Cinema, Fermi Problems, & General Education

Condensed Matter journal club

Cinema, Fermi Problems, & General Education

  • Event time: 11:30am
  • Event date: 25th March 2011
  • Speaker: Juan Venegas-Ortiz (Formerly School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Edinburgh)
  • Location: Room 2511,

Event details

Abstract

During the past several 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', uses scenes from popular movies to illustrate physical principles and has excited student interest and improved student performance. 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.
arXiv:physics 0608058v2

Authors

C.J. Efthimiou and R. Llewellyn