ERIC Number: EJ1117716
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jul
The Equilibrium Rule--A Personal Discovery
Hewitt, Paul G.
Science Teacher, v83 n5 p10-12 Jul 2016
Examples of equilibrium are evident everywhere and the equilibrium rule provides a reasoned way to view all things, whether in static (balancing rocks, steel beams in building construction) or dynamic (airplanes, bowling balls) equilibrium. Interestingly, the equilibrium rule applies not just to objects at rest but whenever any object or system of objects is not accelerating. Hence, a bowling ball rolling at constant velocity is in equilibrium--a state of no change. The ball rolls down the lane without a change in motion until it hits the pins, whereupon a change in its motion disrupts equilibrium. Objects at rest are in static equilibrium; objects moving at constant velocity (without acceleration) are in dynamic equilibrium. This article features directions for a classroom activity teachers can use to help physics students further explore the equilibrium rule.
Descriptors: Physics, Motion, Kinetics, Scientific Concepts, Scientific Principles, Science Instruction, Class Activities, Teaching Methods, Discovery Processes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
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