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American Journal of Physics
written by Dr. Charles Holbrow, Joseph Amato, Dr. Enrique Galvez, and James Lloyd
Since 1985 the Colgate University Department of Physics and Astronomy has been reshaping the first term of introductory calculus-level physics to answer the question: "Why do we believe in atoms and the properties ascribed to them?"  This paper describes the new course, its 400 page text, its ten laboratories, its six computer exercises, and how these work together successfully to serve several purposes: For those students who do not continue on with any more physics, it is a good introduction to physics; for the many students whose quantitative skills need enhancing, it provides a better chance to improve those skills than traditional introductory  physics; by its emphasis on wave-particle duality and mass-energy equivalence, the course introduces students to important quantum and relativistic ideas that are fundamental to most of what contemporary physicists actually do. We also extract from our reform efforts some lessons useful to anyone undertaking to change introductory physics.
American Journal of Physics: Volume 63, Issue 12, Pages 1078-1090
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Practices
- Curriculum Development
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= Course Goals
General Physics
- Physics Education Research
- Lower Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Curriculum
- Reference Material
= Research study
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© 1995 American Journal of Physics
Additional information is available.
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created July 13, 2005 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
March 10, 2010 by Lyle Barbato
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when Cataloged:
December 1, 1995
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AIP Format
C. Holbrow, J. Amato, E. Galvez, and J. Lloyd, Am. J. Phys. 63 (12), 1078 (1995), WWW Document, (
C. Holbrow, J. Amato, E. Galvez, and J. Lloyd, Modernizing introductory physics, Am. J. Phys. 63 (12), 1078 (1995), <>.
APA Format
Holbrow, C., Amato, J., Galvez, E., & Lloyd, J. (1995, December 1). Modernizing introductory physics. Am. J. Phys., 63(12), 1078-1090. Retrieved July 5, 2020, from
Chicago Format
Holbrow, C, J. Amato, E. Galvez, and J. Lloyd. "Modernizing introductory physics." Am. J. Phys. 63, no. 12, (December 1, 1995): 1078-1090, (accessed 5 July 2020).
MLA Format
Holbrow, Charles, Joseph Amato, Enrique Galvez, and James Lloyd. "Modernizing introductory physics." Am. J. Phys. 63.12 (1995): 1078-1090. 5 July 2020 <>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Charles Holbrow and Joseph Amato and Enrique Galvez and James Lloyd", Title = {Modernizing introductory physics}, Journal = {Am. J. Phys.}, Volume = {63}, Number = {12}, Pages = {1078-1090}, Month = {December}, Year = {1995} }
Refer Export Format

%A Charles Holbrow
%A Joseph Amato
%A Enrique Galvez
%A James Lloyd
%T Modernizing introductory physics
%J Am. J. Phys.
%V 63
%N 12
%D December 1, 1995
%P 1078-1090
%O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article
%A Holbrow, Charles
%A Amato, Joseph
%A Galvez, Enrique
%A Lloyd, James
%D December 1, 1995
%T Modernizing introductory physics
%J Am. J. Phys.
%V 63
%N 12
%P 1078-1090
%8 December 1, 1995

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