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PERC 2012 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Investigation of Students’ Understanding of Magnetic Forces and Problem-Solving Skills
Abstract: We present results highlighting students' understanding of the magnetic force on a charged particle and associated difficulties in solving problems, using test and quiz responses from students enrolled in a studio-mode algebra-based second semester introductory physics course. Even when provided all the necessary formulas on exams and quizzes, students face difficulties in solving problems. While some students cannot recognize the correct formula with which to begin, others start correctly but lack the conceptual understanding to correctly apply the given information to the chosen formula. Additionally, some students lack necessary math skills to process their results and solve for the unknown quantity. Our discussion focuses on students' understanding of coordinate system, use of the Right-Hand-Rule to determine the direction of the magnetic force, and use of vector math to determine the magnitude and direction of the net force. We also compare students' abilities to solve condensed problems compared to directed problems.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Archana Dubey
Department of Physics, University of Central Florida
4000 Central Florida Blvd
Building 121 PS 430
Orlando, FL 32816-2385
Phone: 407 882 1021
and Co-Presenter(s)
Jacquelyn J. Chini
Department of Physics, University of Central Florida