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ERIC Number: EJ766052
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-May
Pages: 9
Abstractor: Author
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0031-9120
Cinema, Fermi Problems and General Education
Efthimiou, C. J.; Llewellyn, R. A.
Physics Education, v42 n3 p253-261 May 2007
During the past few years the authors have developed a new approach to the teaching of physical science, a general education course typically found in the curricula of nearly every college and university. This approach, called "Physics in Films" (Efthimiou and Llewellyn 2006 Phys. Teach. 44 28-33), uses scenes from popular films to illustrate physical principles and has excited student interest and improved student performance. A similar approach at the senior/high-school level, nicknamed "Hollywood Physics," has been developed by Chandler (2006 Phys. Teach. 44 290-2; 2002 Phys. Teach. 40 420-4). The two approaches may be considered complementary as they target different student groups. The analyses of many of the scenes in "Physics in Films" are a direct application of Fermi calculations--estimates and approximations designed to make solutions of complex and seemingly intractable problems understandable to the student non-specialist. The intent of this paper is to provide instructors with examples they can use to develop skill in recognizing Fermi problems and making Fermi calculations in their own courses. (Contains 4 tables and 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A