Notes to chapter 3. Newtonian Mechanics and Causality.


The mind reading puzzle may be found at this link, the National Institute of Health website.

The lab experiment on the pendulum. Here's the answers to the questions in that experiment. Ignore the material on logarithmic graphs, since you were not asked to do that.

A discussion of the fallacy of the method of differences, a defective data analysis method often seen in physics lab manuals when constant acceleration data is to be anlyzed. Valid alternative methods are suggested.

Now that the assignment deadline is past, here's my comments on the "Looking out at the universe" picture.

I considered putting here some notes on one and two dimensional equations of motion, including vectors and Galileo's superposition principle. But before re-inventing the wheel, I checked the www to see whether anyone already had such material online. I found these:

There's lots of web documents on this subject that take a calculus approach, and go beyond the simple case of constant acceleration, but I don't list them here. If interested, do a search with keywords "vector kinematics".

As you read these documents be aware that various symbols may be used for displacement: x, v, s, and d are common. Over the years I've used them all, but you might prefer to avoid "s" since it is easily mistaken for "speed". Let's state the kinemtaic equations here using "d" for displacement.

To aid your review, I have prepared some notes paralleling my presentation in class:

For a laboratory resource, you ought to look at this document on errors.

Here's a short document on scientific method, summarizing some comments I made in class this past week.

Uses and Misuses of Logic is an essay I wrote back in 1997. It touches on many of the topics we will deal with throughout this course:

This material might be called a summary of the important ideas of this course and the questions we hope to slowly answer as the semester unfolds. It needs to be reorganized, and may even need another title, but it's got a lot of important stuff in it and I strongly recommend that you read it.