In this section of Resonance, we invite
readers to pose questions likely to be raised in a classroom situation.
We may suggest strategies for dealing with them, or invite responses,
or both. Classroom is equally a forum for raising broader
issues and sharing personal experiences and viewpoints on matters related
to teaching and learning science.
Must Books that are Popular be Closer
to Top of the Stack?
Making Introductory Quantum Physics
Understandable and Interesting
It is well known that the average student of physics
finds quantum physics (QP) difficult. Special efforts
are therefore needed to make the subject both understandable
To make QP more easily understandable, we identify the
main elements of cognition involved in the study of QP,
and point out how they are different from those involved
in the study of classical physics. We find that drawing
the student's attention to the special features of the
very act of cognition in QP makes the subject more comprehensible.
To make QP interesting and exciting, we feel it is essential
to give the subject a human touch, e.g. by integrating
into the process of teaching biographical notes on the
discoverers of the subject.
Starting from August 2004, Resonance is publishing in the Classroom
section, a series of short articles, Earthquake Tips, related
to earthquakes, their effects on civil structures, and design and construction
of earthquake resistant buildings. The concepts are clearly explained
with sketches and analogies. We hope the Resonance readers will benefit
from this series of articles.
Earthquake Tips have been brought out by the Department of Civil
Engineering, IIT Kanpur and sponsored by Building Materials and Technology
Promotion Council, New Delhi, India. These articles are reproduced here
with permission from IIT Kanpur and BMTPC, New Delhi.
Learning Earthquake Design and Construction
11. What are the Indian Seismic Codes?
12. How do Brick Masonry Houses Behave during Earthquakes?
Importance of Seismic Design Codes
Ground vibrations during earthquakes cause forces and deformations
in structures. Structures need to be designed to withstand such
forces and deformations. Seismic codes help to improve the behaviour
of structures so that they may withstand the earthquake effects
without significant loss of life and property. Countries around
the world have procedures outlined in seismic codes to help
design engineers in the planning, designing, detailing and constructing
of structures. An earthquake-resistant building has four virtues
in it, namely:
Behaviour of Brick Masonry Walls
Masonry buildings are brittle structures and one of the
most vulnerable of the entire building stock under strong earthquake
shaking. The large number of human fatalities in such constructions
during the past earthquakes in India corroborates this. Thus,
it is very important to improve the seismic behaviour of masonry
buildings. A number of earthquake-resistant features can be
introduced to achieve this objective.