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Old 2nd January 2013, 11:54 AM   #11
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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It was a long time ago, but I believe my O-level maths included surds and lots of geometric theorems as well as much more algebra than now. The modern Free Standing Additional Maths qualification is similar in content to O-level. We had a different exam called Additional Maths which counted as an O-level but was usually taken in the lower sixth; it roughly corresponds to a modern AS.

Another difference now is that A-level Physics has less maths. I remember reading a few years ago that a physics teacher took his A-level class to a university open day, where they were treated to a typical first-year lecture. He was shocked at how quickly the lecturer moved from description to maths. A physics teacher of my day would not have been shocked by this; he would have expected it as he would have been doing exactly the same with his A-level class. Physics without maths isn't physics.

The big jump in my day was from 40 minute school lessons with supplied notes to hour long lectures with no notes. Nowadays notes are provided and module 'Learning Outcomes' tell you exactly what you need to learn.

I hope your studies go well. Physics is fun!
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Old 2nd January 2013, 12:23 PM   #12
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Our lecturers are fairly good with notes (or lack of) - many keep them minimal (or non-existent) so that we're forced to attend if we want a decent grade.

Physics can be rather fun, but some of the assignments aren't - attached is an example: the average score was in the low 40s.


I definitely agree WRT A-level Physics. Ideally, for students taking maths and physics, they'd teach the entire A-level maths course in 1 year, then go through the physics in the second year, with the advantage of understanding what's going on with the equations, instead of being told that it works, so don't ask too many questions

Chris
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Old 2nd January 2013, 12:39 PM   #13
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Those assignments look rather like the stuff which used to appear in the A-level S paper - uses A-level content but requires deeper understanding rather than merely plugging numbers into formulae. Is that a school or university assignment?
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Old 2nd January 2013, 03:19 PM   #14
M Gregg is offline M Gregg  United Kingdom
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Well,

Only my thoughts, where is the innovation...the free (Constructive) thinkers?
There are plenty of (destructive)thinkers..who is going to drive the human race forward..It seems we do well if we manage to survive in this money driven world...I'm thinking of the innovation and free thinking..it seems to be held down and controlled...Ie find a job and earn what you can..
Think about invention...rather than survival..Education for what purpose?

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M. Gregg
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Old 2nd January 2013, 03:46 PM   #15
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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There are two ways to be a 'free thinker':
1. Learn what is already known, and try to understand it, while noting difficulties and contradictions. See how it can be improved and extended, if necessary by revising some of it, but remaining humble and subject to annoying details such as the genuine results of well-designed experiments.
2. Remain ignorant and indulge in wild speculation unhindered by facts.

Only the first type of free thinker is useful. Successful scientists are often free thinkers of the first kind, despite being regarded by non-scientists as conformists.
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Old 2nd January 2013, 03:50 PM   #16
cotdt is offline cotdt  United States
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In America they hardly teach us ANY knowledge. Being forcefed it would be a step forward.
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Old 2nd January 2013, 04:25 PM   #17
M Gregg is offline M Gregg  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DF96 View Post
There are two ways to be a 'free thinker':
1. Learn what is already known, and try to understand it, while noting difficulties and contradictions. See how it can be improved and extended, if necessary by revising some of it, but remaining humble and subject to annoying details such as the genuine results of well-designed experiments.
2. Remain ignorant and indulge in wild speculation unhindered by facts.

Only the first type of free thinker is useful. Successful scientists are often free thinkers of the first kind, despite being regarded by non-scientists as conformists.
Well,

The way I see it is the first kind is important..the second kind who understand the first kind and refer to imagination gives the drive for discovery..ie the science fiction Flat TV...the idea was not possible to put in practice..however it was put in scifi<<<the idea was the driving force for the real thing..lets look a bit further..beam be up scotty<<never possible we assume. Travel faster than light speed also not possible we assume.

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M. Gregg
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Old 2nd January 2013, 04:27 PM   #18
SY is offline SY  United States
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I have to confess that I've never been taught about surds, nor even seen the term before. Could you please enlighten me?
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Old 2nd January 2013, 04:49 PM   #19
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Never hear of a surd, either. Wikipedia says: "An irrational Nth root, any mathematical expression such as a square root, cube root or higher root which cannot be written as a common fraction"
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Old 2nd January 2013, 04:52 PM   #20
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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You have been taught about surds, but you probably didn't use the name. I was always baffled why something so simple was even given a name.

sqrt(2) is a surd. It is just a way of writing an irrational number exactly, so you can use it in algebra.
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