Problem-Solving, Units, Estimation, and All That

Notes for instructors

This module covers material which usually constitutes the first chapter of most first-year physics texts. Since the focus here is on physics alone rather than the calculus/physics approach taken elsewhere in our modules, it is placed into this module as appropriate for either an independent physics course or as supplementary material for a calculus/physics course.

We begin with an introduction to the International System of Units, followed by a discussion of physical dinensions and significant figures and ending with examples of so-called Fermi problems that teach about estimation and the use of orders of magnitude.