School talk:Physics and Astronomy

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Physics vs. Physics and Astronomy[edit]

Category:Phyiscs and Category:Astronomy should be combined into one.--Hillgentleman|User talk:hillgentleman 04:02, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Disagree. While this is the best place for astronomy to go, it isn't really a core part of physics nor on the same scale of importance. You don't need to know anything whatsoever about astronomy to be a good physicist; but you definitely need a fair grounding in physics to be a good astronomer. I'd call it a subdivision. Sojourner001 12:48, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

I completely agree with Sojourner001. Physics is a very large and complex subject in itself, and shouldn't be combined with Astronomy. A subdivision would be best; or maybe a devision of celestial sciences.Alisone 22:55, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Most astronomy departments are in fact combined with physics simply because astronomy cannot be studied without physics at university level. (Only amateur astronomy can be separated, but we are forming a university) A person looking for astronomy will know to look in the Physics and Astronomy department by its title. However, if astronomy is separated off then we will need a huge duplication of courses covering gravitation, electromagnetism, relativity etc...all of which are ESSENTIAL for a good understanding of astronomy. Major universities combine astronomy with physics for good reason. I am therefore strongly in favor of keeping them together. 10:44, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree. Its no good having astronomy on its own. Having studied astronomy I know that physics has got to be the major part of it. I think Wikiversity has done the right thing already. Astrophysicist February 19, 2007 9.30 UTC

Perhaps they should be separated. Having them together may have the effect of making Wikiversity less dynamic and flexible. --Remi 21:37, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

I took the liberty of recombining them. I think the line between physics and astronomy is so blurred that dividing the courses would make it harder to access the desired information. Let me know what you think. Ryan 16:42, 6 September 2007 (UTC)


I think there is a tendency to make redundant departments, so I went through and got rid of most of the "nit-picky" ones and replaced them with what are considered primary divisions within physics. If you think I missed one that can't be classified under one of the ones listed, or that one should be classified as a subfield, please explain. Ryan 16:49, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

I think there are still too many redundant departments. Most of which should be classes/courses within a department as opposed to being a deparment themself. I'd suggest:
  • scrapping Fluid Dynamics as a department, it should be a course.
  • Quantum / Relativistic physics are courses not departments (imo), they are fundamental to most departments but not a department in and of themself.
  • Atomic & Molecular, Polymer physics, Material physics should be placed under Condensed Matter which could (contentiously, for simplicity) be combined with Chemical Physics into one department: namely Condensed Matter.
  • Optics could possibly be combined with Laser physics to become a more coherent and singular Optics department.
  • currently undecided as to whether having a computational physics department is necessary, as computational methods are supplementary to the rest of physics and (perhaps) do not constitute a department in and of itself.

--Augustus 01:50, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Feel free to change things as you described above. Wikiversity "departments" can be content development projects, like Wikipedia "wikiprojects". Here when Wikiversity is just starting out it is not clear how many different content development projects are needed. Different people have different views on this but it is not really worth getting into any fights over. If someone is actively using a topic page to help plan and organize learning resources for a specific subject area, then that is fine. If there are multiple "departments" that are not active, then it is probably fine to consolidate some of them. For many traditional subject areas like physics there was a departmental structure created on the old Wikiversity pages at Wikibooks, often before there was any actual educational content.....kind of a "dream for the future" or "wish list". --JWSchmidt 03:07, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Done as I suggested. Fluid Dynamics should be a lesson within Condensed Matter. I've subjugated a lot of the previous departments into sub-departments or topics of Condensed Matter, which means the Condensed Matter area will be rather large but that I believe it is the natural home for a lot of everyday/macroscopic physics. Quantum physics is the domain of Particle and Nuclear. Special relativity is relevant to all of physics while General relativity should fall under the domain of Astro. I'd also like to co-ordinate a merge of Astronomy and Astrophysics into one dept: namely Astronomy & Astrophysics dept. (Depts can be made depts in their own right at a later date if truly necessarily, ie when course material actually exists) --Augustus 16:30, 3 November 2007 (UTC)


What is the purpose of the People section? Perhaps it would be better to move that to the talk page. Ryan 17:34, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Physics resources[edit]

Hi, I thought it might be useful for people interested in developing Wikiversity resources on Physics to take a look at these resources from Curriki. They are under a free licence (CC-BY 2.5), but I'm not suggesting we import them, rather we look at them to see what we might learn from their approach. Cheers. Cormaggio beep 18:04, 31 January 2007 (UTC) This link has some java applets demonstrating various features of physics numerically. It might be useful if the link were placed in proper places around the physics, quantum chemistry and advanced engineering material. The author calls his stuff "Open Source Physics" so he might be interested allowing the incorporation of specific links, parameters and/or applets into interactive lesson plans. Mirwin 05:00, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Acceptable content[edit]

Hey I am not the versed on what is acceptable material to take from other websites but I was wondering if any of you have thought of using the following site for theses courses:

This site contains MITs courses, complete w/ syllabus, video, lecture notes, and problems with solutions.

Can we use this?

Short answer: No; Long Answer: The MET OpenCourseWare is licenced under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5, which (as the name suggests) forbids commercial reuse, which makes it incompatible with Wikiversity (which uses the GFDL - which allows commercial reuse) See also w:Gratis versus Libre Michael Billington (talkcontribs) 11:35, 17 February 2007 (UTC)


To avoid duplication across wikiversity, some course should be used from other departments. Collaboration with the Math department should speed up work on expanding the physics school more rapidly. 10:45 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Strong support --Remi 21:37, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
I think we should also draw in courses from chemistry and biology, where they overlap with chemical and biological physics. Ryan 16:42, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
I agree with the above users. Don't duplicate the information. Write once, link many. --Augustus 01:34, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Shouldn't ordinary differential equations be here? - Nate (unregistered) (The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 15:31, 21 April 2008)


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). Osquar F 07:57, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

This is a late comment but, yes, optics should reside within the department of physics. Augustus 18:05, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

misnamed page[edit]

The page Category:General relativity looks like it should be renamed either to mainspace or perhaps in topic: space.--mikeu 22:07, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

GR should be a topic within Astrophysics (this page exists), not a category in its own right. That is a nice page with good info but rather out of place to be sitting on its own, it covers many topics that should find themselves placed into several different lessons. I certainly wouldn't throw the Riemann tensor at a new student on day one. The current GR topic page is rather bare (sadly). Augustus 01:15, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

astronomy: school or topic[edit]

It looks like someone has changed School:Astronomy from a redirect to Topic:Astronomy into a coordination page. Is there really a need for both? Because there are so few editors working on astronomy related pages I feel that it is better to keep things simple and have one central place to coordinate our efforts. I really don't care if we use a page in school or topic namespace. I'm going to hold off on merging the two until I see some agreement here on which page to use for astronomy.--mikeu 23:34, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree with you about not separating Astronomy into both a School and a Topic. I belive it should be under the School of Physics (joint school). However, I still maintain that Astronomy and Astrophysics should probably be on the same topic page.
Too many sub-topics on the current Astronomy topic page are 1) redundant and 2) heavily physics based. Could we just merge Astronomy with Astrophysics, kill the redundant place markers (courses/topics) and include a set of pre-university topics/lessons? Well, I know we could but I'm wondering if you or anyone else would agree with that line of logic. :-) Augustus 01:15, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Regarding subtopics: I already tried a rewrite of the astronomy page [1] where I moved the "course list" to a subpage in an effort to steamline the page to make it easier to find where to start. But the listing of nonexistant courses crept back in. The main point of School and Topic pages is to act a place where editors can coordinate efforts. But many who have edited Topic:Astronomy have spent most of their time just writing a long list of courses to be offered (presumably, by someone else.) At this point I mostly ignore that whole section of the page and have just been watching to see if anyone would edit the talk page. I also no longer worry too much about high level organization. I do agree with what you described. I'll go ahead and merge the School:Astronomy text into Topic:Astronomy and protect the School page from editing so it can't be edited. There is no sense in having our coordination efforts spread out so much. A merge astronomy and astrophysics sounds fine. We can alway split them after we get a larger number of people interested in just one topic or the other. --mikeu talk 01:36, 31 January 2008 (UTC)


There is now a Category:Physics and Astronomy stubs. --mikeu 03:25, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Active learning projects?[edit]

Forgive me if this is in the wrong place, but are there any active learning projects going on here that I could join? Or: How should I start using the resources in this school? Tzie 18:57, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Hello Tzie, I am not a regular visitor here, but anyways.
At the moment there is e.g. this learning project initiated: SkyCam. Perhaps you want to join ?
How to use the resources ? Well, that depends mostly on you. One way could be: read the courses offered which you have interest in and if you want to add something: be bold. Or just write on the talk pages. On every page you can look at the "version history" to see if there was recently a contribution - and if so, you could communicate with one of the contributors. ----Erkan Yilmaz (Wikiversity:Chat, wiki blog) 19:32, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Course ordering/difficulty[edit]

I think the courses can be better organized. I'm assuming level 1 = introductory 1st year material, level 2 = intermediate material, level 3 = graduate level material.

Level 1 "atomic structure and electromagnetic radiation" does not mention electromagnetic radiation, and is too specialized a subset of atomic physics.

The "Electromagnetism" in level 2 belongs here. A level 2 E&M course should include more topics, such as vector potentials and gauge transformations.

Level 2 Stat mech belongs here.

It might be a good idea to simply open a university catalogue of classes and follow their lead. Pierrecurie 13:03, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

It is hard to pick an ordering system for the material that will be natural to all people. As far as I am aware the US has a 4 year undergraduate program, as does Scotland but not England (3 year undergraduate program). If you do a masters in the UK then you add only 1 additional year (US = 2 years for masters?). Part of the difference in the UK is that in Scotland, the first year repeats much of the advanced maths and physics topics of high school. It provides greater detail and adds extra topics: I've assumed (for now) that the equivalent section here is the pre-university level. Essentially each topic requires a lengthy discussion of what is needed, for example I'd advocate for level 2 EM to touch on vector potentials but leave gauge problems for level 3. Also, I know it is possible to study General Relativity in an undergraduate degree on either side of the Atlantic yet we have it listed as a postgraduate course here on Wikiversity.

Augustus 17:56, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Further to my point above, I think we need more organization within this department before we write course material. People are (rightly so) enthusiastic about writing course material but without any plan this is a waste of time. It must be clear what material we need to include before we write it. Course material should not appear on a topic page, actual material should appear on a sub-page as a lecture (or equivalent), eg department (physics) > sub-department (astro) > topic (cosmology) > lecture (observations). Augustus 18:11, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Good work on re-ordering the list of courses. It looks very neat now. Augustus 19:52, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Improvement drive[edit]

This section needs to be axed. At the moment it is very wishful thinking and is asking contributors to direct too much attention into unnecessary topics. Core topics should be the prime consideration; furthermore, I don't condone creating another page for General Relativity. It must be the third or fourth attempt at creating a new page without anyone actually trying to improve an existing page. This is frustrating as it highlights why the physics pages are taking a long time to go anywhere: everyone is pulling in a different direction.

Although I admit there IS a need for an improvement and having a list of topics is necessary, my opinion would be to take it off the front page and put it here on the discussion page. Plus I'd suggest focusing on core topics: eg magnetism / light and optics. While String theory and the History of Cesium might be interesting they are far from necessary to an undergraduate course.

Here is the code from the front page:

These pages are in need of expansion and improvement:

No pages meet these criteria.

/rant Augustus 19:58, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

I was wrong about the additional GR page in my comment above, I see that it is a sub-section of GR and NOT a new topic. Although I still stand by the rest of my comment about pulling in different directions. Augustus 20:17, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
That section is a dynamicaly generated list of pages that have been classified as "stub pages" which were created but have not been edited in a long time. The idea was to flag pages that have been neglected. I'm fine with having the whole section removed. But, it might be handy to have a subpage that lists these stubs based on criteria like this to identify pages that are in need of work. --mikeu talk 14:01, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
I'd vote for having it on a subpage but linked from an obvious place. Maybe I'm being too nitpicky about having a clean frontpage, I think it looks more inviting and nicer. Unfortunately many pages are neglected. Physics is a hard topic to write about and do it well. If our wording is not concise then people will become confused. I see that as one of the main reasons why there is little content, that plus the fact that physics is such a huge and all encompassing subject. I'm still hoping (wishfully) to contribute on the astro side of things, I've been compiling some notes recently that will help in that respect. Augustus 20:23, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

relatively confused relativity pages[edit]

i'm going to try to do some tidying up regarding the various relativity pages. For a start, Wikiversity:Topics says that Topic:Special_Relativity should be something like a disambiguation page, not an introduction and motivation for the subject. Boud 08:17, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

incorrect use of wikiversity terminology[edit]

Before trying to tidy relativity pages, i'll first try to tidy up this School:Physics and Astronomy page. Help:Resource_types clearly says that a "course" is a specific low-level unit, not a higher-level page. Boud 10:43, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

See Help:Resource types for a guide to the existing resource types, and Help:Resources by type for templates to put on individual pages. Boud (talk) 13:13, 18 June 2012 (UTC)


  • On this School:Physics and Astronomy page, links to "Study guides" need to be cleaned up to Topic: namespace links if they exist or if someone wishes to create them, or to the specific courses (many cases more or less MIT courses) or (sometimes) lectures. Boud (talk) 13:13, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

Dead link[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

--Mu301Bot (talk) 08:39, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

Link redirects to new html in about 10 s. Marshallsumter (talk) 17:01, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

Dead link 2[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

--Mu301Bot (talk) 07:38, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

Dead link deleted. --Marshallsumter (talk) 15:53, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

Space - Movement - Matter and Relativity of Time[edit]

Spacetime: Every visible and tangible object can only be moved by life because of the absolute union of all the parts of space, and is Life, vision and Consciousness the only- thing that can connect with the totality of smaller parts that form space.

Hello, I'm Javier Moreno, I study Geophysics in Venezuela, and I have a critic for Einstein Theory of Relativity of time, The theory can't be true because if it were, perception of movement and coincidence of events wouldn't be possible.I also think movement is only possible if it is generated by life because the absolute union of all the parts of space is a fundamental property of the space, or in other words space can't have holes, I think that in our description of reality we can never violate those fundaments, The great fact here is that even with this absolute union, movement is possible, and that is a irrefutable visual proof of the existence of at least one Life form who generate matter and movement or in other words God. Other indication is that the only possible thing that really connect with the totallity of every smaller part of space is Life itself, Vision and counciousness without a doubt, that's why we can see infinitte smaller points that form our vision and we can't avoid that fundament neither in every description we do, I hope we can undertand this for the really advance of physics and science. Movement became a injectivity of counciousness over space. Thank you for you attention, I wait for your answers.

--Javier José Moreno Tovar18 (discusscontribs) 22:41, 3 March 2017 (UTC)