This is the more theoretical part of the introduction to physics course. It is designed as a transition between the higher secondary (plus two) approach to physics and our own programme. The 11th and 12th standards emphasise skills and memory and cover a lot of material, somewhat superficially. Our first goal is therefore to strengthen the habits and approach that the students will need in the remaining five semesters, to become more rounded physicists.
Our experience is that many students need to go beyond plugging in numbers into formulae, and start to think more in terms of physical principles. The process of learning a topic and applying what one has learnt calls for attention to concepts as well as details. The presentation, both written and oral, needs due attention to numbers, units, scales on graphs, and proper use of terminology. All these are conveyed in the context of examples taken from the natural world, and the world of technology.
The aim is not to cover a large amount of material but to enhance the students’ interest in physics and prepare them with the tools and techniques needed to appreciate, learn, and apply physics during the rest of the programme.
Focus is on themes rather than concepts in isolation.