Roger Blandford

Roger Blandford, KIPAC, Stanford University
New Horizons in Physics Education
Modern astrophysics is very well-suited to motivate, substantiate, and illustrate the concepts and applications that need to be conveyed when teaching physics. Astrophysics exploits the power of the image and taps into a common fascination with exploration and discovery that unites student and teacher, scientist and lay person. It can draw young people into careers in technology, science, medicine, and education, and it is a powerful way to help those who choose other careers to develop critical thinking skills and trust in rational argument. Astrophysics offers physics students a sure path to confident familiarity with principles and techniques of great generality. Besides, it is a lot of fun!
In this talk, I shall draw on recent astrophysical developments for examples that illustrate each of these attributes. I shall conclude by asking some questions concerning the skills that today’s students will need when they enter the workforce.