Do you think that Physics A Level should have calculus? Watch

Crow_M
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#1
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I was talking with my teacher about this today and I got some interesting views from him and other classmates, what do you think?
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mariejuana
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Yeah. It's kind of fundamental to physics.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by Crow_M)
I was talking with my teacher about this today and I got some interesting views from him and other classmates, what do you think?
It did have in the past - lots of it.
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Crow_M
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(Original post by Muttley79)
It did have in the past - lots of it.
It did?! I wonder what made them take it away. We still do some in maths mechanics so it's not that bad I guess?
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ltsmith
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there would be too much overlap with maths.
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ajj2000
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(Original post by Crow_M)
It did?! I wonder what made them take it away. We still do some in maths mechanics so it's not that bad I guess?
Is there any calculus in GCSE maths? Is that the issue?
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Crow_M
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(Original post by ajj2000)
Is there any calculus in GCSE maths? Is that the issue?
No. Only in A Level maths and further.
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ajj2000
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(Original post by Crow_M)
No. Only in A Level maths and further.
Ah, ok - I guess they dont want A level physics to just be a course you need A level maths to take?
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Muttley79
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(Original post by ajj2000)
Is there any calculus in GCSE maths? Is that the issue?
There was no calculus in most O level specs so it's not that.
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Crow_M
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(Original post by ajj2000)
Ah, ok - I guess they dont want A level physics to just be a course you need A level maths to take?
Physics is quite maths heavy from my experience, some mechanics questions are really complicated and require some thought. It's not like most people can't do maths.
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Smack
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It depends on what the aim of A-level physics is. If it's to prepare students for physics based degrees or further study, then it should; if it's to be accessible to those without the equivalent level of maths, then it probably shouldn't.
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jameswhughes
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(Original post by ltsmith)
there would be too much overlap with maths.
Physics should overlap with maths, one of the reasons it's such a crap A-Level is because the maths involved can't be of any higher level than GCSE.
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Joinedup
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What would we kick out of the physics curriculum to make the lesson space for duplicating content from Maths?

Seems alright to me providing everyone choosing their A levels understands that Maths A level is also required to go into Physics and Engineering degrees.
The ones that are doing maths will spot where the calculus goes for themselves and the ones that aren't can still learn something useful and interesting.
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Arran90
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The origins of calculus are lost in the depths of time but it is known that Isaac Newton developed calculus in a functional and usable form for physics calculations. Several A Level physics topics cannot be properly understood without the use of a bit of simple calculus. It's empowering.
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Joinedup
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(Original post by Arran90)
The origins of calculus are lost in the depths of time but it is known that Isaac Newton developed calculus in a functional and usable form for physics calculations. Several A Level physics topics cannot be properly understood without the use of a bit of simple calculus. It's empowering.
Yeah currently I'd say it's a nice bonus for the ones doing maths A level as well...

perhaps students of english get something analagous if they're studying french or german (or latin) alongside and can see where similar words have common roots.

doesn't mean that the curriculum *should* be changed or that the ones not doing maths aren't getting anything worthwhile out of it.
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Arran90
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Basic calculus for A Level physics is not too difficult to learn.

I have thought about whether there should be a standardised further mathematics GCSE developed which includes topics for several A Level subjects, such as calculus. There are currently a few further and additional mathematics level 2 qualifications although the syllabus varies between them.

AS Level mathematics has been devalued because it can no longer be converted into an A Level by taking extra modules. This has opened up the door to the creation of a new GCSE.
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Jono*
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What you are talking about I did in A level maths, the 2 books on mechanics is essentially the overlap between maths and physics. Realistically they could have put those mechanics textbooks in the physics A level course and nothing would change. If they included it separately in the physics as well as maths you would be learning the same stuff twice.
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marinade
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Yes.

The A-level changes of removing one sixth of the A-level maths modules by having four core modules and only two 'others' needs undoing too.
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SHallowvale
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I'm inclined to say no because maths A Level already involves a lot of calculus.

If you are going to be taking physics higher than A Level, such as going for a degree or masters, then most Universities will require maths anyway. Those that don't I imagine will teach the fundamentals to you.

And if you aren't going to take physics to a higher level then, well, why learn calculus? :P
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Arran90
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There are several equations from GCSE level physics, notably those with a 1/2 and a squared term, that are derived using integration. At GCSE students can just accept these equations as they are but at A Level it helps to know how and from where these equations were derived which can only be achieved with knowledge of simple calculus.

Calculus is not officially on the A Level electronics course but my teacher at college ran through the basics for students who had never done it before because it could help understand certain topics including maximum power transfer and capacitors charging and discharging.
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