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Coletta, Vincent P.; Bernardin, Josh; Pascoe, Daniel; Hoemke, Anatol – Physics Teacher, 2019
Physics instructors recognize the value of kinesthetic experience in learning fundamental physics concepts. We describe a kinesthetic experiment appropriate for both college and high school physics students. The experiment helps students achieve an intuitive understanding of Newton's second law in a way they find quite enjoyable. It was devised by…
Descriptors: Physics, Science Instruction, Scientific Concepts, Teaching Methods
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Kácovský, Petr – Physics Teacher, 2018
In the last decade, a powerful tool has been given to physics teachers to visualize thermodynamic phenomena. Thermal imaging cameras are fascinating devices opening the world of (even small) temperature changes and being able to uncover hidden manifestations of many processes around us. This paper describes a few qualitative thermal imaging…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Problem Based Learning, Physics, Thermodynamics
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Carbonel, Cyril; Grasset, Sébastien; Maysonnave, Jean – Physics Teacher, 2018
In astronomy, methods such as direct imaging or interferometry-based techniques (Michelson stellar interferometry for example) are used for observations. A particular advantage of interferometry is that it permits greater spatial resolution compared to direct imaging with a single telescope, which is limited by diffraction owing to the aperture of…
Descriptors: Astronomy, High School Students, Science Instruction, College Students
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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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Bu, Frank; Marlowe, Robert Lloyd; Whitson, Kristin – Physics Teacher, 2017
This is the story of how an enterprising high school student came to my lab one afternoon, asking if there were any way that he could gain "hands-on" lab experience by working with me. While I had some doubts about allowing him to work in an area with an expensive 150-mW focused laser beam, I eventually said yes. I was well aware that a…
Descriptors: Physics, Student Attitudes, Science Experiments, High School Students
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Papacosta, Pangratios; Linscheid, Nathan – Physics Teacher, 2016
Experiments that measure the speed of sound in air are common in high schools and colleges. In the Kundt's tube experiment, a horizontal air column is adjusted until a resonance mode is achieved for a specific frequency of sound. When this happens, the cork dust in the tube is disturbed at the displacement antinode regions. The location of the…
Descriptors: Motion, Measurement Equipment, Measurement Techniques, Acoustics
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Zavrel, Erik; Sharpsteen, Eric – Physics Teacher, 2016
The importance of understanding and internalizing the scientific method can hardly be exaggerated. Unfortunately, it is all too common for high school--and even university--students to graduate with only a partial or oversimplified understanding of what the scientific method is and how to actually employ it. Help in remedying this situation may…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Physics, Scientific Methodology, Science Process Skills
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D'Anna, Michele; Corridoni, Tommaso – Physics Teacher, 2015
Thin film interference manifests itself in a wide range of visually pleasing situations in everyday life (in the colored effects caused by a drop of oil on water, in soap bubbles, etc.) and is also involved in important technical applications (semi-reflecting mirrors, anti-reflection lenses, etc.). Yet, despite its familiarity, high school…
Descriptors: Science Experiments, Science Activities, High School Students, Scientific Concepts
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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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Nelson, Jim; Nelson, Jane Bray – Physics Teacher, 2015
In this paper, a discrepant event is used to initiate a learning cycle lesson to help students develop an understanding of the concept and equation for buoyant force. The data are gathered using readily available equipment and then graphically analyzed using a four-step analysis consistent with the modeling instructional approach. This laboratory…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Physics, Scientific Principles, Scientific Concepts
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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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Ribeiro, Jair Lúcio Prados – Physics Teacher, 2015
Human eye optics is a common high school physics topic and students usually show a great interest during our presentation of this theme. In this article, we present an easy way to estimate a diverging lens' optical power from a simple experiment involving myopia eyeglasses and a smartphone flashlight.
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Science Experiments, Optics, High School Students
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Brown, Todd – Physics Teacher, 2014
Although nuclear half-life is vital to physics and physical science, and to sensitive societal issues from nuclear waste to the age of the Earth, a true lab on half-life is almost never done at the college or high school level. Seldom are students able to use radioactivity to actually date when an object came into being, as is done in this…
Descriptors: Physics, Science Experiments, Spectroscopy, Primary Sources
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Planinšic, Gorazd; Etkina, Eugenia – Physics Teacher, 2014
LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, are cheap, easy to purchase, and thus commonly used in physics instruction as indicators of electric current or as sources of light (Fig. 1). In our opinion LEDs represent a unique piece of equipment that can be used to collect experimental evidence, and construct and test new ideas in almost every unit of a general…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Physics, Light, Energy
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Corridoni, Tommaso; D'Anna, Michele; Fuchs, Hans – Physics Teacher, 2014
The damped oscillator is discussed in every high school textbook or introductory physics course, and a large number of papers are devoted to it in physics didactics journals. Papers typically focus on kinematic and dynamic aspects and less often on energy. Among the latter, some are devoted to the peculiar decreasing behavior of energy…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Secondary School Science, Science Experiments, Energy
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