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See Box 5-1 for a summary of these four core ideas and their components. C: Information Technologies and Instrumentation Core Idea PS1 Matter and Its Interactions How can one explain the structure, properties, and interactions of matter?
The first three physical science core ideas answer two fundamental questions—“What is everything made of? ”—that are not unlike questions that students themselves might ask. D: Energy in Chemical Processes and Everyday Life Core Idea PS4: Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer PS4. The existence of atoms, now supported by evidence from modern instruments, was first postulated as a model that could explain both qualitative and quantitative observations about matter (e.g., Brownian motion, ratios of reactants and products in chemical reactions).
Modern communication, information, and imaging technologies are applications of scientific understandings of light and sound and their interactions with matter.
They are pervasive in our lives today and are also critical tools without which much of modern science could not be done.
The three core ideas are PS1: Matter and Its Interactions, PS2: Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions, and PS3: Energy.
We also introduce a fourth core idea: PS4: Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer—which introduces students to the ways in which advances in the physical sciences during the 20th century underlie all sophisticated technologies available today.
Similarly, understanding a process at any scale requires awareness of the interactions occurring—in terms of the forces between objects, the related energy transfers, and their consequences.
This idea is included in recognition of the fact that organizing science instruction around disciplinary core ideas tends to leave out the applications of those ideas.The committee included this fourth idea to stress the interplay of physical science and technology, as well as to expand students’ understanding of light and sound as mechanisms of both energy transfer (see LS3) and transfer of information between objects that are not in contact.