Journal of Computing in Higher Education

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 59–73 | Cite as


  • Elisha R. Huggins
Selected Conference Papers


MANY WHO TEACH INTRODUCTORY PHYSICS would like to see twentieth century physics included in the course. But much of this so-called “modern physics” is based on the wave nature of the matter, and one of the fundamental mathematical techniques for describing waves is Fourier analysis. Before the invention of the computer, Fourier analysis was extremely difficult to carry out in practice. The general theory was sufficiently complicated that many topics in modern physics had to be delayed until the students had built up a sophisticated mathematical background. With MacScope™, a combination of a laboratory oscilloscope and a Macintosh computer, Fourier analysis of live experimental data is very easy and there is no longer a need to delay the introduction of many modern physics topics. Perhaps then we can accomplish the goal of bringing introductory physics into the twentieth century before the century is over.


Fourier Analysis Pure Tone Modern Physic High Frequency Mode Wave Nature 
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  1. For information on the availability of MacScope, please contact the manufacturer: Thornton Associates, 1432 Main St., Waltham, MA 02154.Google Scholar
  2. The magnetic pickup used to create Figure 7 is to be manufactured by Daedalon Corporation, P.O. Box 2028, Salem, MA 01970-6228.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elisha R. Huggins
    • 1
  1. 1.Physics DepartmentDartmouth CollegeUSA

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