Joe Wolfe. educational pages
With help from my colleagues John Smith, John Tann and George Hatsidimitris, I have written various educational web pages, of which this page is a partial catalogue:
My main research is described in my scientific publications. but there are popular accounts in these areas:
- the acoustics of musical instruments ,
- the acoustics of the voice
- coding for cochlear implants and
- cryobiology .
I am also a composer and the next link is to some of my
- music for orchestra or for chamber music ensembles.
Pages related to learning and teaching in general
Pages on topics in physics
- Relativity in ten minutes – or ten hours. Can relativity be understood by someone with little or no background in physics?
“Einstein Light ” uses animations and film clips to explain relativity at a range of levels.
- Cellular Thermodynamics a chapter in the Encyclopedia of Life Sciences (http://www.els.net), Nature Publishing Group, London.
- Cryobiology and anhydrobiology The physical causes of cellular damage due to freezing and drying.
- What is ‘unfreezable water’?. a question asked by people working in cryobiology and anhydrobiology.
- Membranes: homeostasis and regulation of area and tension. An area of membane mechanics that is suddenly fashionable again.
- The electromagnetic spectrum .
- FAQ for high school physics. collecting and answering many of the questions put by students, mainly in New South Wales, to the
- Bulletin Board for high school physics .
- An introduction to Netwon’s laws, gravity and the orbits of planets .
- The Foucault Pendulum at the University of New South Wales. Does the earth go around the sun and how do you know?
- What are coriolis forces and why do the major ocean currents and winds go clockwise in the Northern hemisphere and anti-clockwise in the South?
- The physics of speech. including helium speech and why it makes your voice sound funny.
- Using a vanilla slice to demonstrate various material properties .
- Cosmology, Teleology and Danish Grandmothers. a critical examination of the argument for design in the universe.
- The physics of sailing. how boats can sail upwind, how they can sail faster than the wind, etc.
- Wheels and rolling. why the rolling point of a wheel is stationary, and what part of a train goes backwards.
- What is the green flash and what causes it?
- How big is a meteor? A simple calculation to determine the size from its perceived brightness.
- The monkey and the hunter. Featuring a slow motion video of this classic physics question.
- A simple introduction to calculus. Some of the most important ideas that will be needed in first year physics.
Pages on sound, hearing, speech and music
- My blog on the Solar Car Race . from Darwin to Adelaide. UNSW had a great result
- One Night in Afghanistan. an Australian traveller’s account.
- Venice: an acoustical paradise. The Sydney Morning Herald. June 16, 2001, p1 of the travel section.
- Cool Scientist. A story about Joe by Stephen Luntz in Australasian Science. March 2006, p47.
- Margaret Throsby did an interview with me for the ABC’s The interview .
Material for high school physics students and teachers.
- Interesting and inexpensive experiments for high school physics. Written for teachers and students using the New South Wales syllabus, but more widely applicable.
- FAQ for high school physics. Originally set up for teachers and students using the New South Wales syllabus.
- A Q & A bulletin board for high school physics problems. Originally set up for teachers and students using the New South Wales syllabus.
- A resource exchange forum for physics teachers.
- HSC: ‘The World Communicates’. Some information for students and teachers in New South Wales dealing with this syllabus.
- HSC: ‘Electric motors and transformers’. Some information for teachers and students in New South Wales dealing with this syllabus.
Material for primary school physics students and teachers.
- Glimpses of science for primary schools. A set of investigations and kits may by Jacinda Ginges, George Hatsidimitris and me.
Formal publications on education
- Wolfe, J. and Hatsidimitris, G. (2006) “Introduction to relativity: a multi-level, multi-media resource”, Teaching Science. 52, 28-31.
- Whaite, G. and Wolfe, J. (1990) “Harmonic or Fourier synthesis in the teaching laboratory”. Amer. J. Phys. 58, 481-485.