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Kapp, Sebastian; Thees, Michael; Strzys, Martin P.; Beil, Fabian; Kuhn, Jochen; Amiraslanov, Orkhan; Javaheri, Hamraz; Lukowicz, Paul; Lauer, Frederik; Rheinländer, Carl; Wehn, Norbert – Physics Teacher, 2019
During the last decade the development of modern digital media such as smartphones and tablet computers has enabled new experimental possibilities in STEM education. Besides these now nearly ubiquitous devices, the fields of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) also made huge progress and reached education. In this paper we introduce an…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Secondary School Science, High School Students, Computer Simulation
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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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Lamore, Brian – Physics Teacher, 2016
For years the fan cart has provided physics students with an excellent resource for exploring fundamental mechanics concepts such as acceleration, Newton's laws, impulse, momentum, work-energy, and energy conversions. "The Physics Teacher" has even seen some excellent do-it-yourself (DIY) fan carts and activities. If you are interested…
Descriptors: Physics, Science Instruction, Mechanics (Physics), Motion
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Nathan, Stephen A.; Loxsom, Fred – Physics Teacher, 2016
Sustainable energy is growing in importance as the public becomes more aware of climate change and the need to satisfy our society's energy demands while minimizing environmental impacts. To further this awareness and to better prepare a workforce for "green careers," we developed a sustainable energy laboratory course that is suitable…
Descriptors: High School Students, Undergraduate Students, Sustainability, Energy
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Zavrel, Erik; Sharpsteen, Eric – Physics Teacher, 2015
In an era when many students carry iPods, iPhones, and iPads, physics teachers are realizing that in order to continue to inspire and convey the amazing things made possible by a few fundamental principles, they must expand laboratory coverage of electricity and circuits beyond the conventional staples of constructing series and parallel…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Physics, Telecommunications, Handheld Devices
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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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Gagnon, Michel – Physics Teacher, 2012
Early in the last century, Robert Millikan developed a precise method of determining the electric charge carried by oil droplets. Using a microscope and a small incandescent lamp, he observed the fall of charged droplets under the influence of an electric field inside a small observation chamber. In so doing, Millikan demonstrated the existence of…
Descriptors: Physics, Fuels, Energy, Science Experiments
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Feldman, Bernard J. – Physics Teacher, 2010
Most likely, solar cells will play a significant role in this country's strategy to address the two interrelated issues of global warming and dependence on imported oil. The purpose of this paper is to present an explanation of how solar cells work at an introductory high school, college, or university physics course level. The treatment presented…
Descriptors: Physics, Energy, Science Activities, Science Instruction
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Logiurato, F.; Gratton, L. M.; Oss, S. – Physics Teacher, 2008
In this paper we describe and discuss simple, inexpensive optical experiments used to simulate x-ray and electron diffraction according to the Debye-Scherrer theory. The experiment can be used to address, at the high school level, important subjects related to fundamental quantum and solid-state physics.
Descriptors: Science Instruction, High Schools, Secondary School Science, Optics
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Barry, Reno – Physics Teacher, 2008
Electric Motorboat Drag Racing is a culminating high school physics project designed to apply and bring to life many content standards for physics. Students need to be given several weeks at home to design and build their model-sized electric motorboats for the 5-meter drag racing competition down rain gutters. In the process, they are discussing…
Descriptors: Physics, Hands on Science, Science Activities, Student Motivation
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Bosworth, Wade A.; Wilkinson, John – Physics Teacher, 2008
The use of eggs and mousetraps in physics is commonplace in most American high school physics classrooms. The egg drops, the egg walk, and the great Canadian egg race, as well as the mousetrap cars, have all been well-documented in this journal. These types of collaborative, competitive projects are a great way to motivate students. Students at…
Descriptors: Physics, Secondary School Science, Science Instruction, Food
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Zou, Xueli; Dietz, Eric; McGuire, Trevor; Fox, Louise; Norris, Tiara; Diamond, Brendan; Chavez, Ricardo; Cheng, Stephen – Physics Teacher, 2008
Since Robert Millikan discovered the quantization of electric charge and measured its fundamental value over 90 years ago, his oil-drop experiment has become essential in physics laboratory classes at both the high school and college level. As physics instructors, however, many of us have used the traditional setup and experienced the tedium of…
Descriptors: Photography, Physics, Laboratory Equipment, Motion
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Watt, Jeanie I.; Roth, Bradley J. – Physics Teacher, 2007
This article is intended as a guide for teaching geomagnetism in a high school or university introductory physics class. Many students find this subject fascinating. Instructors, however, often have a difficult time introducing this topic at an elementary level. Suggestions will be made on how to accomplish this using three electricity and…
Descriptors: Energy, Magnets, Models, Science Instruction
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Shastri, Ananda – Physics Teacher, 2007
This paper describes the construction of a slide-rule computer that allows one to quickly determine magnitudes of several effects that result from the detonation of a nuclear device. Suggestions for exercises are also included that allow high school and college-level physics students to explore scenarios involving these effects. It is hoped that…
Descriptors: Physics, High School Students, Computation, Measurement Techniques