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The Cognitive Blending of Mathematics and Physics Knowledge Documents

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The Cognitive Blending of Mathematics and Physics Knowledge 

written by Thomas J. Bing and Edward F. Redish

Numbers, variables, and equations are used differently in a physics class than in a pure mathematics class. In physics, these symbols not only obey formal mathematical rules but also carry physical ideas and relations. This paper focuses on modeling how this combination of physical and mathematical knowledge is constructed. The cognitive blending framework highlights both the different ways this combination can occur and the emergence of new insights and meaning that follows such a combination. After an introduction to the blending framework itself, several examples from undergraduate physics students' work are analyzed.

Published January 30, 2007
Last Modified January 29, 2011

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