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This page contains procedures for setting up 20 demonstrations relating to motion. Designed for use in the introductory physics classroom, each demonstration is written in a lesson-plan format and has been fully tested in the classroom. The items were selected for inclusion because they are enjoyable, highly illustrative of key concepts taught in a classical mechanics course, and for simplicity of set-up. This resource is part of a larger collection by the same author.
Metadata instance created
April 30, 2007
by Caroline Hall
January 28, 2014
by Caroline Hall
AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)
4. The Physical Setting
4E. Energy Transformations
6-8: 4E/M1. Whenever energy appears in one place, it must have disappeared from another. Whenever energy is lost from somewhere, it must have gone somewhere else. Sometimes when energy appears to be lost, it actually has been transferred to a system that is so large that the effect of the transferred energy is imperceptible.
6-8: 4E/M2. Energy can be transferred from one system to another (or from a system to its environment) in different ways: 1) thermally, when a warmer object is in contact with a cooler one; 2) mechanically, when two objects push or pull on each other over a distance; 3) electrically, when an electrical source such as a battery or generator is connected in a complete circuit to an electrical device; or 4) by electromagnetic waves.
6-8: 4F/M3a. An unbalanced force acting on an object changes its speed or direction of motion, or both.
9-12: 4F/H1. The change in motion (direction or speed) of an object is proportional to the applied force and inversely proportional to the mass.
9-12: 4F/H4. Whenever one thing exerts a force on another, an equal amount of force is exerted back on it.
9-12: 4F/H7. In most familiar situations, frictional forces complicate the description of motion, although the basic principles still apply.
9-12: 4F/H8. Any object maintains a constant speed and direction of motion unless an unbalanced outside force acts on it.
Next Generation Science Standards
Disciplinary Core Ideas (K-12)
Forces and Motion (PS2.A)
The motion of an object is determined by the sum of the forces acting on it; if the total force on the object is not zero, its motion will change. The greater the mass of the object, the greater the force needed to achieve the same change in motion. For any given object, a larger force causes a larger change in motion. (6-8)
Newton's second law accurately predicts changes in the motion of macroscopic objects. (9-12)
Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer (PS3.B)
When the motion energy of an object changes, there is inevitably some other change in energy at the same time. (6-8)
Conservation of energy means that the total change of energy in any system is always equal to the total energy transferred into or out of the system. (9-12)
Energy cannot be created or destroyed, but it can be transported from one place to another and transferred between systems. (9-12)
Relationship Between Energy and Forces (PS3.C)
When two objects interact, each one exerts a force on the other that can cause energy to be transferred to or from the object. (6-8)
Crosscutting Concepts (K-12)
Energy and Matter (2-12)
The transfer of energy can be tracked as energy flows through a designed or natural system. (6-8)
Within a natural or designed system, the transfer of energy drives the motion and/or cycling of matter. (6-8)
The total amount of energy and matter in closed systems is conserved. (9-12)
Energy cannot be created or destroyed—it only moves between one place and another place, between objects and/or fields, or between systems. (9-12)
This resource is part of 2 Physics Front Topical Units.
Topic: Kinematics: The Physics of Motion Unit Title: Special Collections
This page contains procedures for setting up 20 demonstrations relating to motion. All demos have been fully tested in the classroom and were selected for inclusion because they are engaging, require minimal set-up, and are highly illustrative of key concepts taught in introductory classical mechanics. Historical anecdotes and commentary add to the depth of this unique resource.
Topic: Dynamics: Forces and Motion Unit Title: Applications of Newton's Laws
This resource directs teachers in the set-up of 20 engaging demonstrations relating to motion/mechanics. The materials include motion in one and two dimensions, coupled pendulum motion, rotational motion, and more. The author selected each demonstration for its "attention-getting" appeal and its ability to provoke thought about specific mechanical processes.
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