This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1912 edition. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER X The Organization Of The Course 91. Simplicity and Unity. -- Opinions differ as to whether the class work in ...Read MoreThis historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1912 edition. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER X The Organization Of The Course 91. Simplicity and Unity. -- Opinions differ as to whether the class work in physics should be organized about the laboratory work as a center, or vice versa. The question has been much debated whether laboratory experiments should verify and exemplify facts and laws first discussed in class, or whether the facts and laws should be first met with in the laboratory and discussed in class afterwards. The conclusion of this debate seems to be that it is six to one and half a dozen to the other; if the facts and laws are first discussed in class, the pupils do the laboratory work more intelligently; and if the laboratory precedes, they understand the class work better. But, while there are differences of opinion on this matter, all are agreed that the class work and that of the laboratory must be knit into a well coordinated, simple and unified course. For this reason the first important question to be settled before devising a suitable course in physics is, How can it be arranged to secure simplicity and unity? In answering this question, much help can be secured from a study of the history of physics, as outlined in Chapters V and VII. It was there shown that the great unifying idea in physics has been the idea of energy; and that unity was found in this idea because of the discovery of the constant relationships among the units of energy, the foot pound, the British thermal unit, and the watt-second (or the erg, the gram calorie, and the watt-second). Hence the concept of energy may well serve as the unifying idea of the course. That this concept also gives the simplest interpretation of physical phenomena is also evident for the following reasons: first, as Poincare shows,1 "though other systems...Read Less
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