Welcome to the
Physicists' Domain
the unknown
Physics is simple
...but subtle
 There's more than meets the eye.
Harness the sun!
 "Energy is the capacity to do work."
 E = mc2
 String theory

Common misconceptions
Physics almost always turns out to be something other than what it seemed to be when we first learned about it.  Misconceptions are prevalent, persistent, pervasive, sometimes pernicious, almost always pre-scientific, and often humorously preposterous.
A second look at several selected misconceptions Can a Quantum Leap?
Common misconceptions (raw material)
Keep an eye and an ear open for weird misinterpretations of science.  Radio, TV movies, everyday conversations...these are rich sources of goofy science.
A large collection of weird science in the original ways they appeared.  A start to a theory.  A base to build upon. What is that loud cracking sound...?
Extend your perceptions
Physics has been a steady stream of realizations that our perceptions reveal to us only a tiny fraction of what we are looking at.  We tend to feel that what we see is all there is.
Seeing things our perceptions miss. Unexpected truths.

Seeing things far beyond our perceptions.  Abstract math

Seeing some things that aren't there.  Optical illusions

What d'ya mean, 'two-tone' paint job?
Learning & Understanding
Take a physics course and you learn a lot.  Now, think about what you learned. Can you recognize it when pops up in front of you?  How much of it can you use to your advantage?  How much of it did you really understand?  Odds are, that when you understood some concept, you could see that many others in your class did not.
Newton's Laws of Motion What do these 17th century discoveries mean?

What is the direction of the acceleration of the ball in a handball game at any given moment?

Up or down?
Puzzles, Illusions, & Magic
Oregonians for Rationality has presented puzzles, illusions, and magic at Da Vinci Days, Corvallis, Oregon for the past five years. 
Area 51 Patrol:  Round up all alien life forms!
Where to start?
Posters at Da Vinci Days directed toward some elementary steps necessary to understand science.  Most are aimed at avoiding common oversiplification we tend to make when dealing with the world.   Or, "Just send your lottery dollar to us; your odds of winning are exactly the same to eight significant figures."*
*Bob Park in "What's New"
Three secrets

Five steps
(scope, relevance, math, logic and tensor)

Natue is full of traps for the beast that cannot learn.
Perception to Magic
We perceive energy through experiences and feelings of hunger, fatigue, exhaustion, and empty fuel tanks.  We imagine ways to avoid hunger, fatigue, exhaustion, and long gas pump lines.  We (through Aristotle) create a metaphor for energy with the idea, "capacity for doing work."  We have a mathematical concept of energy through the development (in the19th century) of thermodynamics.  Somewhere along the path of increasing sophistication and abstraction, we encounter our personal boundaries of human comprehensionit is beyond those boundaries that we sense we are under the influence of magic.
Levels of abstraction  A suggestion by Keith Devlin, "The Math Guy" of NPR 

A primitive man's route to the science of energy.

A modern magician's view of energy

Richard Feynman
An earlier magician's view of energy.
Erwin Schrödinger
How do I know what I know?  Or do I?
The Magic of Physics
The magic of physics comes from recognizing mathematical patterns we are looking at but not seeing.  When we figure out how to see, we, too, become magicians to those who don't see.  And if we get hooked on it, we will want to see more and more and more...  Everybody can see more.
Magic of Physics  How can you tell it's magic? 

feedback, + or -

Illuminating tensors
Web site navigation aids
made for Oregon AAPT meeting October 18, 2003
A teacher's viewpoint
Every physics teacher knows that the declining attention to physics in our schools is potential trouble in ways too few suspect.   And they know that physics can be better understoody by anyone.
Click here to study auras.
belief in a lot of things that today's science knows to be wrong or at the very best extremely improbable. 
To see or not to see.
Science discovered that we were making mistakes.  Pseudoscience doesn't see those mistakes.
We have faith in what we know.
E = mc2
It does not mean that matter can be converted to energy; it means that energy and mass are "merely different expressions of the same thing."
To see or not to see.
Understanding requires that we see the difference between the metaphors and the mathematics.
"m" stands for...
We have faith in what we know.