Re: Fear or fanaticism - finding the basics
- Dear Aderet:
In general, the physics books for high school level are fine with the
exception of those advanced books that teach about relativity. That
chapter is very problematic.
The problem really begins at the University level. It is more of an
attitude than the material itself.
In my movie, I interviewed 3 high school physics classes from sophmores
to seniors. One question concerned Carezani's New Radium E experiment
that would prove special relativity wrong. The class was mixed on
whether they would follow the advice of their professor not to do the
experiment. Some said they would not do it in order to keep themselves
in a physics career, and half said they would do the experiment.
The choice of today's youths in science is one of comfort, not the
truth. Those that choose the route of truth are very few and far
I believe children can be taught the attitude to look for truth above
all, but most of the time the pressure is so great, the student goes
with the flow.
It's funny that the high school teacher of advanced physics at the
school where I filmed did not teach relativity. He said he didn't
teach it because it simply didn't motivate or interest students. To
me, that shows that it is a dead end. After 100 years, there is
nothing that has come of it.
Here are some exercises I have suggested many years ago that really do
help show the problems with relativity and can be taught to high school
ages and under:
1) Do a search on Einstein on the internet. What classes of articles
do you find? How many are on the scientific aspects of his work and
how many are about his "life and times"? Why do you think there are more of one than the other?
2) Search for experimental proof for relativity. How much is there?
Does the amount of evidence found on the internet match the phrase that
is often stated about relativity by scientists around the world that it is "one of the most well-
tested theories in physics"? Why do you think scientists repeat over and over that relativity is so well proven?
3) What practical applications can the students find that involves
relativity? In the case of general relativity being a model for
gravity, what practical applications have come of this? Do you think
that if a model in physics is correct, that applications of that model
would be used by engineers to do something useful? Explain why General
Relativity is not a model for gravity and how that impacts the future
for trying to use and control gravity.
4) Look on the internet to find sites where people are challenging relativity. How many are useful? How many are viable?
Hope this helps...
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Aderet White" <addarwhite@...>
>real "basics"? Is
> As a homeschooler, David, how can I teach my children the
> there a "basics" textbook that parents can use with confidence forteaching
> real physics to their children when they aren't scientists themselves?
> Thanks for bringing this to our attention.