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ERIC Number: EJ1033144
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Mar
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 4
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Animating Energy: Stop-Motion Animation and Energy Tracking Representations
Atkins, Leslie J.; Erstad, Craig; Gudeman, Paul; McGowan, Jacob; Mulhern, Kristin; Prader, Kaitlyn; Rodriguez, Gregoria; Showaker, Amy; Timmons, Adam
Physics Teacher, v52 n3 p152-156 Mar 2014
Energy is a topic that is often treated as an accounting process-a number that students are asked to calculate, but that is not particularly meaningful in itself. When we try to ascribe meaning to this number ("an ability to do work," for example), we are met with caveats and hedges. As Feynman notes when lecturing on the conservation of energy, it "is not a description of a mechanism, or anything concrete; it is just a strange fact that we can calculate some number and when we finish watching nature go through her tricks and calculate the number again, it is the same." These calculations allow us to infer more meaningful quantities: how fast an object will move, how far it will travel, how compressed it will become, or how hot it will feel. But energy itself, particularly in introductory physics, rarely gives insights into physical problems.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A