Portal talk:Physics and Astronomy

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What is the intended difference between wikiversity and the rest of wikibooks?

Right now it seems there is not enough material to justify this page in addition to Modern Physics Text. 14:30, 30 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Mass and Weight[edit source]

The Dec 23, 2004 talk page of the Wikipedia's scientific method article has some interesting comments about the application of mass and weight, which has a non-standard viewpoint, but which may be useful in clarifying some concepts behind mass and weight, specifically, whether something can exist when it does not have weight (a viewpoint firmly rooted on the surface of the earth). Thus it may be useful to unify the concept of mass with the chemical concept of the count of the number of atoms in a substance, for the purposes of a textbook or tutorial.

I feel this page does have a merit, because an important problem remains which is not dealt with in the other page. In physics, mass is sufficiently clear as an everyday working notion, but approaching phenomena of mass from different perspectives leads to somewhat incompatible definitions of mass — inertial mass (measure of an object's inertia), active gravitational mass (measure of the strength of the gravitational field of an object), passive gravitational mass (measure of an object's weight), etc.. Although such aspects are conceptually distinct, experiments do not demonstrate any quantitative difference between them — which is why the everyday working notion poses no particular problem. Nevertheless, the overall concept of mass, relevant for theorizing materiality, remains mysterious. Till now unifications remained in partial grasps — as much unifications of this concept as unifications of physical theories of matter.

linking pages[edit source]

should the math course link up to the math pages in wikiversity?--Stranger104 08:02, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

No reason to reinvent the wheel. I also think since Wikiversity is still figuring stuff out, we should regularly look at other departments for ideas. For instance, I like the School of Mathematics:General assistance. It's like the general physics helprooms that we staff at my university to answer all general questions and provide more immediate help. --Laurascudder 23:55, 28 Jun 2005 (UTC)

roll call[edit source]

Hey, I just stumbled across this from Wikipedia, but I'm very interested in the idea. Right now it seems like a little of a scattered effort, so I thought I'd ask (1) who's involved, and (2) what's the plan? --Laurascudder 23:49, 28 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Subject Headers[edit source]

Hi there, I am very interested in becoming involved with this project, and intend to start writing a few courses in subjects dear to my heart, but i have a few points of note. the title "High school Physics" should be removed or at least re-named. If like the other wiki-projects it is supposed to remain international and neutral, such a title will be misleading. This only refers to High-School in the U.S.A., not elsewhere, as some countries do not refer to that level of education as 'High School', rather secondary school, and secondly, 'High School' level physics in the U.S.A. is not of the same level as 'High School' level in, for example the UK & Ireland. I suggest renaming that section of the course as "An introduction to Physics" or "Required Knowledge" to build up a simplified, easy going course which recaps all the basics needed for further study, much like the first few weeks at a real university studying physics.

As a secondary, more general point, how about structuring courses in the modualr way familiar to many uiversities, giving each subject an approximate 'simester level', like S1 for basic/first simester work, up to S6 for higher level things. It may also be useful to have things at the beginning of each course saying "This course is appropirate for those who have already read [course X] where a higher level course has required knowledge of easier course.

Responses welcomed

I would like to be further involved in this project, as I have always wanted to learn more about physics

More on Subject Headers[edit source]

I agree completely. The headers, and thus difficulty levels of study, are confusing. This section needs some serious reworking. I suggest dividing courses into various levels 1,2 and 3 etc in way similar to academic years of study. Then under 'Level 1' we should have all introductory courses on various topics in physics. Level 2 is more involved and Level 3 represents a final study year at degree level. Further levels would indicate postgrad and research. In addition I am a little confused why 'astronomy' is in a separate school. Most universities include it within the bounds of physics. The Wikiversity:School of Physics and Astronomy would be a better name and then we should incorporate astronomy into here. Any thoughts?

I too am very interested in being involved in this project as it has great potential.

Astrophysicist1975 11:04, 19 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

International Differences in Degrees and Math concerns[edit source]

I realize that all of the branches of the wikipedia project are supposed to remain neutral in terms of content but I find the fact that the physics courses in the wikiversity school of physics follows the British system a little annoying. I'm not suggestin that it should be replaced with the U.S. semester or quater system, but prehaps an alternate 4 year plan or mention of the fact that the courses outlined are for the U.K. degree to help U.S. students unfimilar with the 3 year undergraduate program.

The lack of mathematics mentioned on the degree outlined also seems like a poor choice. I would think it very difficult to approach any Quantum Mechanics without taking a 200 or 300 level class in Linear Algebra and Ordinary Differential Equations. Similarly, E&M students should probably have a nice working knowledge or three semesters of calculus or four quarters, and again, a Differential Equations class. Also, mentioning specific areas of study in relation to each course might be nice if you're looking for help with a college class or are teaching yourself, for example, somewhere, either in the E&M page or under the course there could be a list like: "before approaching this class, it would be useful to have a working knowledge of: series solutions to differential equations, Fourier Analysis, partial derivatives, vector calculus, vector operators, integrals of more than one dimension, transformations between curvi-linear co-ordinate systems, and differential forms."

Just a few thoughts.

Optics?[edit source]

Firstly, I apologize if this is the wrong place for this question. Please redirect me if so. I cannot seem to find Optics anywhere in the wikiversity. Is this because I am bad at searching, or because it does not exist yet? Neither can I seem to find a place for applied physics. Myself, I'm slighly computer illiterate, so I can only offer help in contributing material to such a place (I have a M Sc in Engineering Physics (Optics and biomedical physics), and am currently working on a PhD in Biomedical Physics), and have taught (am teaching) basic wave theory and optics at a university level (in Sweden). I do feel that it should be included in the Topic list on this page... Osquar F 07:59, 10 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikiversity is very new and does not have pages for many topics. All I could find in Light and Optics. Feel free to start new pages that are needed. --JWSchmidt 14:58, 10 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]