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written by Pablo Barniol
In this article we report an investigation on students' understanding of: 1) unit vectors and, 2) scalar multiplication of a vector. We administered two different tests to a total of 850 students after taking their first introductory physics course on mechanics at a large private Mexican university. The first test about unit vectors was taken by 270 students and the second test about scalar multiplication of a vector by 580 students. In the first part of this article, we analyze students' difficulties sketching the unit vector in the direction of a vector in the Cartesian coordinate plane. In the second part, we analyze students' responses in two types of problems: positive and negative scalar multiplication of a vector. In both parts of this article we describe frequent errors that have not been reported in the literature.
Physics Education Research Conference 2011
Part of the PER Conference series
Omaha, Nebraska: August 3-4, 2011
Volume 1413, Pages 115-118
Subjects ADS Supplements Resource Types
Education - Basic Research
- Alternative Conceptions
- Assessment
Mathematical Tools
- Vector Algebra
- Reference Material
= Research study
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Formats:
application/pdf
non-digital
Mirror:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3680007
Access Rights:
Free access and
Available for purchase
A preprint of the work is available. A hard copy of the PERC 2011 proceedings is available for purchase from the AIP.
Restriction:
© 2011 American Institute of Physics
DOI:
10.1063/1.3680007
PACS:
01.40.Fk
Keywords:
PERC 2011, difficulties, misconceptions, scalar multiplication of a vector, unit vector
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created April 24, 2012 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
April 24, 2012 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
February 6, 2012
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Record Link
AIP Format
P. Barniol, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2011, Omaha, Nebraska, 2011, WWW Document, (http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11827&DocID=2677).
AJP/PRST-PER
P. Barniol, Students' difficulties with unit vectors and scalar multiplication of a vector, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2011, Omaha, Nebraska, 2011, <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11827&DocID=2677>.
APA Format
Barniol, P. (2011, August 3-4). Students' difficulties with unit vectors and scalar multiplication of a vector. Paper presented at Physics Education Research Conference 2011, Omaha, Nebraska. Retrieved December 21, 2014, from http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11827&DocID=2677
Chicago Format
Barniol, Pablo. "Students' difficulties with unit vectors and scalar multiplication of a vector." Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2011, Omaha, Nebraska, August 3-4, 2011. http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11827&DocID=2677 (accessed 21 December 2014).
MLA Format
Barniol, Pablo. "Students' difficulties with unit vectors and scalar multiplication of a vector." Physics Education Research Conference 2011. Omaha, Nebraska: 2011. 115-118 Vol. 1413 of PER Conference. 21 Dec. 2014 <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11827&DocID=2677>.
BibTeX Export Format
@inproceedings{ Author = "Pablo Barniol", Title = {Students' difficulties with unit vectors and scalar multiplication of a vector}, BookTitle = {Physics Education Research Conference 2011}, Pages = {115-118}, Address = {Omaha, Nebraska}, Series = {PER Conference}, Volume = {1413}, Month = {August 3-4}, Year = {2011} }
Refer Export Format

%A Pablo Barniol
%T Students' difficulties with unit vectors and scalar multiplication of a vector
%S PER Conference
%V 1413
%D August 3-4 2011
%P 115-118
%C Omaha, Nebraska
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11827&DocID=2677
%O Physics Education Research Conference 2011
%O August 3-4
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Conference Proceedings
%A Barniol, Pablo
%D August 3-4 2011
%T Students' difficulties with unit vectors and scalar multiplication of a vector
%B Physics Education Research Conference 2011
%C Omaha, Nebraska
%V 1413
%P 115-118
%S PER Conference
%8 August 3-4
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11827&DocID=2677


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