Physical sciences

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UC Irvine School of Physical Sciences

UC Irvine School of Physical Sciences

The curriculum for the M.S. program includes a summer session to assimilate students with different undergraduate backgrounds; formal shop, laboratory, and computational courses; a sequence on current topics to bridge the gap between fundamental principles and applied technology; and a course to develop communication skills. The required courses include thirteen core courses and three electives (subject to advisor approval) as follows: Core: Physics 206, 207, 228, 229A, 266; Chemistry 231A-B or Physics 215A- B, Chemistry 231C, 232A-B; one course from each of the following three groups: Physics 211 or 222; Physics 133 or 238A or Chemistry 236; Physics 273 or Chemistry 273 or Physical Sciences 139. Electives: Physics 134, 213C, 223, 224, 229B, 233A, 233B, 238A, Chemistry 213, 225, 226, 232C, 233, 243, 248, 249, Engineering EECS278, EECS285B, MSE201, MSE259A. In addition to the required courses, M.S. students complete a master's thesis. Students are required to advance to candidacy for the master's degree at least one quarter prior to filing the master's thesis. There is no examination associated with this advancement, but the thesis committee needs to be selected and appropriate forms need to be filed. The M.S. program prepares students to compete for high-tech jobs or to begin research toward a Ph.D. degree.
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The Use of Simulations in Correcting Electricity Misconceptions of Grade 10 South African Physical Sciences Learners

The Use of Simulations in Correcting Electricity Misconceptions of Grade 10 South African Physical Sciences Learners

In South Africa, the term ‘township’ usually refers to underdeveloped urban areas that historically were created for ‘non-whites’ during the apartheid era. Communities living in townships in most cases have a low socio-economic status. Dinaledi Schools are specialist Mathematics and Physical Sciences public schools (Department of Education, 2007). They were established in 2001 and there are currently approximately 500 schools nationally. International assessments such as Trends in International Mathematics and Science Studies (TIMSS) repeated over the years from 1990 to 2003 show that the performance of South African learners in mathematics and science, especially Black learners from impoverished communities such as townships is alarmingly poor compared to other developing countries (Martin, Mullis, & Chrostowski, 2004). More recently, the World Economic Forum report for 2015/16 painted a dismal picture, with South Africa placed at 138 out of 140 countries. Dineledi Schools were an initiative by the South African Department of Education to uplift learner participation and performance in Mathematics and Physical Sciences. These schools are provided with additional resources and support to improve teaching and learning.
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Increasing STEM success: a near-peer mentoring program in the physical sciences

Increasing STEM success: a near-peer mentoring program in the physical sciences

Background: Mentoring supports professional success in a myriad of fields; in the physical sciences, mentoring increases the retention of diverse groups of students. While physics education has made progress in classifying the availability and structural components related to mentoring programs, little is known about the qualitative nature of mentoring relationships. This article draws from frameworks in science identity and belongs to analyze the nature of relationships in the mentoring program offered by the Sundial Project at Arizona State University, which aims to help new students with diverse backgrounds succeed in physics and related majors. To provide insight into mentoring relationships, we analyze over 150 reports submitted by mentors and mentees in a near-peer mentoring program. Results: Mentoring groups enjoyed positive rapport and often remarked upon becoming friends. As such, mentoring relationships provided mentees with both psychosocial and academic support. Mentoring supported students to deal with a wide variety of topics, ranging from academic to personal, according to the needs of individual mentees. Moreover, outcomes of students in the mentoring program were favorable; the mean GPA of participating mentees was 3.49 for their first college semester.
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Co-teaching to Improve Control Variable Experiment Instruction in Physical Sciences Education

Co-teaching to Improve Control Variable Experiment Instruction in Physical Sciences Education

National Research Council polices (NRC, 2012a, 2012b) and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015 (Pub. L. No. 114-145) call for educators to have active roles in teaching to achieve new goals and purposes for education. A high priority is teaching content knowledge and information fluency skills that will result in deep learning, higher order thinking, and college and career readiness. Information fluency involves abilities to find, evaluate and use print and digital information effectively, efficiently and ethically to create knowledge useful in solving real-world problems. This action research (Blaxter, Hughes, and Tight, 2010) investigates co-teaching in a college, undergraduate physical sciences course. Information and technology literacy skills (ACRL, 2016) were taught in the context of a 12-week unit about the design of control variable experiments. Co-teaching was done by a professor of physical sciences and a professor of library and information science. Assignment learning objectives provided a framework for analysis of 24 students’ scores that tells a story of the process of co-teaching through articulation of two professors’ engagement in instructional interactions, creation of materials and strategies to increase information fluency as well as descriptions of students’ completion of assignments. It was concluded that co-teaching effectiveness involves intensity of effort in shared planning, organization, delivery and assessment of instruction; shared physical and/or virtual space of instruction; and in the combining two areas of academic expertise in delivery of cross-curricular instruction.
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A former Romanian scientific society: The Society of Physical sciences (1890-1910)

A former Romanian scientific society: The Society of Physical sciences (1890-1910)

One of the main reasons why the society was set up was the publication of a scienti Þ c journal which would contain original studies and the results of researches conducted in Romania. It had been published since 1892. It was sent to the learned societies worldwide, scienti Þ c journals and prestigious scientists, thus contributing to the integration of Romanian scienti Þ c life results in the international scienti Þ c circuit. For this reason, a large number of memoirs published in the journal had been written in foreign languages , such as French or German. In the Þ rst decade of existence, the majority of society’s revenues, which were obtained mainly from membership fees, had been directed to the editing of the journal. But, with the growth of its prestige, the editing task was taken over by the Ministry of Public Instruction. So, starting from the year 1900, the government printed the journal in its own typography department, 1,000 copies for each edition (Angelescu, 1942, p. 30). Regarding the nature of the content, the society’s leaders were aware that they could not edit a journal specialized in just one Þ eld of study, as were most of the scienti Þ c journals in the West. The reason was that, in Romania there was not a highly developed scienti Þ c press in which to publish high-level scienti Þ c studies from all areas of physical sciences (Buletinul SocietĆĦii, 1892c, p.3). The content of the journal re ß ected these ideas, and, as a result, it comprised studies of all Þ elds of sciences. Even under these conditions, in the early years of appearance, its content suffered because the number of those who could publish constantly original papers was not yet very high. In addition, there were researchers who were trying to publish their papers in foreign journals. For these reasons, in 1896 the editorial staff announced that all subscribers who passed
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Linking of errata: current practices in online physical sciences journals

Linking of errata: current practices in online physical sciences journals

Reader awareness of article corrections can be of critical importance in the physical and biomedical sciences. Comparison of errata and corrigenda in online versions of high-impact physical sciences journals across titles and publishers yielded surprising variability. Of 44 online journals surveyed, 14 had no links between original articles and later corrections. When present, hyperlinks between articles and errata showed patterns in presentation style, but lacked

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PHYSICAL SCIENCES SCHOOL-BASED ASSESSMENT EXEMPLARS CAPS GRADE 12 TEACHER GUIDE

PHYSICAL SCIENCES SCHOOL-BASED ASSESSMENT EXEMPLARS CAPS GRADE 12 TEACHER GUIDE

Physical Sciences investigate physical and chemical phenomena. This is done through scientific enquiry and the application of scientific models, theories and laws in order to explain and predict events in the physical environment. Practical work in the Physical Sciences must be integrated with theory to strengthen the concepts being taught. These may take the form of simple practical demonstrations or even an experiment or practical investigation.

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Pseudoscience - in Theory and Practice: A Reply to Shanta and Muni’s ‘Why Biology is Beyond Physical Sciences?’

Pseudoscience - in Theory and Practice: A Reply to Shanta and Muni’s ‘Why Biology is Beyond Physical Sciences?’

- Dara O’ Brian The scientific endeavor is a dynamic one; the gaps in knowledge are what drive science forward. Physics deals with the fundamentals of matter and energy and in principle can explain the whole of chemistry [41]. Though chemical systems are governed by physical laws, studying them just in terms of the laws of physics is extremely complicated, thus Chemistry developed its own concepts and models in an attempt to simplify the problem [41]. Biological systems are conglomerates of chemical systems and therefore are even more complex, so we need to study Biology as a separate discipline. Instead of worrying about energy states of electrons or nuclear particles in DNA, Chemistry studies its molecular structure and properties, and Biology studies the overall processes that the molecule participates in. Even if the emergent properties of DNA, or any complex biomolecule appear to be very different from its atomic constituents (this seems less mysterious if you consider hydrogen and oxygen gases combining to form water), the only way we would achieve fundamental understanding about the molecule is by understanding what it is made up of. It is still a task at hand for science to provide a more integrative model for living systems in terms of physical forces, but any success in this aspect has to involve the physical sciences. Proxies (like the soul/supernatural entity) suggested by pseudoscientific hypotheses are superfluous, violating Occam’s principle of parsimony and only act to hinder scientific progress.
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Views of Classroom Education Department Teacher Candidates about Ideal Physical Sciences Teaching

Views of Classroom Education Department Teacher Candidates about Ideal Physical Sciences Teaching

Researches about the views of teacher candidates in Classroom education department about science lessons they had during university education are generally based on the studies about the attitudes towards science and self-sufficiency in terms of physical sciences. For instance, Özden, Kara and Tekin [12] made a research and analyzed the attitudes of teacher candidates in classroom teaching departments towards science teaching classes; at the end of the study process, they presented the contribution of science teaching classes to the attitudes towards science. Yener and Yılmaz [14] analyzed the relation between learning-teaching understandings and beliefs about self-sufficiency of teacher candidates in classroom education department. In another study, Yıldız Duban and Gökçakan [15] determined that there is a positive and meaningful relation between the beliefs of classroom department teacher candidates in terms of their self-sufficiency in science teaching and their attitudes towards science teaching.
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Exploring the experiences of female graduate students in the physical sciences: A comparative study

Exploring the experiences of female graduate students in the physical sciences: A comparative study

At the same time, gaps between male and female performance on a number of math- ematics and science measures have either vanished or consistently narrowed for some time (Hyde & Linn, 2006). However, differences in attitudes persist. There is a substantial body of literature showing that females develop depressed attitudes towards the physical sciences by the end of middle school and continuing into high school (Farenga & Joyce, 1999; Jones, Howe, & Rua, 2000). In order to combat the problem of females developing depressed at- titudes and expectations, attempts have been made to reform the classroom environment (Gillibrand, Robinson, Brawn, & Osborn, 1999; Haussler & Hoffmann, 2002; Selimbegovic, Chatard, & Mugny, 2007). Notably, Lent, Brown, & Hackett’s (1994) work has suggested that improving self-efficacy beliefs of students, particularly females, in physical science will have an influence over their career choices (Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 1994).
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Physical sciences teaching and learning in Eastern Cape rural schools: Reflections of pre-service teachers

Physical sciences teaching and learning in Eastern Cape rural schools: Reflections of pre-service teachers

One of the major drawbacks prevalent in rural schools is the lack of laboratory equipment and poor implementation of practical experiments. Most participants responded by saying that they had never been exposed to a laboratory situation while studying Physical Sciences at high school. This might be because of the alarming, and at the same time common situation, of not having labora- tories at most of the rural schools in the province. This resulted in teachers adopting alternative, but in most instances, highly ineffective, strategies to compensate for laboratory experiments. One such strategy was for the teacher to demonstrate part of, or a full experiment, in the classroom and not a laboratory. The demonstration was then followed by asking the learners questions about the demon- stration and expecting them to submit some kind of written work to the teacher. This strategy is not as effective as individual or small-group experimenta- tion in a science laboratory in providing the learn- ers with hands-on experience with the equipment. However, teachers are often forced to convert la- boratory sessions into demonstrations when the science equipment in the laboratory is not adequate for individual or small-group sessions. Neverthe- less, such demonstrations can at least give learners an idea of how the experiments would have been performed in a well-resourced laboratory. Another unfortunate case reported was that the learners cop- ied the required information from their textbooks. However, the fact that laboratory experiments are converted to tests, assignments, or investigatory projects does not facilitate learning. Unfortunately, this was the case for a considerable number of the rural schools at which the participants in this study received their schooling.
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How Does Washback of Different Formats of Assessment Work Within Classroom in Physical Sciences- A Holistic Study

How Does Washback of Different Formats of Assessment Work Within Classroom in Physical Sciences- A Holistic Study

Washback has been defined as an effect of assessment on teaching and learning which may be negative or positive. This study investigated the washback effect of multiple choice question (MCQ) format of assessment on learning of concepts in physical sciences (chemistry) as compared to constructed response tests (CRTs). This study collected perceptions of students through open-ended questionnaires about these two different formats of assessment in the subject of chemistry at the postgraduate level. Perceptions were validated through diagnostic analysis of midterm assessment consisting of CRT and MCQ format revealing their comparative washback. Post-test data were used to compare the performance of students for two sets of comparable chapters. This study revealed that students chose MCQ format to avoid narration and organization of responses, ultimately avoiding creativity, which lead to the proposal of a washback model. This study refutes the perception that MCQ format results in higher marking, is quicker, and is a more objective way of assessment. MCQs produced an equal level of comprehension of concepts as that produced by CRTs as washback applying paired sample t-test. MCQs did elicit higher order thinking but should be used along with other formats to design a comprehensive assessment.
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HOW DO TEACHERS OF PHYSICAL SCIENCES WITH DIFFERENT PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCES USE VISUAL REPRESENTATIONS WITH EPISTEMIC FUNCTIONS IN THE CLASSROOM

HOW DO TEACHERS OF PHYSICAL SCIENCES WITH DIFFERENT PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCES USE VISUAL REPRESENTATIONS WITH EPISTEMIC FUNCTIONS IN THE CLASSROOM

the results of this study indicate that teachers use different visual representations (Vr) in indicate that teachers use different visual representations (Vr) in the classroom, and with different functions. all teachers use Vr during their lessons; however, only the most experienced teachers use it intensively and with epistemic functions. in those lessons, students use Vr introduced by the teacher, but they also introduce and use their own Vr. most of those representations are generated during the development of the inquiry tasks, and teachers with more professional experience can use them to enhance students’ ep. these can use them to enhance students’ ep. these teachers have gained practical professional experience from years of teaching (teachers a and e) and also from their engagement in research in physical sciences education. this is consistent with the fact that some essential aspects about the teachers’ use of Vr can be learned through engagement in scientific research (roth et al., 1998).
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Determination of brick provenance and technology using analytical techniques from the physical sciences

Determination of brick provenance and technology using analytical techniques from the physical sciences

This work applies established analytical techniques of physical sciences to Irish brick in order to gather evidence of ceramic technologies, provenance and sources of raw materials. Petrographic microscopy, X-ray diffractometry and scanning electron microscopy with an energy dispersive X- ray diffraction attachment were used to study the brick of Rathfarham Castle, Dublin, built c.1618, where clay brick was introduced in 1771. Local clay was fired in the laboratory and analysed in a similar manner. The petrography of the pointing mortar was studied in order to gather evidence of ceramic provenance. This paper concludes that the brick was hand- moulded with a silica-based, predominantly non-calcareous clay of glacial origin gathered locally, including fluxes and a high percentage of non-plastic material. The mineralogy and petrography of the brick together with the presence of pebbles and a coarse-matrix suggest that the raw clay was probably gathered from a glacial deposit. The presence of abundant pebbles and colour inhomogeneities suggests a lack of processing of the raw clay. The brick was probably fired in clamps at top firing temperatures of 750 to above 900 ºC. Transformation of limestone temper involving breakdown of calcite and generation of calcium silicates, new-formation of plagioclase, high-temperature quartz, hematite and spinel were evidenced. The presence of spinel in ‘hot spots’ indicates that fuel was added to the raw clay in order to assist firing.
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Physical Sciences of the Ocean: A report to IAPSO/IUGG

Physical Sciences of the Ocean: A report to IAPSO/IUGG

There has been significant advancement in research and development activities in the field of Physical Sciences of the Oceans in India in the 21st century. Since January 2000 to February 2018, 2345 research papers were published in this field. About 4827 Indian researchers were involved in authoring/co-authoring these papers in collaboration with 44 foreign countries. The steady growth in the number of papers published in different areas of physical sciences of oceans can be seen in Fig. 1 which depicts the number of papers published each year. The number of publications steadily rose from about 30 in 2000 to more than hundred in 2006-2007 and then increased rapidly to 240 papers per year in 2015. The same number continued in the later years also. Research areas within the broad category of physical sciences of the oceans, in which significant research have been carried out in India can be further classified as follows (number of publications in each category are given in brackets).
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Report and Recommendations of the Task Force on the Physical Sciences

Report and Recommendations of the Task Force on the Physical Sciences

The authors conclude that these findings are in line with the earlier NCCA longitudinal study and also point out that there has been little improvement in performance in the physical sciences in relative terms in the last six years (in spite of improved mean grades in absolute terms). Questions have been asked about whether this type of comparison between subjects is defensible (and some of these concerns are articulated within the ERC report to the Task Force). However, regardless of the theoretical rationale underlying such comparisons, it remains the case that students, teachers and parents make them on a frequent basis. As a research report completed on behalf of the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority (UK) puts it: "whether or not it makes sense to compare grades across subjects, it is common practice to do so" (Fitz-Gibbon & Vincent 1994). Indeed the operation of the CAO system itself is based upon the rationale that subject grades are not just comparable but completely equivalent.
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PATTERNS OF DIDACTIC DECISIONS MADE BY TEACHERS IN PHYSICAL SCIENCES CLASSROOMS

PATTERNS OF DIDACTIC DECISIONS MADE BY TEACHERS IN PHYSICAL SCIENCES CLASSROOMS

the teacher is an important factor affecting the students’ learning (Wright, horn & sanders, 1997), therefore when he makes decisions based on what draws his attention in the classroom, he can have a important role in students learning. our results suggest two directions for improvement in teacher mediation: (a) related to praxis intentionality (pattern of Group decisions 2 and 4 in table 4); (b) to adapt the conditions of classroom work (pattern of Group decisions 1 and 3 in table 4). these results can allow, or directly help, students to construct their knowledge of the physical sciences in a formal learning environment. according to rich & hannafin (2008), classroom management actions do not directly affect students’ learning. however, our results suggest the opposite: that some of the teacher’s classroom management actions may provide collective work benefits from differences found in the work of each student or group (see excerpt 3), therefore contributing directly to the students’ learning.
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Research-teaching linkages : enhancing graduate attributes. Physical sciences

Research-teaching linkages : enhancing graduate attributes. Physical sciences

Before describing the way the project progressed and how that is reflected in the rest of this report, it is worth highlighting some of the discipline-specific aspects regarding the linking of teaching and research. Learning Physical Sciences, and science in general, is often thought of as a predominantly linear construction of understanding. One needs to understand classical (Newtonian) dynamics before considering special relativity, before general relativity. There are lots of building blocks to be assembled, often leading to the assumption that the only place in the undergraduate curriculum to 'work as a researcher' is towards the end, when all the required blocks are firmly cemented in place. This, as we have found, is far from the truth of the broad range of activities we have researched. In the first year of a physical sciences degree, despite pressures of large student numbers and finite space and resources, there are examples of research-based and research- oriented activities, such as teaching labs with open-ended problem-based learning rather than prescriptive 'recipes'. A number of interesting examples are described in section 3 of this report. Almost universally, the capstone experience is the final-year honours or master's project, to which a great deal of time, care and attention is devoted in all institutions. It is tempting in a report such as this to overlook the commonplace and focus on the novel, but here we try to capture a range of instances of the final-year project from across the sector in a case study on this topic.
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Blogs: a tool for the physical sciences

Blogs: a tool for the physical sciences

revealed the expected – that students used the blogs to comment on assignments and course content; less expected (but confirming the findings of Nardi et al on social blogging) were t[r]

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School of Physics and Astronomy FACULTY OF MATHEMATICS AND PHYSICAL SCIENCES. MSc in Quantum Technologies

School of Physics and Astronomy FACULTY OF MATHEMATICS AND PHYSICAL SCIENCES. MSc in Quantum Technologies

The state of a physical system can be thought of as a catalogue encoding all the information we have about it. We measure a system in order to obtain information about its state. The computers we use today are governed by Newton’s classical mechanics, consisting of a set of engineered binary switches which can be either ‘on’ or ‘off’. In a quantum computer the state of sub-atomic particles, for example the direction of spin of electrons, could be used to represent information. The way in which information can be stored and processed will then be governed by the laws of quantum mechanics, which allow us to describe particles as being in two states at once. A four-switch system can represent only one of 16 on/off combinations at any one time, whereas four electrons could represent all of the combinations simultaneously.
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