Warm-Up (Welcome Activity Reviewing Material from Undergraduate Physics)

This content is used in the Physics Department at OSU with incoming graduate students to remind them of undergraduate content before classes start and to help them to decide whether or not to take some Bridge Courses. This sequence is intended to run in two blocks of three hours each. The sessions should be run by someone with a deep knowledge of all of the relevant courses, the specific activities, and active engagement in general.

This session may be the first opportunity for the incoming graduate students to meet each other as well as some faculty and other graduate students. So start with a 1/2 hour dedicated to introductons.

Consider inviting some or all of the following people to participate:

- At least one faculty member to run the session who has broad experience with the curriculum and the activities--typically the Paradigms Director.
- Graduate students who have TAd for courses that incorporated these exact activities, as needed to provide one experienced person to sit with each group of three graduate students. The Head Graduate Advisor has often asked these graduate students for evaluative input regarding the members of their group. CAM thinks that they should be given a heads-up about what will be expected.
- The Head Graduate Advisor (n.b. In the past the Grad Advisor has roamed the classroom, hovering over the groups as they work. CAM thinks this can appear intimidating/judgmental. Consider asking the grad advisor to SIT with groups, even if they move frequently from group to group.
- Members of the Core Advising Committee
- Faculty who will be teaching the Bridge Courses so that they are available to answer student questions, especially individual questions during breaks.
- Graduate students who have take Bridge Courses in the past who are comfortable discussing their choices and experiences.

The attached powerpoint articulates the possible paths through the curriculum for new graduate students at OSU. Make sure to update this powerpoint yearly to reflect current course offerings and sequencing. It was partially, but not completely edited in fall 2022.

Students consider the change in internal energy during three different processes involving a container of water vapor on a stove. Using the 1st Law of Thermodynamics, students reason about how the internal energy would change and then compare this prediction with data from NIST presented as a contour plot.

Students work in small groups to use the superposition principle \[V(\vec{r}) =\frac{1}{4\pi\epsilon_0}\int\frac{\rho(\vec{r}^{\,\prime})}{\vert \vec{r}-\vec{r}^{\,\prime}\vert} \, d\tau^{\prime}\] to find an integral expression for the electrostatic potential, \(V(\vec{r})\), everywhere in space, due to a ring of charge.

In an optional extension, students find a series expansion for \(V(\vec{r})\) either on the axis or in the plane of the ring, for either small or large values of the relevant geometric variable. Add an extra half hour or more to the time estimate for the optional extension.