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ERIC Number: EJ1037587
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Sep
Pages: 2
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 8
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Three Misconceptions about Radiation--And What We Teachers Can Do to Confront Them
Neumann, Susanne
Physics Teacher, v52 n6 p357-358 Sep 2014
During the last few years teaching physics, I have noticed that my students are becoming more and more interested in the topic of radiation. Mobile phones, modern game consoles, and WiFi--all of these devices involving some kind of radiation are part of our students' everyday lives. Students are also frequently confronted in the media with debates relating to different types of radiation: What are the effects of nuclear contamination going to be after the Fukushima accident? Can radiation from mobile phones really cause cancer? Should the use of tanning booths be forbidden for teenagers? Although students seem to be very motivated to learn about the topic of radiation, I have encountered several misconceptions about this topic that my students bring into the physics classroom. Some of these misconceptions might be caused by biased media reports, while others can be attributed to a different usage of the word radiation in everyday language (when compared to the scientific usage of this term). In this paper, I would like to present the most common misconceptions about radiation that I have encountered in my physics courses and I would like to give some ideas how to confront these ideas in teaching. A detailed description of these misconceptions discovered through empirical research can be found in one of my research articles.
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