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EMF in a solenoid
A colleague identified a puzzle concerning Faraday’s law. A circular loop at the center of a long solenoid with timevarying magnetic field will run a current due to the emf, which is the path integral of the (curly) nonCoulomb electric … Continue reading
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A time line for VPython development
Here is a time line for the development of VPython, an extension to the Python programming language that makes it unusually easy to generate navigable realtime 3D animations (vpython.org). 1997: While at Carnegie Mellon, after writing a volume on introductory … Continue reading
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Pseudowork and real work
I have a story to tell about pseudowork, the integral of a force along the displacement of the center of mass, which is different from the true work done by a force on a system, which must be calculated as … Continue reading
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Feynman and transients
In 19661969 I was active in an experimental particle physics group at Caltech and taught intro physics using the Feynman Lectures on Physics as the textbook, which was a fantastic experience. I often saw Feynman at lunch in the Caltech … Continue reading
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A taste of geometric algebra
David Hestenes’ goal for geometric algebra is to subsume under one umbrella many different kinds of mathematics used by scientists and engineers (see the Hestenes web site, and especially his Oersted Medal Lecture). The key to this unification is to … Continue reading
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What is Light? What are Radio Waves?
A talk given at a Santa Fe Science Cafe, 2013 Jan. 16 Abstract of the talk Video of the talk Interview on KSFR radio (15 minutes; choose the 3rd audio option) The great discovery by Maxwell about 150 years ago … Continue reading
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Calculus and formal reasoning in intro physics
A physicist asked me, “One thing I noticed in most recent introductory physics textbooks is the slow disappearance of calculus (integrals and derivatives). Even calculusbased physics now hardly uses any calculus. What is the reason for that?” Here is what … Continue reading