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ERIC Number: EJ864416
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 2
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Hanging an Airplane: A Case Study in Static Equilibrium
Katz, Debora M.
Physics Teacher, v47 n8 p516-519 Nov 2009
Our classrooms are filled with engineering majors who take a semester-long course in static equilibrium. Many students find this class too challenging and drop their engineering major. In our introductory physics class, we often breeze through static equilibrium; to physicists equilibrium is just a special case of Newton's second law. While it is difficult to find more time in the syllabus for any one topic, a hands-on case study may help students to develop their physical intuition about static equilibrium and may help them to succeed in their subsequent classes. This article describes a hands-on case study that you may wish to use in your classroom. (You may also wish to check a case study involving a boat published in this journal in the 1990s.) The hands-on case study presented here can be easily modified to work at the high school or introductory college level. There are three major components: I) planning, II) doing, and III) calculating.
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 - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A