INTERDISCIPLINARY COURSE


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NAVIGATION

CURRENCIES

Wisebridge Learning Systems
2190 Meadowcliff Drive
Atlanta, Georgia 30345

Ecology Evolution Populations Anatomy Human Physiology Mammalian Tissues Animal Development and Embryology Animals      Plants Fungi Protista Archaea Bacteria Viruses  The Molecular Biology Laboratory    Genetics and Cellular Reproduction       Bioenergetics and Metabolism         The Eukaryotic Cell The Prokaryotic Cell Biological Membranes Lipids Nucleic Acids Carbohydrates Proteins Organic Chemistry Reactions    Organic Chemistry Concepts Coordination Chemistry Acids and Bases       Acids and Bases Solutions  Water   Chemical Kinetics   Chemical Thermodynamics The States of Matter Thermochemistry Stoichiometry     Intermolecular Forces Chemical Bonding Periodic Properties Atomic Theory Nuclear Physics Modern Physics Light and Optics Electromagnetic Induction Magnetism AC Current DC Current Electricity 2nd Law of Thermodynamics 1st Law of Thermodynamics Ideal Gas and Kinetic Theory Heat and Temperature Waves Gravity Fluid Mechanics Fluid Mechanics article_info.php/articles_id/139 Simple Harmonic Motion Rotation Momentum and Impulse Work Energy and Power Newtons Laws Kinematics
The Interdisciplinary Discussions

  • Presented within the exploration environment of this website, the Interdisciplinary Discussions are a learning system designed to help students achieve a unified, interdisciplinary understanding of the undergraduate physical and biological sciences. The Interdisciplinary Discussions were originally conceived for premedical students in the United States preparing for the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), although any undergraduate science student with familiarity of Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Organic Chemistry would enjoy and benefit from this work. The work is the product of many years of teaching small groups of premedical students. The Interdisciplinary Discussions consist of over 1000 individual discussions assigned to specific subtopics within the physical and biological sciences. Here is an example of a discussion page:

The First Law of Thermodynamics
***Conservation of energy in thermodynamic systems - The First Law***
Model transformations of an ideal gas
Return to chapter
View Previous DiscussionView Next Discussion
KinematicsNewton's LawsWork, Energy, and PowerMomentum and ImpulseRotationSimple Harmonic MotionElastic Properties of SolidsFluid MechanicsWavesGravitationElectricityAtomic TheoryPeriodic PropertiesThe Chemical BondIntermolecular ForcesFunctional Groups in Organic ChemistryConformations of Organic MoleculesStereochemistryHeat and TemperatureThe Ideal Gas and Kinetic TheoryThe First Law of ThermodynamicsStoichiometryThermochemistryThe States of MatterThe Physical Properties of Organic CompoundsThe Second Law of Thermodynamics and Heat EnginesChemical Thermodynamics and the Equilibrium StateChemical KineticsWaterSolutionsAcids and BasesOrganic Acids and BasesNucleophiles and ElectrophilesIntramolecular Cationic RearrangementsReactions with Radical IntermediatesConjugated � Systems and AromaticityReactions of AlkanesReactions of AlkenesReactions of AlkynesReactions of Alkyl HalidesReactions of Conjugated SpeciesReactions of Aromatic CompoundsReactions of Alcohols and EthersReactions of Aldehydes and KetonesReactions of Carboxylic Acids and DerivativesReactions of AminesReactions of Organic Phosphorus CompoundsReactions of Organic Sulfur CompoundsCoordination ChemistryProteinsCarbohydratesNucleic AcidsLipidsBiological MembranesThe Prokaryotic CellThe Eukaryotic CellOxidation-ReductionOxidation-Reduction in Organic ChemistryElectrochemistryBioenergetics and Cellular RespirationPhotosynthesisBiosynthesis of MacromoleculesIntegration of MetabolismGene ExpressionCellular ReproductionMendelian GeneticsRecombination and MutationThe Molecular Biology LaboratoryHuman GeneticsVirusesMoneraProtistaFungiPlantsAnimalsAnimal Development and EmbryologyMammalian Tissues and HistologyThe Nervous SystemSensory SystemsThe Endocrine SystemThe Musculoskeletal SystemThe Cardiovascular SystemBloodThe Respiratory SystemThe Lymphatic System and ImmunityThe Urinary SystemThe Digestive System and NutritionThe Reproductive SystemPopulationsEvolutionEcologyDC CurrentMagnetismElectomagnetic InductionAC CurrentThe Properties of LightGeometric OpticsWave OpticsMolecular SpectroscopyNuclear PhysicsModern Physics
CarbohydratesCoordination ChemistryAcids and Bases       Acids and BasesSolutions  Water   Chemical Kinetics   Chemical Thermodynamics The States of Matter ThermochemistryStoichiometry     Intermolecular ForcesChemical BondingPeriodic PropertiesAtomic TheoryElectromagnetic InductionMagnetismAC CurrentDC CurrentElectricity2nd Law of Thermodynamics1st Law of ThermodynamicsIdeal Gas and Kinetic TheoryHeat and Temperaturearticle_info.php/articles_id/139Simple Harmonic MotionRotationWork Energy and PowerNewtons LawsKinematics

Let's use the First Law of Thermodynamics to interpret something we are all familiar with: boiling a liquid. According to the First Law of Thermodynamics, there are two ways a thermodynamic system exchanges energy with its surrounds, heat flow and pressure-volume work.

The first stage of boiling a liquid is to heat the liquid to the boiling point. This is practically an isovolumetric process (although there can be interesting problems with the slight volume changes of liquids with changing temperature). If the volume isn't changing, no macroscopic work is being performed, so, as a consequence of the First Law of Thermodynamics, the heat flow into the system must only be devoted to increasing the internal energy. The temperature is increasing. The internal energy change is being reflected in an increase in the average kinetic energy of the particles.

At the boiling point, however, the temperature is constant. The input of heat is still increasing internal energy, but this internal energy increase is in the form of increasing electrostatic potential energy at the microstate level. The mutually attracting particles are overcoming the intermolecular forces that bind them as they excape from one other into the gas phase.

It is important to remember that increasing electrostatic potential energy is not all that is accomplished by the heat flow into the system during vaporization. As the liquid is transformed into vapor, the system must also expand macroscopically. This means that work is being performed against the surroundings, pressure-volume work. In summary, in terms of the First Law of Thermodynamics, a portion of the heat of vaporization is going into the increase in electrostatic potential energy along lines of intermolecular force as particles escape from each other, and a portion of the heat of vaporization performs the pressure-volume work necessary to expand the volume of the system.
Wisebridge Learning Systems is at an early stage in the implementation of the open-access Wisebridge Interdisciplinary Course. Nevertheless, in its present form, this is a valuable learning system if you understand how to use it. After fifty cycles teaching small groups of premedical students an MCAT review course over a number of years, my students and I developed a way of learning Physics, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Biology within an integrated, spiralling curriculum. The Main Course Sequence represents the order in which the topics are covered in this course. The Main Course Sequence arranges the topics of physical and biological science in such a way that the separate disciplines naturally grow out of each other.

On this site, you will find approximately 1000 Interdisciplinary Discussions. These represent the conceptual moments in the course in which my students and I would step back from the basic material and shine the light of the topics on each other. If you follow the Interdisciplinary Discussions in order within the Main Course Sequence, you will learn how Chemistry grows out of the Physics, and you will understand the Biological Sciences in the light of the Physical Sciences. If you are smart and diligent, you will gain the kind of scientific understanding that corresponds to superior performance on the MCAT.

To use this learning system, begin with the first Interdisciplinary Discussion within Kinematics, and then, simply put, you click NEXT DISCUSSION to proceed from beginning to end through the Main Course Sequence. It is very important to accompany your progress with your standard course materials (important!), and as you move from Chapter to Chapter, learn the outline of each chapter and continuously build knowledge and familiarity using your own course materials. One of the first things you should learn is to separately outline Physics, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Biology in detail from memory. Study the Campus to help your understanding and retention and think about why the Main Course Sequence has the order that it does, because understanding the intentions behind this sequence is very important to success. You might choose to make your progress through the Discussions an epicycle, in other words, a fast survey of a week or so, or you might choose to build your main study cycle of four to six months to follow our Main Course Sequence, much like the course my students and I have followed. Remember that this learning system is a spiralling curriculum, and you will be encouraged by the Discussions to continuously build familiarity and knowledge of material in chapters that come much later. By the time you reach the chapters at the very end of the cycle, you should already be very familiar with the material within them.

Please note a few editorial comments regarding the Discussions. We know that some of the discussions are a bit rough, so please do not e-mail us about every typo. Also, note that the Metabolism chapters do go a full step beyond the basic premedical curriculum. Do not panic if you have not taken Biochemistry. Full-out Biochemistry is not a prerequisite for the MCAT. Aim for comprehension of this material in terms of fundamental principles. Do not try to memorize everything. We also think the course starts a bit slow, so keep in mind that it will get much more interesting as you go. When you get a few chapters into the Chemistry, we hope that a new understanding of science will begin to dawn on you.

In summary, start here and then click NEXT DISCUSSION, following along with your basic study materials. Be patient and at least skim through the basics of each chapter in your own materials as you go. If you click over to another topic, study its outline and glance over the chapter in your own materials to build familiarity before you return to the original discussion. And good luck!

Also, please consider supporting our work by purchasing the Wisebridge Learning System for Physics or our Organic Mechanisms Pocketbook! We know you will be pleased by our customer service as well as the price and quality of our products.


TURN OFF THE COMMENT ABOVE BY CLICKING HERE
  • The Interdisciplinary Discussions are an integral part of the broader Interdisciplinary Curriculum taking shape on the site over the next year. We have planned the sequence of implementation in order for the individual components to be independently useful as they are released. The Interdisciplinary Discussions have only been recently made available in March of 2006. We are slowly improving them, so you might notice differences day to day. Areas we will address include: The discussions honestly take too long to become really interesting during the first stages in Mechanics. By the time a student reaches the first Chemistry topics, the course should be very interesting, but the beginning needs fleshing out. (Don't skip though!) Also, some of the biology sections present very challenging contexts without warning to MCAT students. Don't try to memorize everything. This is especially true in the discussions related to Biochemistry. Some discussions contain content, that, while not prerequisite to the MCAT, is typical of the context of MCAT passages that are looking for you to demonstrate knowledge of fundamental principles not advanced factual knowledge. In other words, the course could use a bit of discussion of test preparation strategy in some areas. You don't have to memorize everything! Keep this in mind, and you should be fine.

  • The Interdisciplinary Discussions follow a spiralling curriculum. In a spiralling curriculum, later ideas are systematically previewed and earlier ideas are systematically reviewed. Important fundamental concepts make their appearance many times. The goal is to help you remediate your undergraduate science education and unify the modular, disconnected undergraduate lecture course curriculum into a harmonious, structured understanding. The primary conceptual arcs, such as from Mechanics to Electricity to Chemical Bonding to Thermodynamics to Metabolism will reward the diligent student with a much more rich understanding than is typically attained at the undergraduate level.

  • It is important to keep in mind that the Interdisciplinary Discussions do not present the basic principles in themselves. You will not find the four equations of Kinematics nor will you find an exhaustive physiology textbook. The Interdisciplinary Discussions are meant to help you see the topics in the light of each other. For the Discussions to be effective, you must accompany your study of them with your regular learning materials. Keep your review books and textbooks on hand for this system to work. Starting with Kinematics, as you move from subtopic to subtopic, it is essential to take the time to review your regular study materials as you progress along the Main Cycle sequence.

  • There are three interface layers within the exploration environment for the Interdisciplinary Discussions, the Chapter Layer, the Topic Layer, and the Discussion Layer. Within the pages of each layer you will find two navigation-orientation tools to help you orient yourself and move through the exploration environment. These are Topic Bars and Interdisciplinary Campus Views.

You will find a Topic Bar at the top of every Chapter and Interdisciplinary Discussion page. Each colored, vertical line on a Topic Bar is a clickable link to a science topic. The topics of Physics are blue; Chemistry are magenta; Organic Chemistry are orange; and Biology are green. The order of the lines from left to right follows the Main Cycle sequence of the Interdisciplinary Curriculum (see below). Notice that the disciplines are not strictly segregated because this is a combined course. The Main Cycle was designed to let the topics build on and support each other in an interdisciplinary way. Hold your mouse over a specific line to learn which chapter it represents. The tallest line corresponds to the chapter of a particular Interdisciplinary Discussion. The intermediate lines correspond to the other topics connected to the discussion. For example, the Topic Bar pictured below is within the chapter "The First Law of Thermodynamics". As you can see, the other topics that will be brought into this particular discussion include "Work, Energy, & Power" and "Electricity" from Physics as well as "Intermolecular Forces" and "Thermochemistry" from General Chemistry.
KinematicsNewton's LawsWork, Energy, and PowerMomentum and ImpulseRotationSimple Harmonic MotionElastic Properties of SolidsFluid MechanicsWavesGravitationElectricityAtomic TheoryPeriodic PropertiesThe Chemical BondIntermolecular ForcesFunctional Groups in Organic ChemistryConformations of Organic MoleculesStereochemistryHeat and TemperatureThe Ideal Gas and Kinetic TheoryThe First Law of ThermodynamicsStoichiometryThermochemistryThe States of MatterThe Physical Properties of Organic CompoundsThe Second Law of Thermodynamics and Heat EnginesChemical Thermodynamics and the Equilibrium StateChemical KineticsWaterSolutionsAcids and BasesOrganic Acids and BasesNucleophiles and ElectrophilesIntramolecular Cationic RearrangementsReactions with Radical IntermediatesConjugated � Systems and AromaticityReactions of AlkanesReactions of AlkenesReactions of AlkynesReactions of Alkyl HalidesReactions of Conjugated SpeciesReactions of Aromatic CompoundsReactions of Alcohols and EthersReactions of Aldehydes and KetonesReactions of Carboxylic Acids and DerivativesReactions of AminesReactions of Organic Phosphorus CompoundsReactions of Organic Sulfur CompoundsCoordination ChemistryProteinsCarbohydratesNucleic AcidsLipidsBiological MembranesThe Prokaryotic CellThe Eukaryotic CellOxidation-ReductionOxidation-Reduction in Organic ChemistryElectrochemistryBioenergetics and Cellular RespirationPhotosynthesisBiosynthesis of MacromoleculesIntegration of MetabolismGene ExpressionCellular ReproductionMendelian GeneticsRecombination and MutationThe Molecular Biology LaboratoryHuman GeneticsVirusesMoneraProtistaFungiPlantsAnimalsAnimal Development and EmbryologyMammalian Tissues and HistologyThe Nervous SystemSensory SystemsThe Endocrine SystemThe Musculoskeletal SystemThe Cardiovascular SystemBloodThe Respiratory SystemThe Lymphatic System and ImmunityThe Urinary SystemThe Digestive System and NutritionThe Reproductive SystemPopulationsEvolutionEcologyDC CurrentMagnetismElectomagnetic InductionAC CurrentThe Properties of LightGeometric OpticsWave OpticsMolecular SpectroscopyNuclear PhysicsModern Physics

Institutional requirements and ossified tradition dictate that general undergraduate science courses be modular and interchangeable. General Chemistry is taught without Physics being a prerequisite, and 1st year Biology is taught without recourse to the physical sciences in the discussion. This leaves most students with an impoverished, unfulfilled understanding of science, which represents a major waste of human potential in our view. Instead of four separate courses of 10 semester hours each of Physics, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Biology, we believe that the general sciences should be taught as a two-year combined course of forty total hours with a spiraling curriculum. Within a spiraling curriculum, students are exposed to a number of important concepts early. As the curriculum progresses, students return to those concepts again and again expanding on the foundation established earlier. The Wisebridge Interdisciplinary Curriculum represents our effort to develop such a course for students reviewing for comprehensive exams in undergraduate science. Because the Wisebridge Learning Program is intended for remediation and review prior to comprehensive examination, it is not a two year course. Students will use these resources in different ways. The Interdisciplinary Discussions can serve as a Review Epicycle, accompanying a two week pass through the material, for example, or they can serve students later in the year and next integrated within the three to six month Interdisciplinary Curriculum.

MECHANICS AND WAVES
1KinematicsPhysics
2Newton's LawsPhysics
3Work, Energy, and PowerPhysics
4Momentum and ImpulsePhysics
5RotationPhysics
6Harmonic MotionPhysics
7Elastic Properties of SolidsPhysics
8Fluid MechanicsPhysics
9WavesPhysics
FUNDAMENTAL FORCES
10GravitationPhysics
11ElectricityPhysics
THE STRUCTURE OF MATTER
12Atomic TheoryGeneral Chemistry
13Periodic PropertiesGeneral Chemistry
14The Chemical BondGeneral Chemistry
15Intermolecular ForcesGeneral Chemistry
16Functional Groups in Organic ChemistryOrganic Chemistry
17Conformations of Organic MoleculesOrganic Chemistry
18StereochemistryOrganic Chemistry
THERMODYNAMICS AND KINETICS IN PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL SYSTEMS
19Temperature and Heat FlowPhysics
20The Ideal GasPhysics
21The First Law of ThermodynamicsPhysics
22StoichiometryGeneral Chemistry
23ThermochemistryGeneral Chemistry
24The States of MatterGeneral Chemistry
25The Physical Properties of Organic CompoundsOrganic Chemistry
26The Second Law of Thermodynamics and Heat EnginesPhysics
28Chemical Thermodynamics and the Equilibrium StateGeneral Chemistry
29Chemical KineticsGeneral Chemistry
SOLUTIONS AND AQUEOUS SYSTEMS
30WaterGeneral Chemistry
31SolutionsGeneral Chemistry
32Acids and BasesGeneral Chemistry
33Organic Acids and BasesOrganic Chemistry
ORGANIC REACTION CHEMISTRY
34Nucleophiles and ElectrophilesOrganic Chemistry
35Intramolecular Cationic RearrangementsOrganic Chemistry
36Reactions with Radical IntermediatesOrganic Chemistry
37Conjugated π Systems and AromaticityOrganic Chemistry
38Reactions of AlkanesOrganic Chemistry
39Reactions of AlkenesOrganic Chemistry
40Reactions of AlkynesOrganic Chemistry
41Reactions of Alkyl HalidesOrganic Chemistry
42Reactions of Allylic and Benzylic ConjugationOrganic Chemistry
43Reactions of Aromatic CompoundsOrganic Chemistry
44Reactions of Alcohols and EthersOrganic Chemistry
45Reactions of Aldehydes and KetonesOrganic Chemistry
46Reactions of Carboxylic Acids and DerivativesOrganic Chemistry
47Reactions of AminesOrganic Chemistry
48Reactions of Organic Phosphorus CompoundsOrganic Chemistry
49Reactions of Organic Sulfur CompoundsOrganic Chemistry
BIOMOLECULES
50Coordination ChemistryGeneral Chemistry
51ProteinsBiology
52CarbohydratesBiology
54Nucleic AcidsBiology
53LipidsBiology
THE CELL
55Biological MembranesBiology
56The Prokaryotic CellBiology
57The Eukaryotic CellBiology
BIOENERGETICS AND BIOSYNTHESIS
58Oxidation/ReductionGeneral Chemistry
59Oxidation/Reduction in Organic ChemistryOrganic Chemistry
60ElectrochemistryGeneral Chemistry
61Bioenergetics and Cellular RespirationBiology
62PhotosynthesisBiology
63Biosynthesis of MacromoleculesBiology
64Integration of MetabolismBiology
GENETICS & REPRODUCTION
65Gene ExpressionBiology
66Cellular ReproductionBiology
67Mendelian GeneticsBiology
68Recombination and MutationBiology
70The Molecular Biology LaboratoryBiology
71Human GeneticsBiology
DIVERSITY OF LIFE
72VirusesBiology
73MoneraBiology
74ProtistaBiology
75FungiBiology
76PlantsBiology
77AnimalsBiology
78Animal Development and EmbryologyBiology
79Mammalian Tissues and HistologyBiology
HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY
80The Nervous SystemBiology
81Sensory SystemsBiology
82The Endocrine SystemBiology
83The Musculoskeletal SystemBiology
84The Cardiovascular SystemBiology
85BloodBiology
86The Respiratory SystemBiology
87The Lymphatic System and ImmunityBiology
89The Urinary SystemBiology
90The Digestive System and NutritionBiology
92The Reproductive SystemBiology
POPULATION BIOLOGY
93PopulationsBiology
94EvolutionBiology
95EcologyBiology
ELECTROMAGNETISM, LIGHT, AND MODERN PHYSICS
97DC CurrentPhysics
98MagnetismPhysics
99Electomagnetic InductionPhysics
100AC CurrentPhysics
101The Properties of LightPhysics
102Geometric OpticsPhysics
103Wave OpticsPhysics
104Molecular SpectroscopyOrganic Chemistry
105Nuclear PhysicsPhysics
106Modern PhysicsPhysics
In addition to a Topic Bar, every Chapter and Interdisciplinary Discussion page also contains an Interdisciplinary Campus View. This is a clickable image map presenting a perspective on the Interdisciplinary Campus customized for the particular discussion. (As of this writing, a portion of the Interdisciplinary Discussions still require the installation of campus views, and so they contain temporary topic lists as substitutes). Please click over to read a detailed explanation of the design basis of the Interdisciplinary Campus.
The Campus View below is associated with the same discussion as the Topic Bar above, relating to an Interdisciplinary Discussion involving "Work, Energy, & Power", "Electricity", and "The First Law of Thermodynamics" from Physics as well as "Intermolecular Forces" and "Thermochemistry" from General Chemistry. While the Topic Bar above presented a view of the topics within the serial context of the course sequence, so that some topics are "preview" and others are "review". The Campus View presents the topics in the synchronous environment of the Interdisciplinary Campus, modeling in architectural space their arrangement in conceptual space.
CarbohydratesCoordination ChemistryAcids and Bases       Acids and BasesSolutions  Water   Chemical Kinetics   Chemical Thermodynamics The States of Matter ThermochemistryStoichiometry     Intermolecular ForcesChemical BondingPeriodic PropertiesAtomic TheoryElectromagnetic InductionMagnetismAC CurrentDC CurrentElectricity2nd Law of Thermodynamics1st Law of ThermodynamicsIdeal Gas and Kinetic TheoryHeat and Temperaturearticle_info.php/articles_id/139Simple Harmonic MotionRotationWork Energy and PowerNewtons LawsKinematics
Basis of the Design of the Interdisciplinary Campus
**Memory**

Wisebridge Learning Systems created the Interdisciplinary Campus to help students better remember and understand the concepts of undergraduate science. As an aid to memory, this work participates in the long tradition of memory palaces. In the ancient world, printing presses and affordable paper did not exist, so it was necessary in certain professions to develop memory skills far beyond what we are accustomed to. One technique, called memory palace, employed systematic visualization of the material within an imaginary spatial environment. According to the description of this method by the Roman Senator Cicero in his work, De Oratorio, a memory palace is an imaginary mental structure, a visual representation of a garden, building or collection of buildings. The process of memorization involves the mind's eye placing and visualizing memory items at specified locations throughout the imaginary environment so that the facts and concepts become associated with specific locations within the imagined space. To recall the material at a later time, the mind's eye returns along the previous pathway, moving from building to building, room to room, recollecting the memory items. Astonishing feats of memory have been made possible by the technique, most likely, because it mirrors natural processes of cognition.


To help students form a structured memory of scientific knowledge, the buildings of the Interdisciplinary Campus correspond to the subtopics of physics, chemistry, organic chemistry, and biology. Most buildings associate with a single subtopic, although a few are compound, associating with a collection of closely related subtopics, where we felt this was best. Different styles of world historical architecture distinguish the sciences. The buildings of Physics are taken from the ancient Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Sumerian and Saleucid architectures. The Chemistry buildings are based on Byzantine, Gothic, and European Renaissance styles. The Organic Chemistry buildings are from classic Islamic architecture, and the Biology buildings derive from the traditional architectures of East Asia and the Indian Subcontinent.


When the view mode is on the full campus, you can roll your mouse over the buildings to find out which subtopics they represent. (In most zoom views, the building labels appear on the image).


**Understanding**

The Campus was specifically created to serve as the web-based exploration environment for the Interdisciplinary Curriculum. This is a free learning program consisting of a great deal of free content, including over a quarter of a million words in the Interconnectedness Discussions. The Interdisciplinary Curriculum was initially developed for MCAT preparation but it should benefit any undergraduate science student. This work grew out of a teaching project for students preparing for the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) in the United States. Its intended audience includes premedical students preparing for the MCAT and students preparing for similar exams worldwide (such as the CBSE PMT in India). Its audience also includes the general population of undergraduate science students as well as ambitious Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate students at the secondary school level. The Interdisciplinary Curriculum was created to show how fundamental physics underlies the concepts of general chemistry and how the biological sciences can be better understood in the light of the physical sciences. This work represents the latest phase of a major on-going project whose purpose is to remediate the undergraduate science education of individual students by unifying the modular, disconnected undergraduate lecture course curriculum into a harmonious, structured understanding.


The Interdisciplinary Campus is designed not only as an aid for memory, but also as an aid to understanding. The campus is not only a memory palace; it is also a concept map. Concept mapping is a technique for representing knowledge that was developed by Joseph D. Novak at Cornell University in the 1960s based on the theories of David Ausubel. Ausubel believed that meaningful learning involves recognition of the links between concepts. Meaningful learning involves assimilation of new concepts into existing cognitive structures, so the most important aspect of learning is how new information is integrated into an existing knowledge base. Under the method created by Novak, in concept mapping, a body of knowledge is represented graphically with the concepts represented as nodes and the relationship between them is represented as links.


The Interdisciplinary Campus is a variation of concept mapping, but rather than concepts being linked by simple graphical lines, the Interdisciplinary Campus communicates the relationships among scientific subtopics using the spatial and design relationships among the buildings. For example, in Physics, the building for Newton's Laws, which deal with the basic mechanics of force, shares a pond with forces of Gravity, Electricity, and Magnetism.

Notice the Electricity building. Its architecture is echoed in General Chemistry by Atomic Theory and Chemical Bonding as well as Oxidation/Reduction & Electrochemistry, reflecting the centrality of electric force in atomic theory, chemical bonding, and oxidation/reduction.

Finally, take a look at Oxidation/Reduction and Electrochemistry. Do you see how its facade gazes all the way across Chemistry into Biology where it is mirrored by Bioenergetics and Metabolism? Learning to navigate conceptually between Newton's Laws, Electricity, Chemical Bonding, Oxidation/Reduction, and Oxidative Metabolism is a part of developing a fluent, interdisciplinary understanding of science. There are a great many of these kinds of relationships built into the Interdisciplinary Campus design, and discovering them is part of what makes exploring the campus educational and enjoyable.

Is this Learning Program Free?

The Interdisciplinary Campus and Curriculum are free resources provided by Wisebridge Learning Systems. Our business model relies on the sale of a few low-priced subscription based services, such as diagnostic tests (available soon), sales of our own published items and the works of other publishers through our bookstore (opening soon). We believe that our own publications are among the very best of their type. These sales allow Wisebridge Learning Systems to provide free access to the Interdisciplinary Campus and Curriculum, which is a very significant work. There is no requirement to make any purchase to use the Curriculum.

What materials do I need for the Learning Program?

The essential elements of this learning program are the Interconnectedness Discussions, the Campus, and the Syllabus, and those are free. Assignments in the syllabus that require printed materials, wherever possible, are expressed as a range of choices. There are no required printed items, and in most categories, a host of suitable works are available on the market. For each assignment, we present a range of choices and our review of the strengths and weaknesses of each. Students who have already purchased a typical quantity of study materials for MCAT preparation should already be fairly well equipped for the program, as long as those materials are of good quality. If your learning materials include the quite functional course materials provided with the Kaplan or Princeton Review MCAT courses, please note that those companies maintain very tight control on their course publications, and we do not have the right to assign from those works, because of the restrictive language governing their publication. It should not be difficult to use your own judgment with regard to integrating those materials in the learning program. The Wisebridge program fits well alongside your current study program. It is not meant to supplant other learning methods but to enrich them.

Roll-out Schedule

The first major portion of the Learning Program, the Interconnectedness Discussions, are scheduled to debut on the site February 25, 2006. Of all the student groups, the most interested are probably those preparing for the April MCAT. At this early stage in the roll-out this Spring, with the Learning Program only partially implemented, you may find it valuable to read through the Interconnectedness Discussions in the order the Main Course Sequence below. This will help broaden and deepen your understanding of science, but don't make the Wisebridge Learning Program any more than a supplement for this April. A great deal of material is on the way in the form of conceptual presentations, illustrations, and problem sets. These will be arriving throughout the year, so please check back later. It will be a relatively fast roll-out, given the amount of material, because a great deal has been finished except for the web implementation.

Wisebridge Learning System for Physics

500 Concept & Question Cards with Over 1000 Illustrations


Carefully designed to be interesting and useful to learning, the Wisebridge Learning System for Physics helps students achieve a solid grasp of college physics. This set of learning cards contains over 500 Concept, Summary and Question Cards with over 1000 illustrations. It is a comprehensive learning system that teaches intuitive, conceptual fluency. This learning system will enrich your understanding and help you excel in lecture course and perform well on comprehensive examinations.

"I just recently purchased the Wisebridge Learning Systems Physics Flashcards and they are absolutely great. These cards beat any other physics flashcards on the market. I highly recommend them to anyone either taking physics classes or preparing for the MCAT. I have my B.S. in physics and I wish the cards had been available when I was studying physics. The cards don't just have you memorize a bunch of facts but instead they help you to actually think about physics. These cards are great!"

-D. O. (Mobile, Alabama United States)


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Organic Mechanisms Pocketbook

A Resource for Understanding and Retention


  • College Course Review
  • MCAT Preparation
  • Laboratory Reference
The Wisebridge Organic Reaction Mechanisms Pocket-Book helps students overcome one of the most formidable challenges of undergraduate science, the reaction mechanisms of organic chemistry. Presenting the mechanisms in a clear, straight-forward way, this unique book makes learning and retaining them manageable.

Each reaction mechanism is presented fully and accompanied by clear, insightful commentary. Published on heavy duty card-stock, the Organic Reaction Mechanisms Pocket-Book is a durable study companion.

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