Topic 
Description 
Author 
Format 
The axis of rotation for rolling motion 
Analysing and teaching about the actual axis of rotation for a rolling object. June 2015). (524k) 
David M. Harrison 
pdf 
Antimatter html
pdf

Course notes from a onehour class on antimatter for upperyear
liberal arts students. (172k/203k) 
David M. Harrison 
html and pdf 
Ballistocardiogram 
A small application of Newton's Laws to the measurment of the acceleration
of the blood. (52k) 
David M. Harrison 
html 
Basal Metabolism 
A small introduction to the basal metabolism and allometry. 
David M. Harrison 
html 
Bell's Theorem html
pdf 
A derivation of the theorem and a discussion of the consequences.
A somewhat subtle topic, but here it is treated in a nontechnical
fashion. It assumes knowledge of waveparticle duality such as can
be found in the Double Slit or the WaveParticle Duality
documents; also assumed is considerable knowledge of the SternGerlach
Experiment, for which there is also a document here. (150k/ 151k) 
David M. Harrison 
html and pdf 
Barometer 
An introduction to using a Mercury Barometer, also known as a Fortin
Barometer. Requires Flash; uses videos in RealMedia, QuickTime or
mpeg format. (137k) 
David M. Harrison 
html 
Big Bang Cosmology html
pdf 
A brief discussion of the Standard Hot Big Bang Model of cosmology.
(70k/90k) 
David M. Harrison 
html and pdf 
Birth of Physics in the
Rennaisance 
A brief summary of the birth of physics from Bacon through Young,
from a first year physics course that uses minimal mathematics; the
entire set of materials from the course is available by clicking here.
(152k) 
Anthony W. Key 
html 
Black Holes html
pdf

Course notes from a onehour class on black holes for upperyear
liberal arts students. (78k/90k) 
David M. Harrison 
html and pdf 
Black Hole Thermodynamics html
pdf 
Course notes from a onehour class on black hole thermodynamics
for upperyear liberal arts students. (25k/47k) 
David M. Harrison 
html and pdf 
Blackboards, PowerPoint, and Tablet PCs in the Classroom 
Three case studies of the delivery of visual information in the classroom. Much of the discussion is guided by the results of research into the study of eye movements when subjects are reading. December 2005. (390k) 
Jason Harlow, David M. Harrison and Ruxandra Serbanescu 
pdf 
The Bohr
Model of the Atom 
A very brief introduction, originally designed for upperyear liberal
arts students. (30k) 
David M. Harrison 
html 
Classroom
Examples and Precious Class Time 
Using a Tablet PC to deliver examples and problem solutions on the
web as an alternative to doing them in class. 
David M. Harrison 
pdf 
Clickers: A study of Classroom Response System use at the University of Toronto 
An examination of the use of classrom response systems in various lecturebased course at the University of Toronto. Over 30 U of T instructors were interviewed about their use of clickers in classes with a total enrolment of over 5,000 students. Students in these classes were also surveyed about their perception of the value of this technology. 
Jason Harlow, Lena Paulo Kushnir, Charly Bank, Scott Browning, Jim Clarke, Anne Cordon, David Harrison, Karen Ing, Cecilia Kutas, and Ruxandra Serbanescu 
pdf 
Chaos html pdf 
A nontechnical introduction to chaotic systems, based on a onehour
class given to undergraduate students at a variety of levels. (164k/115k) 
David M. Harrison 
html and pdf 
Cognitive reflection and physics student performance 
Issues of intuitive versus reflective cognitition and the relation to physics student performance. (2016, 2.2M) 
David M. Harrison 
pdf 
Complementarity & Copenhagen Interpretation html
pdf 
A discussion of Bohr's Principle of Complementarity and its extension
to the Copenhagen Interpreation of Quantum Mechnics. Based on a discussion
for an upperyear liberal arts course in modern physics without mathematics.
(89k/115k) 
David M. Harrison 
html and pdf 
CompressedFormat Compared to RegularFormat In a First Year University Physics Course 
Comparing a 6week summer version to a 12week fall version of a first year physics course for life science students. (2013, 512k) 
Jason J.B. Harlow, David M. Harrison, and Eli Honig 
pdf 
Correlating student interest and high school preparation with learning and performance in an introductory university physics course 
We studied the correlation of student performance in a large 1st year
university physics course with motivation for taking the course and whether or not
the student took a seniorlevel highschool physics course. Performance was
measured both by the Force Concept Inventory and by the marks on the Final
Examination. 
Jason J.B. Harlow, David M. Harrison, and Andrew Meyertholen 
pdf 
The
development of a laboratory data analysis curriculum for physics
and engineering students. 
Techniques from physics education research are used to design,
implement, and evaluate a curriculum module for data analysis in
a third and fourth year undergraduate physics laboratory. (408k) 
David F. Wong 
pdf 
The Development of Quantum Mechanics html
pdf 
A brief survey of the development of Quantum Mechanics in the 1920's
by Schrödinger and Heisenberg. Some of the material is nontraditional.
Based on a discussion in an upper year liberal arts course in physics
without mathematics. (13k/16k) 
David M. Harrison 
html and pdf 
Diffraction 
A small little document discussing some qualitative aspects of
diffraction. (200k) 
David M. Harrison 
html 
Dimension html
pdf 
A brief nontechnical discussion of measuring dimensionality, including
noninteger dimensionality. Also linked to from the Chaos document.
(26k/45k) 
David M. Harrison 
html and pdf 
Double Slit: html
pdf 
A discussion of the "Feynman double slit," which forms the basis
of many discussions of Quantum Mechanics. The topic is quite subtle,
but the document is equally accessible to students at all levels.
(183k/216k) 
David M. Harrison 
html and pdf 
Education 
How Does the Delivery of Information Help Students to Learn?,
a discussion of the delivery of information both via the web and in
the classroom. (63k) 
David M. Harrison 
pdf 
Education 
The Personal Fonemate & Other Cautionary Tales, a discussion
of appropriate and inapproriate uses of computers in teaching. This
is the text of a paper delivered to the 22nd International Conference
on Improving University Learning and Teaching, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,
July 1997. (43k) 
David M. Harrison 
pdf 
Education 
The Physical Pendulum in an Advanced Undergraduate Course in
Mechanics, a paper that appeared in the journal Computers in Physics
8, 416419 (1995). It discusses studies of the pendulum and
computer algorithms to solve the equations of the pendulum. (69k) 
Solomon C. Douglas, David M. Harrison and Theodore G. Shepherd 
pdf 
Education 
Test Design, a small document of opinion and observation
relating to tests and exams. (11k) 
David M. Harrison 
html 
Effective Teams for Collaborative Learning in an Introductory University Physics Course 
We compared teams sorted by student ability to teams with students of mixed ability, comparted teams with 3 students to teams with 4 students, and examined female students in teams with only one female student and the rest male. (1.6M) 
Jason. J.B. Harlow, David M. Harrison, and Andrew Meyertholen 
pdf 
Electricity and Magnetism 
A brief overview of electricity, magnetism and electromagnetic waves,
from a first year physics course that uses minimal mathematics; the
entire set of materials from the course is available by clicking here.
(5k) 
Anthony W. Key 
html 
Electricity and Magnetism:
History 
A brief summary of the history of electricity and magnetism from
the Greeks through Maxwell, from a first year physics course using
minimal mathematics; the entire set of materials from the course is
available by clicking here. (131k) 
Anthony W. Key 
html 
Energy 
A brief introduction to the concept of energy. It includes a small discussion of whether the energy is real. (37k) 
David M. Harrison 
html 
Entanglement 
A handout that accompanied a talk on Entanglement to the Canadian
Association of Natural Philosophers, a group of amateurs interested
in science. 
David M. Harrison 
pdf 
Entropy html pdf 
Course notes from a onehour class on entropy for upperyear liberal
arts students. (44k/92k) 
David M. Harrison 
html and pdf 
Entropy and the Number of Sentient Beings in the Universe 
A paper from 1982 attempting to calculate the number of sentient beings in the universe from the Second Law of Thermodynamics (186k) 
David Harrison 
pdf 
Error Analysis:html pdf 
A series of documents on error analysis in the experimental physical
sciences. The discussion is at a beginning University level. (The
first document size is 4.5k, the full set of documents in pdf format
is a single file of size 440k). This series of documents was written in 2001. A new series of documents written in 2013 is based on the GUM and is available below under the title Uncertainty in Physical Measurements. 
David M. Harrison 
html and pdf 
Error Propagation 
Propagation of errors of precision using Mathematica and
the Experimental Data Analyst package. This brief discussion
is suitable for students at all levels who need to do a fair amount
of error propagation calculations. (8k) 
David M. Harrison 
html 
The Extended
Mind 
Subtitled "Understanding Language and Thought in Terms of Complexity
and Chaos Theory", this document shows that the origins of speech
and the human mind have emerged simultaneously as the bifurcation
from percepts to concepts. (42k) 
Robert K. Logan 
html 
Factors correlated with students’ scientific reasoning ability in an introductory university physics course 
We examined correlations in student performance on Lawson's Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning with factors related to the students, their background, and their reason for taking an introductory university physics course. June 2014 (777k) 
David M. Harrison 
pdf 
Fitting Techniques 
A brief introduction to fitting data to models. The emphasis is
on leastsquares techniques. The level is somewhat beyond what we
expect from a typical first year student. (43k) 
David M. Harrison 
pdf 
Flash Animations
for Physics 
An index to various Flash animations for physics. (12k). 
David M. Harrison 
html 
The Force Concept Inventory and Adult Learners html pdf 
A small report on the performance of a small group of adult learners on the Force Concept Inventory diagnostic instrument. (html 10k, pdf 21k) 
David M. Harrison 
html and pdf 
Fourier
Transform, A Brief Introduction 
A brief introduction to Fourier series, Fourier transforms, discrete
Fourier transforms of time series, and the Fourier transform package
in the Python programming langauge. (174k) 
David M. Harrison 
pdf 
General Theory of Relativity: html
pdf 
Similar to the two Special Relativity documents, there are two General
Relativity documents in the bookshelf. This one concentrates more
on the worldview demanded by the theory, while Professor Key's concentrates
more on the effects predicted by the theory. (121k/170k) 
David M. Harrison 
html and pdf 
General Theory of Relativity 
A discussion of the general theory of relativity, from a first year
physics course that uses minimal mathematics; the entire set of materials
from the course is available by clicking here. (216k) 
Anthony W. Key 
html 
Gravitational Time Dilation, a Derivation html
pdf 
A nonmathematical derivation of the fact that clocks in gravitational
fields run slow. (23k/37k) 
David M. Harrison 
html and pdf 
Heat Equation 
Solving partial differential equations (PDEs) by computer, particularly
the heat equation. The emphasis is on the explicit, implicit, and
CrankNicholson algorithms. Other types of PDE's are discussed, including
the Schrödinger equation. Used by upperyear physics majors and
specialists. (45k) 
David M. Harrison 
pdf 
Hip Forces html
pdf

A small document analysing the forces acting on the hip. (89k/55k) 
David M. Harrison 
html and pdf 
Horsepower
of an Engine 
The relationship between the horsepower and torque of an engine,
focusing on car and motorcycle engines. The level is intended to be
suitable for first year Physics courses. Requires Flash 5 or better.
(316k) 
David M. Harrison 
html 
High Energy Physics html
pdf 
An overview of high energy physics at a nontechnical level. Some
of the material is nontraditional. (172k/161k) 
David M. Harrison 
html and pdf 
An
Introduction to Physics Education Research 
A very brief introduction to Physics Education Research and how
the results of the research are used in physics teaching. January
2010. (24k) 
David M. Harrison 
html 
Inertial Frames of Reference html
pdf 
A brief summary of the concept of Inertial Frames of Reference in
Newtonian and Einsteinian Physics. (25k/35k) 
David M. Harrison 
html and pdf 
Innovative Teaching Techniques and U.S.Developed Materials 
A report on using U.S.developed materials for innovative teaching techniques in introductory Physics courses. January 2005. (52k) 
David M. Harrison and Stephen W. Morris 
pdf 
Laboratory
Experiments, On Good and Bad Ones 
An analysis of a survey of first year Physics lab students asking
about the best and worst experiments they performed (34k) 
David M. Harrison and Ruxandra M. Serbanescu 
pdf 
The Laboratory
Notebook 
Extracts of a topquality laboratory notebook. (3k) 
Richard E. Azuma and David M. Harrison 
html 
LabVIEW Tutorials 
LabVIEW is a software tool from National
Instruments for data acquisition and process control. The link
to the left provides access to a 10part tutorial in using LabVIEW
and a onepage summary document. 
James R. Drummond 
pdf 
Learning UNIXGNU/Linux 
The link to the left provides access to five Modules on the UNIXGNU/Linux
computing environment. Each Module has been used as class notes for
a 2 hour discussion on this computing environment. 
David M. Harrison 
html 
LeastSquares Fitting 
A discussion of the design principles for a leastsquares fitter suitable for use in analysing data from the physical sciences and engineering. (228k) 
David M. Harrison 
html 
Life,
Emerging Structures, and the Second Law of Thermodynamics 
A discussion of issues of life and the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
Includes a section on cellular automata, and a section on sustainable
energy sources. (255k) 
David M. Harrison 
html 
Locality and Quantum Mechanics html
pdf 
A brief introduction to the conflict between local cause and effect
and Quantum Mechanics. Based on a discussion in an upper year liberal
arts course in physics without mathematics. (24k/39k) 
David M. Harrison 
html and pdf 
The MachZehnder Interferometer 
A detailed description of the phase shifts of the MachZehnder interfereometer.
(11k) 
David M. Harrison 
html 
Magic Through Two Millenia 
The Dept. of Physics offers a first year course with minimal mathematics,
titled The Magic of Physics. Documents from that course appear
throughout this virtual bookshelf. The link to the left gives access
to these 14 documents in a more coherent order. 
Anthony W. Key 
html 
Maple Libraries html
pdf

A tutorial on library creation and maintenance for the Maple programming
language. (70k/39k). 
David M. Harrison and Solomon R.C. Douglas 
html and pdf 
Manometers 
A small document on using a manometer to measure a pressure. (64k) 
David M. Harrison 
html 
MassEnergy Equivalence html pdf 
A "small" document discussing how E = mc^{2}
arises in the Special Theory of Relativity. 
David M. Harrison 
html and pdf 
MassEnergy Equivalence  technical 
This document discusses much of the same material as the previous one, but is written for physicists. (66k) 
Jason Harlow and David M. Harrison 
pdf 
Micrometer 
Using a Micrometer. Requires Flash. (86k) 
David M. Harrison 
html 
Microprocessor Interfacing Techniques 
The link to the left provides access to a thirteenpart set of lecture
notes from a course in microprocessor interfacing; the course is taken
by upper year students and by graduate students. 
James R. Drummond 
pdf 
Mirror Symmetry html
pdf 
Course notes from a onehour class on mirror symmetry for upperyear
liberal arts students. (399k/148k) 
David M. Harrison 
html and pdf 
Monte Carlo Simulation 
Discusses the computer generation of events obeying some statistical
model using Monte Carlo simulation. Brief reviews of Special Relativity
and High Energy physics are also provided, and a small discussion
of the generation of pseudorandom numbers is included. Used by upper
year physics majors and specialists. (47k) 
David M. Harrison 
pdf 
Newtonian Mechanics 
A brief summary of Newtonian mechanics, from a first year physics
course that uses minimal mathematics; the entire set of materials
from the course is available by clicking here.
(5k) 
Anthony W. Key 
html 
Nuclei
and Particles 
Course notes, problems sets with answers, and tests from an introductory
3rd year course. (2k) 
David Bailey 
html 
On Resistance to Implementing Physics Education Research Results in Physics Courses 
A brief note of personal observation and opinion on the resistance of many physics teachers to implementing researchbased pedagogy in their classes. (2013, 150k) 
David M. Harrison 
pdf 
The Oscilloscope 
An introduction to the basic use of an oscilloscope to measure voltages
as a function of time. Requires Flash. (42k) 
David M. Harrison 
html 
Personality types and student performance in an introductory physics course 
A study of the correlation between personality types as measured by the True Colors test instrument and student performance in a large introductory physics course primarily of life science majors. (2017, 2.6M) 
J.J.B. Harlow, D.M. Harrison, M. Justason, A. Meyertholen, and B. Wilson 
pdf 
Perspectives on modern reformed pedagogy from the history of science, psychology, and the performing arts 
A "screed" attempting to tie together some diverse and unusual elements and the implications for pedagogy. (2016, 285k) 
David M. Harrison 
pdf 
Physics Education Research  A Comprehensive Study 
An overview of PER and a small study of first year students. May 2005. (515k) 
Jonathan Hillel 
pdf 
Physics
Practicals 
A progress report on the development of new Physics Practicals
for 1st Year Physics instruction (350k) 
David M. Harrison 
pdf 
The Poetry of
Physics 
This is a 20 chapter book on the ideas of physics, explained without
mathematics. It also examines the role of physics in shaping both
our thinking and the structure of our society. (671k in total, but
the link to the left provides an index to pairs of chapters; each
pair has a total filesize of about 66k.) 
Robert K. Logan 
html 
Polarisation 
A very brief and simple introduction to the polarisation of light.
This document is also linked to from the SternGerlach one. (17k) 
David M. Harrison 
html 
Predicting the Future Using Physics 
Course notes for a brief discussion of predicting the future with physics. Used in an introductory physics course. Chaos dominates the discussion. 
David M. Harrison 
pdf 
Quantum Interference 
A brief summary of quantum interference and the uncertainty principle,
from a first year physics course that uses minimal mathematics; the
entire set of materials from the course is available by clicking here.
(39k) 
Anthony W. Key 
html 
Quantum Mechanics: a Poor
Person's Guide 
An overview of quantum mechanics, from a first year physics course
that uses minimal mathematics; the entire set of materials from the
course is available by clicking here.
(13k) 
Anthony W. Key 
html 
Quantum Mechanics: Interpretation 
An overview of quantum mechanics, from a first year physics course
that uses minimal mathematics; the entire set of materials from the
course is available by clicking here.
(10k) 
Anthony W. Key 
html 
Quantum Teleportation 
A discussion of Quantum Teleportation, Information, and Cryptography.
Based on a presentation to an upperyear course in modern physics
without mathematics. (41k) 
David M. Harrison 
html 
Deterministic
Quantum Teleportation 
A report of a measurement of quantum teleportation. One of the
authors, D.F.V. James, is now at the University of Toronto. 
M. Reibe et al. 
pdf 
Schrödinger's Cat html
pdf 
A very brief introduction, originally designed for upperyear liberal
arts students. (31k/34k) 
David M. Harrison 
html and pdf 
Science as a Language 
A linguisitic analysis and a formal mathematical proof is presented
to show that science can not prove the truth of a proposition but
can only formulate hypotheses that continually require empirical verification
for every new domain of observation. (27k) 
Robert K. Logan 
html 
The Science of Hawking 
An overview of Stephen Hawking's contributions to black hole thermodynamics
and cosmology. Originally written for a nontechnical audience, it
also includes a Primer on General Relativity and Cosmology.
(32k) 
Pekka K. Sinervo 
html 
Special Theory of Relativity: html
pdf 
The Special Relativity document by Professor Key that is the next
listing largely concentrates on the effects predicted by the theory,
such as time dilation, length contraction, etc. This document is considerably
longer than Professor Key's, and tends to concentrate more on the
worldview suggested by the theory. (157k/310k) 
David M. Harrison 
html and pdf 
Special Theory of Relativity 
A discussion of the postulates of special relativity and their consequences,
from a first year physics course that uses minimal mathematics; the
entire set of materials from the course is available by clicking here.
(119k) 
Anthony W. Key 
html 
Spectra 
A very brief introduction, originally designed for upperyear liberal
arts students. (107k) 
David M. Harrison 
html 
Standing Waves html
pdf 
Vibrations on strings and drum heads, plus a brief discussion of
Fourier analysis. The document is course notes from an upperyear
liberal arts course. (189k/195k) 
David M. Harrison 
html and pdf 
SternGerlach Experiment html
pdf 
This classic experiment introduces the notion of quantum spin; it
is a vital introduction to many treatments of the "EinsteinPodolskyRosen"
paradox and to Bell's theorem. This document is equally accessible
to students at all levels. (76k/106k) 
David M. Harrison 
html and pdf 
Studying Physics 
Advice to first year University students on studying Physics. (300k) 
David M. Harrison 
pdf 
Subatomic Physics 
Lecture notes, problem sets (including answers), and tests for an
introductory course on nuclear and particle physics for 3rd year students.
The link to the left provides access to the 86 documents in this set. 
David C. Bailey 
html 
Team
Teaching 
A report of a survey of 50 courses at the University of Toronto
that have more than one instructor. 
Melody Neumann et al. 
pdf 
Team
Teaching Survey 
A followup on the Team Teaching document just above, this
report includes surveys of students on their attitudes towards Team
Teaching. 
Melody Neumann et al. 
pdf 
Textbook Use in the Sciences and Its Relation to Course Performance 
A study of how students use their textbook and how that correlates with performance in the course in 12 undergraduate science courses. 
Michelle French et al. 
pdf 
Threshold Concepts in Physics 
A discussion of threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge in undergraduate physics courses. 
David. M Harrison and Ruxandra Serbanescu 
pdf 
Time Series Analysis

The link to the left provides access to a series of lecture notes
on time series analysis from a course taken by upper year students. 
David M. Harrison 
pdf 
Two analogies to Bell's Theorem html pdf 
Two analogies to Bell's Theorem. They are both somwhat simpler
than the Bell's Theorem docuement that appears above on this list.(62k/74k) 
Daivd M. Harrison 
html and pdf 
Tutorial
Attendance and Student Performance 
A study of the correlation between tutorial attendance and final
marks for two Physics courses. May, 2006. (24k) 
David M. Harrison 
pdf 
Uncertainty in Physical Measurements 
The link to the left provides access to a series of documents on uncertainty in physical measurements. They are intended for beginning university students in the physical sciences, and are based on the Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement (GUM). They were written in 2013. An earlier effort at teaching this material is the Error Analysislink above. 
David M. Harrison 
html 
The Uncertainty of Grades in Physics Courses Is Surprisingly Large 
A study of the uncertainty in test, final exam, and course marks. (2013, 201k) 
David M. Harrison 
pdf 
Vernier, Reading a 
A small document on reading a Vernier scale. (56k) 
David M. Harrison 
html 
Visualisation and Transformation of Data 
A brief discussion of techniques for exploration of data with visualisation
and transformation. Not terribly technical, but does examine techniques
often considered to be advanced. (51k) 
David M. Harrison 
html 
Waves and Wave Motion 
A brief summary of waves, from a first year physics course using
minimal mathematics; the entire set of materials from the course is
available by clicking here. (27k) 
Anthony W. Key 
html 
WaveParticle Duality 
A brief summary of waveparticle duality, from a first year physics
course that uses minimal mathematics; the entire set of materials
from the course is available by clicking here.
(14k) 
Anthony W. Key 
html 
What
is the Universe Made Of? 
A discussion of the role of elementary particle physics in the study
of cosmology. This are slides of a talk given to University of Toronto
summer research undergraduate students in 1999. (2.5M) 
Robert S. Orr 
pdf 