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Abstract Title: Students' Understanding of the Concepts of Vector Components and Vector Products
Abstract: In this work we investigate students┬┤ understanding of: 1) vector components and, 2) vector products. We administered a test to 409 students completing introductory physics courses at a private Mexican university. In the first part, based on the work of Van Deventer [1], we analyze the understanding of components of a vector. We used multiple choice questions asking for students reasoning to elaborate on the misconceptions and difficulties of graphical representation of the x- and y-component of a vector. In the rest of this work, we analyze the understanding of the dot and cross products. We designed opened-ended questions to investigate the difficulties on the calculation and the misconceptions in the interpretation of these two products.
[1] J. Van Deventer, "Comparing student performance on isomorphic math and physics vector representations," Masters Thesis, The University of Maine (2008).
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster

Contributed Poster

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Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Genaro Zavala
Tecnologico de Monterrey
E. Garza Sada 2501
Monterrey, Mexico 64849
Phone: 5281835820000, ext. 4631
and Co-Presenter(s)
Pablo Barniol
Tecnologico de Monterrey