Physics for future Presidents

Study Aids and Handouts


Forms and Templates

Many of your homework assignments will be essays. Here's a useful Word template that you can use. You can also consult the following Essay Writing Hints to learn what you should focus on when writing an essay, and how we will go about grading it.

Study Aids

It is a good idea to check here regularly for information and supplemental material designed to help you with your studies. Additional material will be added throughout the semester.

  1. CMU Student Guide to Clickers
    This course uses a student feedback system known as "clickers". This handout provides information on using and registering your clicker.
  2. The Units Survival Guide
    The textbook is full of situations which require conversion from one type of unit to another. This can be confusing even if you have a table of conversion factors. For example, if you have to convert from kilometers to miles, how do you remember if you should multiply or divide by this factor? What do you do if you know a speed in miles per hour, but you need it in meters per second? This handout will give you some tricks that will help.
  3. How to deal efficiently with very large and very small numbers
    Short discussion on dealing with large numbers, powers of ten, and scientific notation.
  4. Here's again the file containing the Essay Writing Hints.
  5. Here's a Word template for your essays.
  6. Here's a link to the amazing radiation chart from Randall Munroe, creator of the xkcd webcomic series.
  7. Towards the end of the course you are expected to team up with a fellow classmate and deliver a presentation on a science topic. Here's more information on these student presentations, including a list of projects to choose from.
  8. Here's a lovely Youtube-diatribe by a young lady who understands primary colors and is quite frustrated about the fact that we've been teaching it wrong forever. (Her comments about "purple being a lie" are maybe a bit off, the physiology in the eye works a bit differently than she describes, but the rest of the video is quite on target.