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Contains: Units Examples of magnitudes for each unit Fundamentals such as metric prefixes, unit conversion, scientific notation, rounding, etc. Astronomy. A subset of the astronomy textbook History of science. A subset of the textbook Physics. A subset of the physics textbook Chemistry. A subset of the chemistry textbook Biology. A subset of the biology textbook Pop science.
Crowdhandling skill

New visuals that were developed over the last semester:

Index of all textbooks
Units and magnitudes
Physics of music
Materials & elasticity
Quiz show questions
History of science
List of units and equations connecting them. List of conversion factors between metric and English units. Lists of magnitudes for each unit. Discussion of how to calculate with scientific notation and other fundamental skills.
has just about everything from the CUNY textbook. A subset was chosen that could reasonably be covered in a semester and this subset was placed first. It's arranged in linear order so that a student could teach with it. All one has to do is scroll the browser. It can be further customized to tune the difficulty level. In the last section there is material for ambitious students. I took the trouble to track down every useful figure and animation on Wikimedia commons. The students found resources such as wikipedia and khanacademy to be either awkward or overburdened with calculus.
The students were unsatistifed with the problems in the hardcopy textbook (and from online sources) and so I made a stockpile of problems, indexed by subject and difficulty. The students liked the fact that they were on relatable subjects and they did a deluge of problems, well beyond what was assigned.
Stockpile of gameshow-style questions, indexed by subject. This makes it possible to test stuff that wouldn't be suitable for a conventional exam. Some questions are price-is-right style where each student writes a number on a piece of paper and the point goes to whoever is closest to the actual number.
Followed the subjects from the hardcopy lab manual, plus optional background material for each lab. There are more than a semester's worth of labs here and so students can work at a faster pace if they wish. The concrete labs covering the mechanics of measurement are first. Early on there is a discussion of how to measure velocity with a phone video and this technique is used for many subsequent measurements. Measuring visual resolution optometrist-style was also a useful starting point for other measurements.
Astronomy textbook. Same strategy as the physics textbook. Can be scrolled from beginning to end.


Most of the calculations in the textbook use a "Fermi style" recipe, designed to be simple and univesal enough to apply to a large variety of calculations. The recipe consists of 4 columns shown below with a monospace font to align the columns. The equations are almost always the fundamental units equations. One can deliver a lot of information with a small number of symbols.


Column 1            Column 2   Column 3    Column 4

Description of      Symbols    Equations   Numerical
the variables       for the    for the     example and
                    variables  variables   units

Gravity constant          g            =   10 meters/second^2
Mass                      M            =   80 kg
Height of staircase       X            =   10 meters
Time to climb staircase   T            =    5 seconds
Average speed             V  =  X / T  =    2 meters/second
Energy gained             E  =  M g X  = 8000 Joules
Power                     P  =  E / T  = 1600 Watts

In order to have something for everyone, the physics material is divided into levels. Many students wanted advanced material.

Level 1:
Be able to estimate magnitutes by eyeball without help from a measurement device
Calculate formulae in scientific notation
Units formulae
Fermi-style units calculations
History of science
Quantitative mechanics, minimalist style
Wave equation

Level 2:
Intermediate mechanics
Qualitative understanding of angular momentum
Quantitative understanding of waves phenomena
Qualitative overtones and resonance
Qualitative electromagnetism and nuclear

Level 3:
Advanced mechanics
Quantitative angular momentum
Applications of mechanics, as voted by the students

Optional material:

Earth science This was a popular topic for its connection to current events. Rich source of Fermi-style calculations.

The Bennett textbook is great for just about everything except for astrobiology, where it is weak. Astrobiology proved to be the most popular astronomy topic.
Pop-science: (Ancient Greek astronomy)       (Pop-science articles)   (For the film "The Martian")     (For the film "Interstellar")       (Asteroid defense)               (Physics of music)
I attended the department teaching meetings and we had a chance to discuss the material there.

The Wikipedia physics and astronomy textbooks aren't well-enough developed to be useful but someday they will be. A student could make a tangible contribution to humanity by helping to develop them. I'm going to be moving my material to these textbooks. It will be interesting to see what the Wikipedia textbooks end up looking like after everyone has had a chance to express their input.

Positive heckling

Three hour power lecture

Game show

A set of readings is assigned prior to each lecture and a game show style contest is held during lecture on the material, with bonus points up for grabs. Students would rather play a game show than take a written quiz.

Readings and quiz questions for a physics and astronomy course.

Crowdhandling skill

A standup comedian is an example of

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