4 Ways Tuition Is Done Differently at The Physics Cafe a a For secondary school and JC students, mugging the examination syllabus can sometimes feel like an uphill battle; it may be tough, but it’s definitely not impossible. Subjects like Physics and Mathematics tend to get super convoluted and classroom lessons can only do so much to [....]

By Michelle Chin The Straits Times Expect nothing less than focused and effective lessons when you attend the highly sought-after secondary and JC physics and mathematics lessons at The Physics Cafe. Founder Dave Sim, 37, taught physics at one of Singapore’s top junior colleges for six years before setting up the learning centre in 2010. Mr [....]

On The Golden Girls, there’s a scene where a teacher speaks fondly about her favourite student: “He gets this look in his eyes when he’s listening. You don’t see that very often. I think that look is the whole reason that teachers teach.” Dave Sim is familiar with that look. Having taught physics at RJC [....]

Introduction to the Universe (IB Option E1)   209 Seconds video showing cosmic scales:      Powers of Ten video zooming out from earth to edge of universe :       A photo showing why the Milky Way is called that:       A photo showing stars moving across the night sky due to the [....]

Nuclear Physics and Radioactivity     Radioactivity is spontaneous and random.  The probability that an atom will decay remains constant for the entire life of the atom.  If you think about it, this is really strange.  How can it not matter whether a uranium atom is 1 million years old or 1 billion years old? [....]

Atomic Physics   Rutherford Experiment (aka Geiger-Marsden)       My summary   Rutherford shot alpha particles at a thin film of gold foil Most of the alpha particles went right through Some had high angles of deflection He was shocked when a small number of the alpha particles came zooming back out in the [....]

Thermal Energy Transfer / Greenhouse Effect    Some Background   IB calls this topic Thermal Energy Transfer, but really it’s about the greenhouse effect and climate change.  Calling it Thermal Energy Transfer it sounds more physics-y.     Climate change is of course a controversial subject.  Before I started teaching physics, I wasn’t quite sure [....]

The sequence of development of quantum mechanics, summed up for IB students, from me:   (1) Hydrogen atoms emit a discrete spectrum of light.  This is our first evidence that energy levels in the atom are quantized.  What a mystery!  Physicists have never seen something like this before.   (2) Balmer comes up with a crazy formula that predicts the [....]

a a Thermal physics provided the transition from macroscopic physics to microscopic physics, and electricity is all about electrons, so why are we backtracking now to talk about bouncing springs and wiggling strings?   It’s because waves are going to be essential, ultimately, to our understanding of the inner workings of the atom. Bohr’s earliest [....]

a I love physics, but I used to think this one topic, thermal physics, was boring.  I had to teach it twice before I understood it well enough to see how interesting it really is! a What makes thermal physics interesting is that it provides a link between the macroscopic world of Newton’s laws and [....]

a There are only four fundamental forces in physics, and in high school physics we will learn about three of them.  These forces are called “fundamental” because we don’t have a deeper explanation for why they exist.  The four are Gravitational Force Electric Force Strong nuclear force Weak nuclear force (we won’t learn about this [....]

a A force is just a push or a pull There are lots of ways to push or pull: Gravity pulls objects down toward the ground.  We call that force the weight of the object.   A string or rope can pull on an object.   Springs can do that, too.  That’s tension.   One [....]

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