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ERIC Number: EJ860297
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Nov
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Graphs as a Problem-Solving Tool in 1-D Kinematics
Desbien, Dwain M.
Physics Teacher, v46 n8 p483-485 Nov 2008
In this age of the microcomputer-based lab (MBL), students are quite accustomed to looking at graphs of position, velocity, and acceleration versus time. A number of textbooks argue convincingly that the slope of the velocity graph gives the acceleration, the area under the velocity graph yields the displacement, and the area under the acceleration gives the change in velocity. I also use dimensional analysis to help make the arguments. While students are very often encouraged to sketch graphs of motion to help build a better understanding, too little emphasis is placed on the fact that such graphs can be used to actually solve problems. This paper shows two examples of how to use sketches of velocity and acceleration graphs to solve 1-D motion problems.
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: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A