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Student Objections to and Understanding of Non-Cartesian Unit Vector Notation in Upper-Level E&M
written by
Brant E. Hinrichs
The upper level E&M course (i.e. based on Griffiths) involves the extensive integration of vector calculus concepts and notation with abstract physics concepts like field and potential. We hope that students take what they have learned in their math classes and apply it to help represent and make sense of the physics. Previous work showed that physics majors at different levels (pre-E&M course, post-E&M course, 1st year graduate students) had great difficulty using non-Cartesian unit vector symbols appropriately in a particular context. Since then we have developed a series of problems they work on in groups and discuss as a whole class to help them confront and resolve some of their difficulties. This paper presents those problems, typical in-class group responses, and three years of post-test data. Results show that students have (i) a very strong initial negative reaction to the vagueness of the r symbol, and (ii) an improved functional understanding of the notation as demonstrated by a better ability to use the symbols appropriately.
Physics Education Research Conference 2017
Part of the PER Conference series Cincinnati, OH: July 26-27, 2017 Pages 176-179
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Record Link
<a href="https://www.compadre.org/PER/items/detail.cfm?ID=14599">Hinrichs, Brant. "Student Objections to and Understanding of Non-Cartesian Unit Vector Notation in Upper-Level E&M." Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2017, Cincinnati, OH, July 26-27, 2017.</a>
AIP Format
B. Hinrichs, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2017, Cincinnati, OH, 2017, WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14599&DocID=4776).
AJP/PRST-PER
B. Hinrichs, Student Objections to and Understanding of Non-Cartesian Unit Vector Notation in Upper-Level E&M, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2017, Cincinnati, OH, 2017, <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14599&DocID=4776>.
APA Format
Hinrichs, B. (2017, July 26-27). Student Objections to and Understanding of Non-Cartesian Unit Vector Notation in Upper-Level E&M. Paper presented at Physics Education Research Conference 2017, Cincinnati, OH. Retrieved August 9, 2020, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14599&DocID=4776
Chicago Format
Hinrichs, Brant. "Student Objections to and Understanding of Non-Cartesian Unit Vector Notation in Upper-Level E&M." Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2017, Cincinnati, OH, July 26-27, 2017. https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14599&DocID=4776 (accessed 9 August 2020).
MLA Format
Hinrichs, Brant. "Student Objections to and Understanding of Non-Cartesian Unit Vector Notation in Upper-Level E&M." Physics Education Research Conference 2017. Cincinnati, OH: 2017. 176-179 of PER Conference. 9 Aug. 2020 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14599&DocID=4776>.
BibTeX Export Format
@inproceedings{
Author = "Brant Hinrichs",
Title = {Student Objections to and Understanding of Non-Cartesian Unit Vector Notation in Upper-Level E&M},
BookTitle = {Physics Education Research Conference 2017},
Pages = {176-179},
Address = {Cincinnati, OH},
Series = {PER Conference},
Month = {July 26-27},
Year = {2017}
}
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%A Brant Hinrichs
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The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual. The AJP/PRST-PER presented is based on the AIP Style with the addition of journal article titles and conference proceeding article titles. The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Style.org: Electronic References. The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation. The MLA Style presented is based on information from the MLA FAQ. Student Objections to and Understanding of Non-Cartesian Unit Vector Notation in Upper-Level E&M:Know of another related resource? Login to relate this resource to it. |
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