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University of Michigan Library
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Engineering will agree that the majority find considerable difficulty in grasping the fundamental principles on which the subject is based. There are new physical quantities to be understood, and new principles to be accepted which can only be expressed in terms of these quantities. Unfortunately, in many cases, this subject has to be introduced at a...
Engineering will agree that the majority find considerable difficulty in grasping the fundamental principles on which the subject is based. There are new physical quantities to be understood, and new principles to be accepted which can only be expressed in terms of these quantities. Unfortunately, in many cases, this subject has to be introduced at a stage of development in mathematics at which the student expects some proof of what he is told to believe. He is not so prepared to accept things without proof as he was when first told that 2x3 =6. Even at that early stage, probably an attempt was made to prove to him that 2x3 =6, yet, in the end, he merely accepted the fact and memorised it. The author believes that the difficulty experienced is partly, though by no means entirely, due to the way the subject is often presented. In the students mind it is associated with branches of pure mathematics such as trigonometry, analytical geometry, or infinitesimal calculus, and he is inclined to think that salvation lies in memorising a number of formulae which are to be used in solving problems, instead of looking upon dynamics as a fundamental branch of physical science, in which mathematics is of secondary importance and the physical ideas of primary importance. Quite commonly in elementary text-books, the second law of motion is at first summed up in the form, force =mass xacceleration, and the student is then given a number of examples to work out, most of which consist in substituting numbers in a formula. This very successfully disguises the true meaning of momentum, and the extraordinary generality of the second law of motion. The same applies to problems dealing with motion. The student is generally presented with certain formulae for motion involving a constant acceleration.(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)About the Publisher Forgotten Books is a pub
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