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ERIC Number: EJ984059
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Apr
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Interpreting Recoil for Undergraduate Students
Elsayed, Tarek A.
Physics Teacher, v50 n4 p209-211 Apr 2012
The phenomenon of recoil is usually explained to students in the context of Newton's third law. Typically, when a projectile is fired, the recoil of the launch mechanism is interpreted as a reaction to the ejection of the smaller projectile. The same phenomenon is also interpreted in the context of the conservation of linear momentum, which is closely related to Newton's third law. Since the actual microscopic causes of recoil differ from one problem to another, some students (and teachers) may not be satisfied with understanding recoil through the principles of conservation of linear momentum and Newton's third law. For these students, the origin of the recoil motion should be presented in more depth.
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 - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A