We describe in detail a high-performance project devised for outstanding undergraduate students with appropriate abilities in physical reasoning (rather than with a good standard preparation), centered around the well-known historical case of Newton's theory of light and colours. The different action lines along which the project is developed are aimed at involving the students in: (1) thinking as Newton did, by building step by step all of his knowledge and reasoning; (2) working as Newton did, by performing the whole series of his original experiments with prisms; (3) deducing, as Newton did, the nature of light and colours; (4) presenting the results of their activity (including physics demonstrations) to the general public, in order to test their ability to communicate what they learned and discovered (including video realization published on YouTube [1]). Such teaching aims are complemented by the purpose of realizing a historically informed activity, given the potential key role of the history of physics in promoting science at a deeper level, particularly when no particular training in mathematics or advanced education is required. A testament to the success of this work can be seen in terms of the students' enthusiasm when they demonstrated their work at public events, and the ready involvement of people without professional or specialised knowledge in physics attending the events.

The colours of Newton's Opticks: A high-performance project for motivated students

Esposito S.
2020

Abstract

We describe in detail a high-performance project devised for outstanding undergraduate students with appropriate abilities in physical reasoning (rather than with a good standard preparation), centered around the well-known historical case of Newton's theory of light and colours. The different action lines along which the project is developed are aimed at involving the students in: (1) thinking as Newton did, by building step by step all of his knowledge and reasoning; (2) working as Newton did, by performing the whole series of his original experiments with prisms; (3) deducing, as Newton did, the nature of light and colours; (4) presenting the results of their activity (including physics demonstrations) to the general public, in order to test their ability to communicate what they learned and discovered (including video realization published on YouTube [1]). Such teaching aims are complemented by the purpose of realizing a historically informed activity, given the potential key role of the history of physics in promoting science at a deeper level, particularly when no particular training in mathematics or advanced education is required. A testament to the success of this work can be seen in terms of the students' enthusiasm when they demonstrated their work at public events, and the ready involvement of people without professional or specialised knowledge in physics attending the events.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/900078
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