Should I persue in telling a professor of physics that part of his book is wrong?

An online physics text after several editions consists of a page of erroneous facts regarding the kinetic energy theorem. These errors where discussed on this site and were resolved in the authors disfavor.

In summary He asserts

1. In kinetic energy theorem K=1/2mv^2, the 1/2 is an arbitrary constant whose value is dependent on the unit system used. Under the metric system the constant is 1/2. The metric system was used to make the kinetic energy equation more managable at

the expense of other formulas.

2. the equation cannot be derived from principle but must be experimently determined.

RESOVLED-The THEOREM is mathematically derived. The 1/2 constant is independent of units.

I emailed him and unprosumptiously pointed out the error. However, he still asserts he is correct using arguments that rely on his initial error.

I want to give up because I don't think he will listen, but it bugs me that other students will be learning incorrect information.Should I pursue it further?

Update:

Yes I am pretty certain he is wrong. A THEOREM by definition is mathematically dervied. I cannot believe there has been a misnomer for the last hundred or so years for the kinetic energy theorem..Moreover, as discussed on this site the kinetic energy theorem can be derived in a number of ways, one way is through integration of netwons second law F=MA. Therefore it is not experimently or empirically determined but is a consequence of definition and mathematical formalism. If it is mathematically derived, then 1/2 constant is independent of the unit system.

9 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    David H...

    My Chemistry Professor told us in class last semester that "the teacher is always right....IF you want to graduate"!!

    Some teachers have big EGOS and don't want to be embarrassed by some undergrad!

    Your teacher MAY be wrong, but keep it to YOURSELF!!

    NEVER forget this......The most important thing that YOU need to concentrate on is GRADUATING!!!

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If you are convinced that the teacher is wrong, expect the students to get to know of it sooner than later. Nothing is gained by wasting your time on someone who is not humble enough to admit an obvious error. Fortyeight years back, I changed my college for a similar reason . The vindictive professor spread rumours in the academic community about my character rather than looking inward to find out his own mistake. Go ahead with your studies, assuming the right version as the standard text.

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  • 3 years ago

    you are able to desire to seem on the assertion in context. you are able to desire to define a unit of power to greater healthful mv². It in simple terms takes place that ½mv² is sensible provided that if it weren't that, then means power may well be 2mgh. The term "arbitrary" is somewhat stable. besides the undeniable fact which you may make a gadget paintings with any consistent, ½ makes the finest gadget. incredibly ½ is consistent with acceleration the place the ½ comes from the mixing of t dt. In a speedy nonrigorous derivation: KE = F s KE = m a s KE = m a ½at² ; s = ½at² KE = ½ma²t² KE = ½ m (v/t)² t²; a = v/t KE = ½mv² no longer understanding his reasoning, i would not project a greater effective assertion than the ½ is mathematically handy, no longer "arbitrary".

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  • 1 decade ago

    Rather than tell him he's wrong (it will only get his back up) try the approach that could he explain how he arrived at his conclusions and explain the inconsistencies in his formulas that way he could realise his own mistake. also it could be a type o ?

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  • 1 decade ago

    Unless you have more letters of the alphabet after your name than him....dont waste your breath. Professors are like that. They live in a special reality normal humans dont know about.

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  • 1 decade ago

    id say try one more time to convince him of his error, than i would try to get your findings published in some scientfic journal out there so you can show others your solutions , so they may be informed.good-luck

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  • 1 decade ago

    you have made a beginning,

    if you have no objection prof. getting to know your email id or your other avatar you are using send him link to this page.

    if you find any ref.links send those links to him

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    TELL HIM. If he is wrong, he is wrong and he can't go through life thinking he is correct, no matter how stubborn he is.

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  • 1 decade ago

    yes you should follow your gutt feeling

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