SIX IDEAS THAT
Unit C: Conservation Laws Constrain Interactions
Unit N: The Laws of Physics are Universal
Unit R: The Laws of Physics are Frame-Independent
Unit E: Electricand Magnetic Fields are Unified
Unit Q: Particles Behave Like Waves
Unit T: Some Processes are Irreversible
What is a Six Ideas course?
Six Ideas is more than a textbook…
Six Ideas That Shaped Physics represents an innovative approach to the college-level calculus-based introductory physics course that helps students
by using active and student-centered research-based learning methods both inside and outside the classroom. The course's goal is to empower students in developing a deep and sophisticated understanding of physics for themselves by providing guided practice in applying sound physical reasoning in realistic situations.
This course is the culmination of more than 25 years of experimentation and discovery about what really works in teaching introductory calculus-based physics and inspiring students to greater heights of achievement.
Six Ideas That Shaped Physics consists of an entire structure of mutually supporting materials that includes
This structure's foundation is indeed a six-volume textbook (whose covers appear in slide show above) written by Thomas A. Moore and published by McGraw-Hill Higher Education. (The text is also available as a SmartBook® ebook). This website (particularly the Resources section) provides links to the materials that comprise the course’s superstructure.
The About page provides links to much more detailed information about the Six Ideas course structure and evidence of its success.
An alternative version of sections T4.3-T4.4 and T5.1-T5.3 that is much simpler than the published 3rd edition text is now available for viewing and/or downloading. (Note added on 3/26/22: This material is in the text of the new 4th edition.)
The 4th edition of Six Ideas That Shaped Physics is now available! This edition includes many improvements and error fixes. For more information, click here. You can also see that I have updated this website in recognition of the 4th edition. I love the new covers!
The new edition of Unit T includes a chapter on climate change. Click here to download a PDF of the talk that the author gave on January 11, 2016 at the winter meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers about the simple climate-change model used in the chapter.
One can order topics in a number of ways. Click here to download a PDF of an invited talk the author gave at on January 6, 2015 at the winter meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers describing an innovative way to order the Six Ideas materials to “Serve Dessert First.”
At Pomona, we have been using the texts to teach an introductory physics course that starts with contemporary physics. Click here to download a PDF of an invited talk the author gave at on January 21, 2020 at the winter meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers reviewing how well this course has worked for us during the past decade.
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