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ERIC Number: EJ1082739
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Dec
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
What We Don't Understand, We Explain to Each Other
Pines, David
Physics Teacher, v53 n9 p526-531 Dec 2015
"What we don't understand, we explain to each other" was Robert Oppenheimer's 1948 description of theoretical physics as a profession. Because the phrase connects research, teaching, and learning, it seemed the right approach for the talk I gave to the AAPT [American Association of Physics Teachers] on receiving the 2013 J.D. Jackson Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching, on which the present article is based. In what follows I describe how my experiences as a student, researcher, and teacher combined to shape the way I learn and teach physics, from my own courses to inventing and editing "Frontiers in Physics," reshaping "Reviews of Modern Physics," and experimenting with different approaches to communicating key concepts in physics.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A