ERIC Number: EJ1040022
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 72
What Is the Meaning of the Physical Magnitude "Work"?
Science & Education, v23 n6 p1293-1308 Jun 2014
Usually, in physics textbooks, the physical magnitude "work" is introduced as the product of a force multiplied by its displacement, in relation to the transfer of energy. In other words, "work" is presented as an internal affair of physics theory, while its relation to the world of experience, that is its empirical meaning, is missing. On the other hand, in the history of its creation, "work" was a concept that had empirical meaning from the start. It was constructed by engineers to measure the work (labor) of motor engines, men, and animals. Very soon however this initial meaning seems to vanish. In this article, it will be looked at how "work" is presented in physics textbooks, what was its initial meaning in the history of its formulation, under what circumstances this initial meaning faded, and how elements from the history of its creation can be used in the classroom to teach it.
Descriptors: Physics, Textbooks, Science History, Scientific Concepts, Science Instruction, Labor, Engines
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A