Short Activity Sequences

In many cases we use several activities in a carefully structured sequence to help students see how information ties together. This is a major task for beginning upper-division learners. Short sequences are  3 or 4 activities that are used together to explore a particular topic from several different viewpoints.

E & M Sequences

  • Geometry of the Gradient: Develops students' understanding of the geometry of the gradient to relate electrostatic potentials and electric fields.
  • Geometry of Vector Fields: Develops students' geometrical understanding of vector fields in the context of electric and magnetic fields.
  • Power Series Sequence: Introduces students to making approximations with power series expansions and help students exploit power series ideas to visualize the electrostatic potential due to a pair of charges. The final activity of this sequence is the first activity in the ring sequence.
  • Ring Sequence: Activities with similar geometries to help students learn how to solve a hard activity by breaking it into several steps. (A Master's Thesis about the Ring Sequence)
  • Gauss's Law: Helps students understand how to use the integral form of Gauss's law to find electric fields in situations with high symmetry. These activities have a special emphasis on helping students make clean, coherent symmetry arguments using Proof by Contradiction.
  • Ampere's Law: Helps students understand how to use the integral form of Ampere's law to find magnetic fields in situations with high symmetry. These activities have a special emphasis on helping students make clean, coherent symmetry arguments and to use Proof by Contradiction.
  • Boundary Conditions: Helps students derive the boundary conditions for electromagnetic fields across charged surfaces or surface currents.

Quantum Mechanics Sequences

  • Visualizing Complex Numbers: Use a sequence of activities to develop representations of complex numbers and functions in the context of spin-1/2 systems
  • Quantum Operators Sequence: Use a sequence of activities to help students understand allegorically what does (and does NOT) go on inside a quantum measuring device.

Vector Calculus Sequences

Rotating Frames Sequences

Special Relativity Sequences

Thermo And Stat Mech Sequences

  • Name the Experiment: Use of sequence of activities to connect thermodynamic derivatives with experiments

Overarching Sequences: Under Construction

Some sequences (or stories or themes) occur over several Paradigms and Capstone courses:

Quantum Time Evolution

Examples of Quantum Systems

Examples of Vector Spaces

Differential Equations

Short Sequences: Under Construction

E & M Sequences

  • The Differential Form of Maxwell's Equations: Use a sequence of activities to help students understand the differential versions of Maxwell's equations. Included are activities that address the geometric interpretations of flux, divergence, and curl and also derivations of the Divergence theorem, Stokes' theorem, and using these theorems to derive the differential versions of Maxwell's equations from the integral versions.
  • Plane Wave Sequence: Use a sequence of activities to help students understand what is planar about plane waves.
  • Flux Integration Use a sequence of activities to develop student skills to perform integration involving various forms of flux prior to the introduction of Gauss's law
  • Curvilinear Coordinates Use a sequence of activities to introduce students to curvilinear coordinates including naming conventions and unit vectors

Oscillations & Waves Sequences

Classical Mechanics Sequences

Quantum Mechanics Sequences

Vector Calculus Sequences

Rotating Frames Sequences

Special Relativity Sequences

Thermo And Stat Mech Sequences


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