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Abstract Title: Students’ identification of Newton’s third law’s force pairs in the presence of gravitational force
Abstract: In this study, we seek to explore students' misconceptions regarding Newton's third law's force pairs, especially the balanced forces as pairs' misconceptions. Three different exams in which there were balanced and unbalanced forces were distributed at random to students of an introductory mechanics course. In each problem, students were asked to draw a free body diagram, identify any force pair and justify their selection. We found that many students had problems with non-trivial free body diagrams. In a simple case (a box in a horizontal surface), half of the students had a correct answer for the force pair; however with a box in an inclined plane, only around a quarter had a correct answer. Most of the mistakes in any of the cases were related to balanced forces. These results were even found in the problem with unbalanced forces in which students forced a balanced pair to answer the question.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Eduardo Castro
Tecnologico de Monterrey
Garza Sada 2501
Monterrey, Non U.S. 64849
Phone: 8183582000
and Co-Presenter(s)
Genaro Zavala
Tecnologico de Monterrey