Date: Mon, 03 May 2004 13:50:39 -0600

Author: Jerry DiMarco

Subject: Nature of Physics..


     To me the nature of physics is to try to
understand this universe we live in.  Or, another way to think of it
is to say we are trying to answer the most fundamental questions about
the universe.  The definition below uses the same words to define
the term, so it does not really add anything to my understanding of the
term.  Also, to say physics is what physicists do or write about
could be seen as an obvious statement or an attempt to sidestep the
question.  I don't know how you could define the term using that
approach, unless you define "doing physics", the "physics
way of thinking", etc...


At 01:42 PM 5/1/2004, you wrote:

Hi All,

I am in the middle of writing my dissertation entitled "Impact of
Explicit Modeling Interactive Engagement and Cooperative Group Problem
Solving Methods for Physics GTAs on Undergraduatesí Perceptions and
Performance in Calculus-based Physics"
and have trying valiantly
to synthesize a comprehensive definition of the "nature of
physics." I am finding it very difficult to get a handle on.

From philosophers like Ronald Giere to physicists Robert Karplus to Paul
Black, definitions of the nature of physics seems to slip through my
fingers -- none is wholly satisfying. Maybe I have just been working too
hard, becoming addled through my endeavors. So, I appeal to you folks, so
much wiser than I, to help me with defining the Nature of Physics. What
does it mean to you?

This is what I have so far:

The Nature of Physics.  More
than the process of doing physics, the nature of physics must include a
sense of the body of knowledge that encompasses the physics way of
thinking about, and demonstrating knowledge about, the physical world. It
is the embodiment of all of the history, philosophy and turn of mind of
the physics stakeholders who call themselves physicists and others who
undertake the practice of and thinking about physics in its myriad of
.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns =
"urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

I know it needs a lot of editing. Thanks, in advance for any help you
might give me.


Cathy Mariotti Ezrailson, 4232 TAMU, College
Station, TX 77843, Ph

Learning is ever in the freshness of its youth, even for the old. Aeschilus

What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning. -- Werner Heisenberg

The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be

ruined by praise than saved by criticism.-- Norman Vincent Peale

From Mon May 3 16:25:47 2004