The 'why' of physics

3rd January 1997 at 00:00
AN INTRODUCTION TO EXPERIMENTAL PHYSICS By Colin Cooke UCL Press Pounds 12.95.

This book is mainly for first-year undergraduates, although well-read A-level physics students and teachers will find it useful. Chapters cover what experimental science is all about, writing about and designing experiments, measuring the variables, and analysing data.

Do not expect this to be the typical A-level recipe book of experiments, though, as it is more about the "why" than the "how", using experiments only as examples.

As A-level physics assessment is increasingly through coursework investigations designed by students, teachers are bombarded with questions about how many measurements, what range of values, should they be repeated, and so on.

Students who read the first three chapters of this book, ignoring the maths, should never need to ask these questions again. Similarly, teachers might find useful ideas.

A worthy addition to the A-level physics reference shelf.

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