Students' difficulties with unit vectors and scalar multiplication of a vector
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
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<a href="https://www.compadre.org/portal/items/detail.cfm?ID=11827">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.</a>
AIP Format
P. Barniol, , presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2011, Omaha, Nebraska, 2011, WWW Document, (https://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, <https://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 7, 2023, from https://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. https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11827&DocID=2677 (accessed 7 December 2023).
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. 7 Dec. 2023 <https://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 https://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 https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11827&DocID=2677 Disclaimer: ComPADRE offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure. Please refer to the style manuals in the Citation Source Information area for clarifications.
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