So, I am one of the TA's for Modern Physics lab and I feel the current course materials are a little lacking, specifically the prelabs. There are no formal prelabs for the theory. The theory prelab is to basically, write a paragraph (or more) about the relevant equations. While this may be a useful skill in itself, I don't feel it is very stimulating to the students. Also, the resourceful but lazy student can just paraphrase out of a modern physics text. So today I created a prelab assignment for the first lab, measuring e/m. To give an idea of the level of thought provocation I want, in my final problem I said to assume that the velocity and magnetic field vectors are in a plane, oriented at an angle beta wrt the "ground" plane, and ask them to find the (initial) force in vector form. The idea here is that, while we can quantify the force, etc, regardless of the angle of the velocity-magnetic field plane, it is inconvenient for us to observe i.e. measure the radius of the circular trajectory. Finally it has hit me, if there were a modern physics text that used this same philosophy I could tweak problems from there.
So has anyone adopted such a text, or have recommendations?
- As many already know, studying for the physics GRE and getting accepted into a graduate program is not the final hurdle in your physics career.
- There are many issues current physics graduate students face such as studying for their qualifier, deciding upon a field of research, choosing an advisor, being an effective teaching assistant, trying to have a social life, navigating department politics, dealing with stress, utilizing financial aid, etc.
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