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Kersting, Magdalena – Physics Education, 2019
The first direct observation of gravitational waves in 2015 has led to an increased public interest in topics of general relativity (GR) and astronomy. Physics teachers and educators respond to this interest by introducing modern ideas of gravity and spacetime to high school students. Doing so, they face the challenge of finding suitable models…
Descriptors: Physics, Scientific Concepts, Science Instruction, Foreign Countries
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Körber, C.; Hammer, I.; Wynen, J.-L.; Heuer, J.; Müller, C.; Hanhart, C. – Physics Education, 2018
Numerical simulations are playing an increasingly important role in modern science. In this work it is suggested to use a numerical study of the famous perihelion motion of the planet Mercury (one of the prime observables supporting Einsteins general relativity) as a test case to teach numerical simulations to high school students. The paper…
Descriptors: Motion, Physics, Science Instruction, Simulation
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Cunha, Ricardo F. F.; Tort, A. C. – Physics Education, 2017
Newton's law of universal gravitation underpins our understanding of the dynamics of the Solar System and of a good portion of the observable universe. Generally, in the classroom or in textbooks, the law is presented initially in a qualitative way and at some point during the exposition its mathematical formulation is written on the blackboard…
Descriptors: Physics, Science Instruction, Scientific Principles, Astronomy
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Rossi, Sabrina; Giordano, Enrica; Lanciano, Nicoletta – Physics Education, 2016
In this paper we present the "Sky on Earth" project funded in 2008 by the Italian Ministry of Instruction, Research and University, inside its annual public outreach education program. The project's goal was to realise a stable and open-access astronomical garden, where children, teachers and citizens could be engaged in investigations…
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Astronomy, Science Course Improvement Projects, Informal Education
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Leccia, Silvio; Colantonio, Arturo; Puddu, Emanuella; Galano, Silvia; Testa, Italo – Physics Education, 2015
Literature in "Physics Education" has shown that students encounter many difficulties in understanding wave propagation. Such difficulties lead to misconceptions also in understanding sound, often used as context to teach wave propagation. To address these issues, we present in this paper a module in which the students are engaged in…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Physics, Scientific Concepts, Concept Formation
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Testa, Italo; Busarello, Gianni; Puddu, Emanuella; Leccia, Silvio; Merluzzi, Paola; Colantonio, Arturo; Moretti, Maria Ida; Galano, Silvia; Zappia, Alessandro – Physics Education, 2015
The science education literature shows that students have difficulty understanding what causes the seasons. Incorrect explanations are often due to a lack of knowledge about the physical mechanisms underlying this phenomenon. To address this, we present a module in which the students engage in quantitative measurements with a photovoltaic panel to…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Physics, Scientific Concepts, Statistical Analysis
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Murphy, Evan; Hughes, Stephen – Physics Education, 2014
The determination of latitude and longitude on Earth has always been of interest to explorers and cartographers alike. Accurate positional information is often needed for rescue purposes in locations where satellite navigational systems are inoperable. The activity described in this paper demonstrates a simple procedure to determine latitude and…
Descriptors: Spatial Ability, Astronomy, Navigation, Geographic Location
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Koura, Hiroyuki – Physics Education, 2014
Three-dimensional (3D) nuclear charts were created using toy blocks, which represent the atomic masses per nucleon number and the total half-lives for each nucleus in the entire region of the nuclear mass. The bulk properties of the nuclei can be easily understood by using these charts. Subsequently, these charts were used in outreach activities…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Charts, Toys, Manipulative Materials
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Carroll, Joshua; Hughes, Stephen – Physics Education, 2013
A simple but accurate method for measuring the Earth's radius using a video camera is described. A video camera was used to capture a shadow rising up the wall of a tall building at sunset. A free program called ImageJ was used to measure the time it took the shadow to rise a known distance up the building. The time, distance and length of…
Descriptors: Video Technology, Photography, Measurement Techniques, Physics
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Ribeiro, C. I. – Physics Education, 2013
In this paper an example of a simple harmonic motion, the apparent motion of sunspots due to the Sun's rotation, is described, which can be used to teach this subject to high-school students. Using real images of the Sun, students can calculate the star's rotation period with the simple harmonic motion mathematical expression.
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Physics, Motion, Scientific Concepts
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Scott, Robert; Xinrong, Shen; Mulley, Ian; Pan, Zili – Physics Education, 2013
The introduction of a planetary science topic into teaching provides an opportunity for teachers to broaden the science base and offer an enrichment activity outside the National Curriculum. It enables students to undertake independent learning by engaging in a scientific investigation relevant to the real world. Here, more able students are given…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Physics, Scientific Concepts, Measurement Techniques
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de Souza, Vitor; Barros, Marcelo Alves; Filho, Edson Cesar Marques; Garbelotti, Cristiano Rodrigo; Joao, Herbert Alexandre – Physics Education, 2013
We use the context of astroparticle physics to introduce several fundamental concepts in physics and astrophysics. An activity has been developed using inexpensive materials that allows the reconstruction of the impact point and arrival direction of a cosmic ray particle measured by the Pierre Auger Observatory. The activity includes the…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Physics, Scientific Concepts, Astronomy
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Ellery, Adam; Hughes, Stephen – Physics Education, 2012
The Moon appears to be much larger closer to the horizon than when higher in the sky. This is called the "Moon illusion" since the observed size of the Moon is not actually larger when the Moon is just above the horizon. This paper describes a technique for verifying that the observed size of the Moon is not larger on the horizon. The technique…
Descriptors: Astronomy, Space Sciences, Photography, Science Activities
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Hughes, Stephen W. – Physics Education, 2010
In this article some basic laboratory bench experiments are described that are useful for teaching high school students some of the basic principles of stellar astrophysics. For example, in one experiment, students slam a plastic water-filled bottle down onto a bench, ejecting water towards the ceiling, illustrating the physics associated with a…
Descriptors: High School Students, Physics, Secondary School Science, Scientific Principles
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Wang, Xia-Wei – Physics Education, 2010
Employing Bohr's quantum theory, the author deduces three limits, which correspond to the magnetic fields of white dwarfs, neutron stars and the strongest in the universe. The author discusses the possible origins of magnetic fields due to collapse of stars, which produces a magnetic field of 10[superscript 8] T. Although the complete analysis…
Descriptors: Quantum Mechanics, Physics, Magnets, Scientific Concepts
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