Continuing with my stream of consciousness, it’s also a way to discuss and illustrate approximations to certain integrals (which we do all day, right?). I’m thinking along the lines of the Taylor series-type graphs (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taylor_series#/media/File:Sintay_SVG.svg) but for physics quantities they’re learning about. That may require numerical evaluation of integrals and things, which they can do with Simpson’s rule algorithms or just by calling the appropriate routine in Matlab/Mathematica/Numpy.

]]>The students could do this for already worked out results. As an example, studying resonance in a driven damped harmonic oscillator, evaluating the electric/magnetic fields of particular shapes of antennas. These will involve making legible plots, studying the varying limiting cases, explaining why the plots look why they do. This will help them practice making plots, providing context, and if there was a differential equation solving/integration, some talk about methodology.

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