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ERIC Number: EJ860250
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 11
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Energy and the Confused Student V: The Energy/Momentum Approach to Problems Involving Rotating and Deformable Systems
Jewett, John W., Jr.
Physics Teacher, v46 n5 p269-274 May 2008
Energy is a critical concept in physics problem-solving, but is often a major source of confusion for students if the presentation is not carefully crafted by the instructor or the textbook. A common approach to problems involving deformable or rotating systems that has been discussed in the literature is to employ the work-kinetic energy theorem together with a "pseudowork-kinetic energy theorem" or a "center-of-mass equation." This article discusses an alternative approach that employs neither of these equations and allows students a more global and less confusing approach to such problems. The approach is demonstrated for three sample situations from the literature. [For Part IV, see EJ860240.]
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: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A