Close to you there is something happening that can be understood with the tools of Physics. The purpose of this workbook is to make you aware of some of these phenomena and give you guidance and practice of how to understand them by doing observations, measurements, estimating some values, and calculating a result. Most problems in this workbook would qualify as “back of the envelope calculations”.
Living things follow the rules of Nature, described by Physics, Chemistry, and Biology, but living organisms do not use math to calculate and decide on an action, they act and react to inputs and sensations. We are unique in that we can understand, measure, and calculate these actions and reactions. The main reason we calculate is to compare and evaluate, design and build safely, operate our inventions within the limits of their capabilities, and understand their behavior.
How do we measure without tools? We estimate the most reasonable value and use the results of calculations to give us guidance on our actions. When we get real data, we can refine our results. This workbook will help you estimate reasonable values and use those values in calculations. It will ask you to find data, estimate values, calculate, and compare. You will practice skills that can be applied to many other fields of knowledge, but it will concentrate on the physics phenomena around you.
Part 1 – The Math
Set 1 - Conversions within the Metric System of Units
Set 2 - Conversions between British and Metric
Set 3 - The Equations of Physics Read as Sentences
Set 4 - How to Estimate a Reasonable Value
Part 2 – The Lectures
Lecture 1 on Torque
Lecture 2 on Levers
Lecture 3 on Center of Mass
Lecture 4 on Stability
Lecture 5 on What is Heat?
Lecture 6 on How Heat Moves
Lecture 7 on Calorimetry
Lecture 8 on Drag Force
Lecture 9 on Terminal Velocity
Part 3 – The Readings
How are Tornadoes Formed?
The Flame of a Candle
The Natural Background Radioactivity
What are Black Holes?