106 research outputs found

    HII Regions

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    HII regions are clouds of gas which are kept ionised by a source of ionising radiation. The gas is ionised to a depth known as  the Stromgren radius. Emission lines are produced by recombination  of ions and electrons in the gas. We review the relevant properties


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    I can understand those of my colleagues who tell me that the best thing I could do for our excellent research department is to stop trying to change our teaching methods. I can sympathise with devoted academics who believe that by remaining constant to their way of teaching they will be in the forefront of the revolution after next. I am aware that even changes for the better are not painless. Unfortunately, by now we should all know that ‘if we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change’

    Project LeAP: Learning in astronomy and physics

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    The aim of the project was to raise awareness of problem-based learning (PBL) in physics through the development of exemplars relevant to the HE context in the UK, and through road shows and seminars on the background to PBL. There is also a LeAP web site devoted to Physics PBL. The project was carried out in collaboration with partners in Hertfordshire, Reading and Sheffield and the results published by the Physical Sciences Subject Centre as a practice guide to PBL in Physical Sciences. This article will discuss some of the evidence gathered by the project on PBL in physics worldwide, and report on some of the implementations that are beginning supported by the project as well as future developments in the Physics Innovations Centre for Excellence

    Physics – My way

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    I became a lecturer in astrophysics by chance. As I was completing my postdoc, looking at how one could do quantum field theory in the presence of gravity, I contacted various departments to see if there were any lectureships going. From departments of mathematics I was invariably told that the subject was too physical, and from physics departments that it was too mathematical. Astrophysics seemed a better bet, so I offered to give part of the Oxford undergraduate course on what was then the emerging subject of high energy astrophysics. I think I managed to keep a few pages ahead of the students most days. The result was a job offer from Leicester to teach astrophysics

    Practicing science practice

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    We describe a core course for fourth year undergraduate masters students in which they run an internet journal, writing, submitting and refereeing short papers on physics and astrophysics

    Integrated sciences

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    Science education seems to be diverging between an inclusive approach to general science and a contracting somewhat watered down discipline based approach. An inclusive but challenging curriculum should be based on real-world problems that are largely interdisciplinary. This will provide a virtuous circle of teachers enthusiastic about science communicating its relevance to their students

    From projects to problems

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    Projects are a familiar feature of physics curricula and many courses include one or more group projects as a way of developing group work skills, if not for teaching physics. Problem-based learning on the other hand, which is designed primarily to teach physics while enhancing group work skills, is not so familiar. In this article we shall show how project work can be developed rather simply into problem-based learning by contextualising the project in terms of a problem and a viewpoint. The examples given will be based on developments of first and second year courses at Leicester to integrate practical, computational and theoretical work within the programme of specialist options. The benefits to staff and students will be discussed

    Quantum mechanics teaching resources from the Institute of Physics

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    In December 2013, the Institute of Physics (IOP) launched a set of freely available resources at quantumphysics.iop.org for the teaching and learning of quantum mechanics. The website includes about 80 short articles written by experts in the field and 17 interactive simulations with accompanying activities for an introductory course in quantum mechanics starting from two-level systems. The articles are arranged according to five themes, including a focus on quantum information, interpretations of quantum mechanics, the mathematical structure of the theory, physics applications and historical experiments. The resources make topics such as entanglement, hidden variables and quantum information theory accessible to introductory-level students. They can be used flexibly for a variety of instructional aims at both the introductory and more advanced level. The website includes links to pre-readings, suggestions for further reading, a glossary of technical terms and allows users to rate their understanding of articles.Sharing of these resources is encouraged, with all usage under the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND licence. Solutions to problems and activities are available for instructors by emailing [email protected]. Instructors interested in evaluating these resources with their students in order to help us further develop and optimize the site are requested to contact the corresponding author
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