Like the fictional students, your students will not have a clear understanding of the concepts after reading this passage.
But that is okay, as this section is an introduction to the concepts.
Let’s look at the last part of your homework with that hillside problem. When things are easy you’re not really learning, you’re just performing. Think through how the energy would move through this system.
Remember that these exercises were supposed to help you begin thinking about energy. Then cut out the the images and tape them on another piece of paper in the correct order.
Please note that they will not respond to any email that is not an @email address, so do not use gmail etc for course matters.
The Fermi-Pasta-Ulam-Tsingou problem is still a topic of interest, and a recent review can be found in this article.
You may wish to ask students what Olivia says about the objects in the drawing. Q asks the class to look at five images of the hillside (part of their homework).
(Note that Olivia mentions that it is a “weird energy system” that “is storing up energy.”) These are key concepts that will be explored throughout the unit. She tells the members of each table group to compare answers and to discuss their thinking.
Here is a recent article that reviews briefly analytic solutions of the two-dimensional Ising model, and in particular the mapping to a system of free fermions which is what enables the analytic solutions. Link to recent papers on the statistical mechanics section of the condensed matter preprint archive at Los Alamos.
The article has references in it to much earlier work, especially the seminal review article of Schultz, Mattis and Lieb, Rev. Note that many, many papers relevant to statistical mechanics and phase transition physics are not listed here, but appear in the condensed matter section.