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Students' Use of Symmetry with Gauss's Law Documents

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Students' Use of Symmetry with Gauss's Law 

written by Adrienne Traxler, Katrina E. Black, and John R. Thompson

To study introductory student difficulties with electrostatics, we compared student techniques when finding the electric field for spherically symmetric and non-spherically symmetric charged conductors. We used short interviews to design a free-response and multiple-choice-multiple-response survey that was administered to students in introductory calculus-based courses. We present the survey results and discuss them in light of Singh's results for Gauss's Law, Collins and Ferguson's epistemic forms and games, and Tuminaro's extension of games and frames.

Published January 30, 2007
Last Modified February 1, 2011

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