Pedagogical Framework of Elementary Mechanics Comparable to Elementary Electromagnetism:Introductory Approach without Reliance on Equation of Motion
Department of Information Systems Science, Faculty of Engineering, Soka University, Tokyo 192-8577, Japan
A pedagogical framework of elementary mechanics is developed from temporal and spatial viewpoints. In contrast to conventional physics courses, the equation of motion is not a starting point for elucidating mechanical phenomena but an equation that summarizes three propositions on (1) the change of the linear momentum of a particle caused by impulse, (2) the change in the kinetic energy of a particle caused by the work done on the particle by applied force, and (3) the change of the angular momentum of a particle caused by torque. This construction is comparable to the formulation in the elementary course of electromagnetism in which Maxwell’s equations are not a starting point but, instead, summarize the four laws of electromagnetic ﬁelds. The formulation that derives the above three propositions from the equation of motion cannot necessarily help a student understand the mechanisms of mechanical phenomena. For students, the acquisition of temporal and spatial viewpoints in regard to mechanical phenomena and the understanding of the essence of the intensity of motion are important in stimulating physical thought.