I’m so far behind on everything that I did not get time yet this week to finish reading Chapter 16 of Matter and Interactions, though my son and I are supposed to be going over it (and maybe doing a lab) today. My son did not feel like choosing the problems, so my wife arbitrarily assigned us some, based only on getting a reasonable number of problems from each section—she didn’t read the chapter and may not even have read the problems.
She assigned us 16P22, 16P23, 16P38, 16P43, 16P46, 16P47, 16P48, 16P50, 16P59, 16P61, 16P64,16P65, and 16P66. I’d better do a few of them for today.
I’ve found it rather difficult to come up with meaningful labs for the electrostatics chapters. The Scotch tape labs suggested in Chapter 15 were fun, but didn’t really contribute much to understanding the material. I can see now why some physics teachers prefer a “current-first” approach to electricity, getting fields later. Certainly circuits seem to me to be much simpler and easier to experiment with than fields.
Tomorrow I’ll be attending the “Global Physics Department” meeting on the web, where they’ll be brainstorming about teaching DC circuits. This should be useful for me not only for our homeschool physics class, but also for finding out about misconceptions I can expect from students in the circuits course I’ll be co-teaching next quarter.