Browsing the Journals

JournalsCarl Mungan

  • The May 2010 issue of The Physics Teacher has a short but insightful article by Elisha Huggins about weighing a hollow cube whose walls are coated with mirrors between which a photon is bouncing. Does it matter whether the photon is bouncing vertically or horizontally? Also check out Boris Korsunsky's Physics Challenge entitled "Be There and Be Square" in the same issue. But beware because this problem is much harder than some of the ones in preceding issues!

  • I enjoyed the interesting variety of Notes and Discussions in the June 2010 issue of the American Journal of Physics.

  • The May 2010 issue of the Latin-American Journal of Physics Education has a lengthy article entitled the "Sliding rope paradox" which discusses a rope suspended over a frictionless peg off of which it is sliding. The connection with the well-known falling chain problem is also considered.

  • There have been plenty of arguments about how airplane wings create lift. The most recent article on this topic is by Silva and Soares in the May 2010 issue of Physics Education. Another well-discussed problem is that of crossing a river in a boat. O'Shea considers some complications involved in that task in an article in the July 2010 issue of the European Journal of Physics. Look for both journals at

  • The Journal of Chemical Education has finally implemented a fully electronic submission procedure and a spiffy new webpage for accessing their journal at You might be interested in one chemistry educator's heuristic interpretation of quantum mechanics on page 559 of the May 2010 issue.

  • Some interesting letters to the editor appeared in the May 2010 issue of Physics Today, stimulated (excuse the pun) by the January 2010 article about the discovery of the ruby laser in 1960.

  • Finally, Art Hobson of the University of Arkansas passed along the following. The Jan - Feb 2010 issue of Environment has an article entitled "Now is the time for action" authored by 16 members of the National Science Foundation's Advisory Committee for Environmental Research and Education. They argue that "environmental issues must become a priority for the security of citizens and governments around the world," that "the world is at a crossroads" with "little time to act," and that "conducting research and education via a model of business-as-usual will not be sufficient." The Committee makes five recommendations: (1) increased support for interdisciplinary environmental research; (2) NSF must become a more interdisciplinary organization that attracts integrative research and education; (3) NSF must lead in implementing an integrated system of observational sensor networks that measure environmental variables and related human activities; (4) new approaches are needed for environmental education and public engagement; and (5) scientists must help policymakers develop a better understanding of environmental systems, including tipping points and the socio-economic effects of environmental change

Disclaimer - The articles and opinion pieces found in this issue of the APS Forum on Education Newsletter are not peer refereed and represent solely the views of the authors and not necessarily the views of the APS.