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[Fhsst-physics] EM editing info

From: Mark Horner
Subject: [Fhsst-physics] EM editing info
Date: Wed, 19 Oct 2005 21:56:00 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.7.12) Gecko/20050923 Debian/1.7.12-0ubuntu05.04

Hey Rob and Tommy

Here are some details about the EM stuff that needs editing. Its probably easiest if you guys each start with a different chapter.

Arbitrarily, how about:
Tommy - Electricity (longer and simpler)
Rob - Electromagnetism (shorter more complex)

I put the self-contained chapter files and figures on my machine for you to download :


The content was donated by Tony Knuphalt who wrote a series of books called All About Circuits for electrical engineers. Its for undergraduates and is pitched too high for high school.

The target audience are 16-18 year-old (grades 10-12) students who may have English as a second language. I think in general we should present things as simply and clearly as possible. You don't have to be a second language speaker to become disinterested in physics.

Both chapters need the same modifications. The principles and ideas are there and cover almost everything we need to cover. The transformers section is being worked on.

Take a look at the chapters Forces -> Gravitation to get an idea of the sort of structure we are trying to head towards. The book is available on:


We need to:
- simplify the language and shorten the text. No unnecessary asides,
  comments or rambling. Keep things clear and simple
- relate concepts to simple everyday concepts - avoid technological
  analogies - think rural students with no computers, iPods etc.
- structure worked examples in the same manner as in earlier chapters
- avoid long passages of text
- we can keep the basic examples and idea that are there now but we
  need to do a lot of rewording and layout modification

I'll stop there for now. Let me know what you guys think. I have included an example of the worked example and interesting fact environment below.



Here is an example of the worked example environment:

\begin{pwex}{Single Force on a block}

\textbf{Question:} A block on a frictionless flat surface weighs
$100N$. A $75N$ force is applied to the block towards the right. What
is the net force (or resultant force) on the block?\\
\westep{Firstly, draw a force diagram for the block}

  \psline(-3,-1)(-3,-0.1)(3,-0.1)(3, -1)
  \rput(1.9,0.3){$F_{applied}=75N$} \rput(1.3,-1) {$F_{weight}=100N$}

Be careful not to forget the two forces perpendicular to the
surface. Every object with mass is attracted to the centre of the
earth with a force (the object's weight). However, if this were the
only force acting on the block in the vertical direction then the
block would fall through the table to the ground. This does not happen
because the table exerts an upward force (the normal force) which
exactly balances the object's weight.
Thus, the only unbalanced force
is the applied force. This applied force is then the resultant force
acting on the block.

Here is an interesting fact environment:

Newton first published these laws in \emph{Philosophiae Naturalis
Principia Mathematica (1687)} and used them to prove many results
concerning the motion of physical objects. Only in 1916 were
Newton's Laws superceded by Einstein's theory of relativity.}


Mark Horner

Jabber/AIM/Yahoo: marknewlyn


"Life is but a seg-fault away ...

Life received signal SIGSEGV, Segmentation fault.
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