The best parts of physics are the last topics that our students ever see. These are exciting topics like the bending of light by black holes, traffic on the World Wide Web, or the synchronization of global economies. A new method for teaching upper-division mechanics provides an introduction to modern dynamics by generalizing state-space and metric-space approaches at a mathematically accessible level. Given the growing importance of dynamical systems in science and technology, this approach gives students an up-to-date foundation for their future careers, embedding topics of modern dynamics-chaos, synchronization, network theory, neural networks, evolutionary change, econophysics and relativity-within the context of traditional physics founded on Lagrangian and Hamiltonian physics. The goal is to modernize the teaching of junior-level dynamics, responsive to a changing society, while retaining the core traditions and common language of the physics of dynamics.
APS March Meeting Abstracts
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