Take a closer look at springs and get to grips with the nature of these mathematical models by considering a range of examples as diverse as pendulums and molecules.

Why do mundane objects like springs win a place in the physics curriculum? This course will explain why they are of such interest to physicists. Going beyond the curricular treatment of springs and simple harmonic motion, students will explore the nature of the mathematics used to model springs and probe the nature of mathematical models in physics more generally. In the process, we will study examples as diverse as pendulums and molecules, finishing with an introduction to topics in materials science. After this course, students will have a deeper understanding of mathematical functions in physics and how they can be applied.

Course Content

7 LESSONS

7 HOURS Total Length

Lesson 1

Abstraction and Mathematical Modelling: What is a Spring?

60 minutes

Lesson 2

Hooke's Law as a Differential Equation

60 minutes

Lesson 3

Simple Harmonic Motion I

60 minutes

Lesson 4

Simple Harmonic Motion II

60 minutes

Lesson 5

Spring-Like Models: Pendulums

60 minutes

Lesson 6

Spring-Like Models: Molecular Vibrations

60 minutes

Lesson 7

Beyond Hooke's Law: Springs and Materials Science

60 minutes

Key Skills

Calculus with Trigonometry

Solving Differential Equations

Analogical Reasoning

Use of Models in Physics

Educator

Sunil P

Maths and Physics Specialist

Having been an Educator for a number of years, Sunil is now studying for his PGCE and is a highly qualified maths and physics educator.