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Liang, Qingsheng; Wei, Yajun – Physics Teacher, 2018
"How does an aircraft fly?" is one of the most frequently asked science questions by young pupils. The lift on airplane wings also makes a great example of the application of the Bernoulli principle while teaching fluid mechanics in introductory physics and engineering courses. The topic is of great interest and is therefore covered in…
Descriptors: Physics, Visualization, Teaching Methods, Air Transportation
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Jordan, Connor; Dunn, Amy; Armstrong, Zachary; Adams, Wendy K. – Physics Teacher, 2018
Projectile motion is a common phenomenon that is used in introductory physics courses to help students understand motion in two dimensions. Authors have shared a range of ideas for teaching this concept and the associated kinematics in "The Physics Teacher" ("TPT"); however, the "Hoop Challenge" is a new setup not…
Descriptors: Physics, Motion, Introductory Courses, Science Instruction
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Phillips, Jeffrey A. – Physics Teacher, 2016
While entropy is often described as "disorder," it is better thought of as a measure of how spread out energy is within a system. To illustrate this interpretation of entropy to introductory college or high school students, several activities have been created. Students first study the relationship between microstates and macrostates to…
Descriptors: Energy, College Students, High School Students, Teaching Methods
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Sokoloff, David R. – Physics Teacher, 2016
There is considerable evidence that traditional approaches are ineffective in teaching physics concepts, including light and optics concepts. A major focus of the work of the Activity Based Physics Group has been on the development of active learning curricula like RealTime Physics (RTP) labs and Interactive Lecture Demonstrations (ILDs). Among…
Descriptors: Active Learning, Learning Strategies, Light, Optics
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Huwe, Paul; Field, Scott – Physics Teacher, 2015
Recent and exciting discoveries in astronomy and cosmology have inspired many high school students to learn about these fields. A particularly fascinating consequence of general relativity at the forefront of modern cosmology research is gravitational lensing, the bending of light rays that pass near massive objects. Gravitational lensing enables…
Descriptors: Introductory Courses, Physics, Astronomy, High School Students
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Allen, Bradley; Liu, Tongtian – Physics Teacher, 2015
Calculating the effective resistance of an electrical network is a common problem in introductory physics courses. Such calculations are typically restricted to two-dimensional networks, though even such networks can become increasingly complex, leading to several studies on their properties. Furthermore, several authors have used advanced…
Descriptors: Electronics, Physics, Computation, Introductory Courses
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Oostra, Benjamin – Physics Teacher, 2014
I present a novel way to introduce the lunar orbital eccentricity in introductory astronomy courses. The Moon is perhaps the clearest illustration of the general orbital elements such as inclination, ascending node, eccentricity, perigee, and so on. Furthermore, I like the students to discover astronomical phenomena for themselves, by means of a…
Descriptors: Astronomy, Science Instruction, Secondary School Science, High Schools
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Tagg, Randall; Carlson, John; Asadi-Zeydabadi, Masoud; Busley, Brad; Law-Balding, Katie; Juengel, Mattea – Physics Teacher, 2013
Physics First is offered to ninth graders at high schools in Aurora, CO. A unique new asset of this school system is an embedded research lab called the "Innovation Hyperlab." The goal of the lab is to connect secondary school teaching to ongoing university scientific research, supporting the school district's aim to create opportunities to…
Descriptors: Physics, Motion, Secondary School Science, Science Instruction
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Forrest, Doug; Whalen, Mary Battershell – Physics Teacher, 2012
Students entering physics courses in high school have seen graphs for years in math and science classes, but often do not have a deep understanding of the physical meaning of the graphs. This introductory activity is designed to allow students to collect data for a real world or physical situation (the height versus volume of water held in…
Descriptors: Physics, Science Instruction, Graphs, Introductory Courses
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Orzel, Chad; Reich, Gary; Marr, Jonathan – Physics Teacher, 2012
The proper choice of a measurement technique that minimizes systematic and random uncertainty is an essential part of experimental physics. These issues are difficult to teach in the introductory laboratory, though. Because most experiments involve only a single measurement technique, students are often unable to make a clear distinction between…
Descriptors: Physics, Science Instruction, Science Experiments, Laboratory Experiments
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Jumper, William D. – Physics Teacher, 2012
Many high school and introductory college physics courses make use of mousetrap car projects and competitions as a way of providing an engaging hands-on learning experience incorporating Newton's laws, conversion of potential to kinetic energy, dissipative forces, and rotational mechanics. Presented here is a simple analytical and finite element…
Descriptors: Physics, Hands on Science, Mechanics (Physics), Kinetics
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Hobson, Art – Physics Teacher, 2011
I'll outline suggestions for teaching elementary particle physics, often called "high energy physics," in high school or introductory college courses for non-scientists or scientists. Some presentations of this topic simply list the various particles along with their properties, with little overarching structure. Such a laundry list approach is a…
Descriptors: Introductory Courses, Physics, Science Instruction, Teaching Methods
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Maltese, Adam V.; Tai, Robert H.; Sadler, Philip M. – Physics Teacher, 2010
Laboratory experiences play a substantial role in most high school science courses, and many teachers believe the number of labs they offer is a measure of the quality of their curriculum. While some teachers believe labs are meant to confirm concepts taught during lectures, others feel labs should address students' everyday beliefs about the…
Descriptors: Scientific Methodology, Physics, Science Laboratories, Science Instruction