Let’s help out our Physicist. Shall we?
He asks, if it would be possible to use Wiki as a text book?
The problem I have with using Wiki is simple. The standard for knowledge is who is the biggest bully …. with the thickest skin.
I used to edit on Wiki, I found quickly that my areas of passionate study (Original and secondary sources mostly as well as independent testing) often got me into passionate disagreements with experts.
One was on Religion, not as directly related to Physics, although I do like what Einstein said about Science and Religion.
Another was probably apropos.
I conducted some significant research into weapons whilst in the Army. Access to manuals was easy, and I love to read. I also have a prodigious memory.
I noted there were some serious inconsistencies in an article upon Biological Weapons. I corrected them, minor corrections; because of my previous Religious experience on Wiki, I was small on my corrections and included a reference.
‘An expert’ came along and massively changed what was written, including what I had written.
I took the dialogue to the discussion page.
Our friendly (not so friendly actually) expert worked in a specialty related to Chemical and Biological Weapons research …. and we thought we did not have that anymore? Did we?
I pointed the greatly less esteemed colleague (academically, I would never want to risk contamination of myself to practice such things) to pages of specific references.
He came back with a gruff “I didn’t know that.”
How can a PhD know ‘that little?’
So, the real depth of the problem is that your students might not have the true fortitude to be able to wade through the mistakes, and correct assertions, of others.
How about your opinions?
Is wiki worth a go of it?
I’ve been kicking around some ideas to avoid (for the students) the incredibly high cost of the texts I was planning on using next semester in Modern Physics and Theoretical Mechanics. I wanted to get some of the thoughts down here and get some feedback, if possible.
Why do I like free? Well, it is nice to be nice to the students, and it’s nice to know that they’ll actually have the book, since often they just don’t buy it. But it’s also great to have a book that allows you to digitally augment it and to project in class. I used that to great effect last semester in Physical Optics with this awesome free optics book.
Old Modern Physics
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