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ERIC Number: EJ1037276
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Nov
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 16
ISSN: ISSN-0031-9120
How Can Magnetic Forces Do Work? Investigating the Problem with Students
Onorato, Pasquale; De Ambrosis, Anna
Physics Education, v48 n6 p766-775 Nov 2013
We present a sequence of activities aimed at promoting both learning about magnetic forces and students' reflection about the conceptual bridge between magnetic forces on a moving charge and on a current-carrying wire in a magnetic field. The activity sequence, designed for students in high school or on introductory physics courses, has been tested with about 150 high school students and 50 pre-service teachers. Results indicate that students' understanding of the direction and magnitude of the magnetic force improved markedly and that some typical difficulties were overcome. Comparison of the two types of forces and of their effects allowed focusing on their crucial difference with respect to the possibility of doing work and encouraged students to search for models that are able to link one force to another.
Institute of Physics Publishing. The Public Ledger Building Suite 929, 150 South Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 215-627-0880; Fax: 215-627-0879; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A