Simple Physics with Python: a workbook on introductory Physics with open source software
Skills in computer science can have great value in studying, doing and communicating physics. As educators, we asked ourselves how to make students aware of that, and how to offer them a new and appealing approach to physics. We also wondered how to increase students' engagement, participation and understanding, particularly when lessons are delivered online. Thus, we began a project to develop study materials for an introductory course in physics for computer science and we chose to use open source software. The materials are organized as a set of Jupyter notebooks hosted on an open GitHub repository. The notebooks deal with fundamental concepts of physics related to everyday life, offering examples of what can be done with a few lines of Python code. In the notebooks we propose activities to observe phenomena, describe problems, experiment, acquire and analyze data, and model the behavior of systems. The contents are suitable for undergraduates, high-school students, and evergreen students. We have used the materials for lectures, guided laboratory activities and presentations to freshmen and younger students, and we plan to continue with this project.