all posts
Showing posts with label how. Show all posts

# How To Teach Physics Like Richard Feynman

Physics is a beautiful subject, apparent and applicable in the day-to-day life. The mysterious phenomena of nature have sparked human interest since time immemorial. But if the education system is unable to keep the curiosity alive then something must not be right.

In this post, you will learn how best to teach physics by using the IRADE technique, a teaching method of taking multiple approaches. It is based on American physicist Richard Feynman's philosophy: "The best way to teach is to be very chaotic, in the sense, that you use every possible way of doing it."

Introduce

Narrate the history of the concept in a story-like format. How and why something being taught was discovered is a good way to start. Make use of humor whenever possible. This will take students on a ride and peak their interest. Then, define the concept with a bookish definition along with the equation associated with that concept.

Relate

Give at least three real-world examples of the concept. For example, suppose you are teaching the third law of motion. It is visible in many instances of life, such as while walking, jumping, swimming, recoiling of gun, rocket propulsion, etc.

This is an important step because otherwise their understanding is merely bookish, that is, robotic in a sense. If students know examples, the next time they observe similar phenomena they will immediately recall the associated concept in physics.

Apply

Solve at least two numerical problems from the textbook. From the beginner level to the advanced. Make sure that students understand the approach. Accept questions from students if they have any doubts.

Demonstrate

Visual demos are necessary for science teaching because they implant the concept in the mind of the learner. In the case of third law of motion, you could use balloon in a controlled propulsion activity.

You may even start the lesson with demonstration (before narrating that history) or insert it in the middle somewhere. There is always at least one experiment for each physics concept. Try to find it on the internet and replicate in class if possible.

Examine

In the end, test your students (but make it fun, like a quiz). You may group them into teams and even give incentive to the winner. Students will look forward to this event and it will not only strengthen their understanding but also develop teamwork. You may also examine students more formally once this activity is done.

Summing up

Teaching is a noble profession but half-hearted teaching benefits no one. By using the IRADE technique, any science teacher can become a rock star for their students. More importantly, physics classes will not bore students like it used to before. So please share this post with a fellow science teacher.

# How To Study Physics By Using Feynman Technique

Richard Feynman was one of the world’s greatest scientists who won a nobel prize for physics in 1965. But we recognize him more as an outstanding teacher, a story-teller and an everyday joker whose life, was a combination of his intelligence, curiosity and uncertainty.

Feynman was once asked in an interview whether an ordinary person could understand physics like him. After a brief pause, "of course!", he replied candidly. "I was an ordinary person who studied hard."

In this post, you will learn to study physics by using the Feynman Technique, a method involving four easy steps, which was designed to help you understand concepts you don't get and to remember stuff you've already learned.

1. Write

This is a no-brainer. Always write down everything you know about the topic on a notebook page. Add examples and illustrations in your notes whenever possible.

Why is it important to write? Because writing anything down makes us remember it better. This is also the reason why many life coaches advise to pen down our goals.

2. Explain

Describe whatever you have learned to an empty room. This step will not only test memorization but also help you to become a better teacher.

Yes, many of you may not want to go into the teaching profession but it is a good practice to convey your learning in loud words. Remember, teaching is a powerful tool to learning.

3. Analyze

There is a famous saying which many attribute to Feynman, "If you cannot explain it simply, you do not understand it", which is fairly obvious.

Did you teach it well? Where is the gap in your understanding? Identify it. Then, revisit your notes for revision.

Revision often increases your confidence because the gap in your understanding is reduced. You may even want to rewrite your notes in a more simple language than before.

4. Repeat

Because of revision, you should have a better grasp of the subject. So gather one of your friends and explain the topic once again, to him/her. This step is powerful because when one teaches, two learn.

At the end, take feedback from your friend as that might help in understanding any remaining gaps. Did you know that Professor Walter Lewin, famous for his physics videos on YouTube, used to teach at least five times to an empty hall, before actually taking the class?

Summing up

Feynman had once said, "I don't know what's the matter with people: they don't learn by understanding; they learn by some other way, by rote or something. Their knowledge is so fragile!"

But if you follow what is known as the Feynman Technique, as described here, you will be able to learn more efficiently and firmly. It is a tried and tested method so please share this post with fellow students.

# How To Live Your Life Like A Scientist?

A scientist is someone who studies or has expertise in science. More generally, they are people who love figuring out how or why things happen. They conduct research in an area of interest to advance our understanding of nature. The fruits of their labour make ordinary life a rich, comfortable and overall a worthwhile experience.

Throughout history, we have witnessed that scientists have propelled our society forwards. Wouldn't it be better then if everyone lived their lives more scientifically? In this post, we will explore what it would mean to live life like a scientist. Let us see.

## 1. Question Authority

Nearly 400 years ago, during a time when scientific thinking was curbed by the church, Nicholas Copernicus, a Polish priest, gave a clear and detailed explanation for the rotation of the Earth, and other planets on their axes, and their motion around the Sun. Galileo Galilei came in support of the Copernican ideas, openly.

This first scientific movement created a great sensation because the 2000-year-old model of heavenly bodies going round the earth was threatened. The new knowledge disturbed the stability of the church and the social order itself. It immediately led to conflict with the church which resulted in Galileo's trial. He was condemned and forced to go back on his words.

 Question authority

However, he did not stop, even after being tried and condemned by church. Galileo really wanted to describe how the Copernican system was valid because he had seen things, through a telescope, that is, four tiny objects circling Jupiter.

Galileo boldly questioned all the accepted world-views. He was daring enough to publish his controversial discoveries in a book and dedicated it to the pope. Then eventually when Galileo Galilei became an authority himself, he was wise enough to turn back to question his own arguments, through carefully created experiments.

## 2. Think Creatively

On a nice summer day, Isaac Newton happened to observe the falling of an apple. Instantly, he asked why. Then, he proposed the possibility of an invisible attractive force between the apple and the earth. Newton did not stop there. He went on to describe the amount of attraction between any two bodies of mass with mathematics, of course.

But even the genius of Isaac Newton wasn't accomplished enough to explain why the objects attracted each other in the first place. More than 200 years later, it was the creativity of Einstein's thinking that successfully explained what even Newton couldn't.

 falling bodies in curved space

The world is spinning on a stretchable fabric of space and time, said Einstein. This flexible fabric is disturbed by the existence and motion of masses. The objects move through it, distorting it, falling into it, and so on. The little masses, for instance, circle the bigger one, simply because they are falling into the space-time curvature created by it.

## 3. Overcome Limits

Michael Faraday was born on 22 September 1791 to a very poor family in South London. From a very young age, he used to work menial jobs to support his education. At the age of 14, while working at a book-binding shop, Faraday came across a physics book. This book introduced him to the wonders of experimental science.

 self-made scientist

Faraday went on to become not only a renowned scientist but also an inspiration for the likes of Einstein and Tesla. He introduced the world to the relationship between electricity and magnetism. The discovery of electromagnetic induction and invention of dynamo were the main reasons for crowning Faraday as the father of electricity.

Now, in recent years, we have the example of professor Stephen Hawking. He could not talk without computer assistance, sat on only one chair, but still, despite limitations, in his case physical limitations, he was able to accomplish mostly everything.

 while there's life, there's hope

When in his twenties, Hawking was diagnosed with motor neuron disease. At the age of 21, he was informed by the doctors to put his affairs in order and prepare for death. At such a young age, anybody could falter. But, on the contrary, Hawking went on to complete his PhD on the properties of expanding universes, in 1965, aged 23.

## 4. Brave criticism

A revolting thought is welcomed with criticism and sometimes dealt with punishment like in the case of Galileo. But it is the job of a scientist to introduce the world to new ideas and therefore he/she must not be afraid of criticism.

Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein were in good terms on a personal level. They were in fact the best of friends if some sources are to be believed. But then, it came, a quantum revolution, which created professional rivalry between the two greats. Bohr was the vocal supporter of the new theory. On the other hand, Einstein its leading opponent.

 criticism is a part of life

During this time, Einstein ridiculed Bohr by saying, "Does God play dice with the universe?" to which Bohr had famously replied, "Please, do not tell God what he can and cannot do." Einstein was so discomforted by the new quantum theory that he went on to devise experiment after experiment aiming to destroy it.

But Bohr emerged victorious each time.

Their debates are remembered because of their importance to the philosophy of science. Bohr respected Einstein's persistence and Einstein praised Bohr's brilliance. The two scientists were involved in one of the highest points of scientific research in the first half of the twentieth century.

Today, scientists are facing criticism because of the growing ignorance among people. In a time when we are planning to colonize Mars, there are still those who say that the earth is fixed and flat. There are plenty who use astrology in day-to-day life. Evolution which is a well-backed theory is declared a propaganda.

Scientific progress is at risk.

 bring about a change

In such a case, science communicators like Richard Feynman, Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins and others are needed. They have spoken strongly against pseudoscience and rightfully so. We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows or cares anything about science and technology, which is a shame, really.

Summing up

Now you have the four essential qualities of a scientist. You must not be afraid to question authority, especially when they are wrong, you must think creatively, think out-of-the-box, overcome limits and most importantly accept criticism a part of life. These traits of a scientist will build a distinctive personality in an otherwise boring existence.
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