Teaching modern physics

Oct 2013
Why does nobody show the rather elegant way of deriving Planck's radiation law a la Bose.
In several books I found a short derivation entitled "application of Bose Einstein statistics". But when it comes to computing the state density of the photons they resort to classical ED counting modes instead of using the counting of phase space cells.


Apr 2008
Bedford, England
Never heard of it

I have never come across this,
which I guess supports your contention that it is not used in general teaching.

However, I have noted (in all-sorts of general situations) that one persons perfectly obvious explaination is another persons baffling nonsense.
And often visa-versa.

For an explaination to make sense it has to link into what a person already knows.
Rather less obviously, it has to match with a persons "way of thinking".
And perhaps most importantly for your question, it has to match with the way the teacher is comfortable teaching.
Oct 2013
Thanks for your reply. You are perfectly right. As you also can see in most physics books people are always kind of copy cats. My favorite example is how lift is generated by an air foil.

Back to the photon statistics. For me this is just a question of logic. Ether you use the wave picture or the particle model. Mixing is kind of strange and may actually baffle students who really pay attention to the details.
Aug 2013
Under a bridge, Tampa, Florida USA
The way I see it (and I myself have been a victim) learning and creativity are inversely proportional.