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The Physics Teacher
Number of Followers: 231  
 
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ISSN (Print) 0031-921X
Published by AAPT Homepage  [1 journal]
  • Fostering Students’ Decision-Making Competencies
    • Authors: Verena Spatz, Jana Tampe, Cyrill Slezak
      Abstract: The Physics Teacher, Volume 57, Issue 8, Page 533-535, November 2019.
      In the ever-changing landscape of educational practice and policy, educators oftentimes find it difficult to obtain adequate training and resources. This places a unique burden on education researchers to develop both content materials as well as professional development programs. The adoption and implementation of the federal No Child Left Behind legislation led to a renewed emphasis on writing and literacy strategies throughout the curriculum, including the sciences. Also, continual underperforming on national and international benchmarks (NAEP, PISA, TIMSS) has led to significant efforts in this country in the past few years to revitalize and improve the quality of student science instruction and scientific literacy. The latter reflects the need to address the broad challenges of modern society on the general public and our students alike within the science classroom and “entails being able to read with understanding articles about science in the popular press.” However, while a clear working definition of the term remains elusive and transient, various efforts have been made to address individual aspects of scientific literacy. One facet is the ability to distinguish between and utilize different aspects of argumentation such as physical, societal, and political criteria for decision-making, which is also reflected within the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). In this paper we introduce an example of a physics content-based approach to further students’ competency in argumentation- based decision-making.
      Citation: The Physics Teacher
      PubDate: 2019-10-21T08:46:37Z
      DOI: 10.1119/1.5131118
       
  • Five fresh Lorentz force demos
    • Authors: James Lincoln, Nick Moore
      Abstract: The Physics Teacher, Volume 57, Issue 8, Page 572-573, November 2019.
      10.1119/1.5131139.1Teaching the Lorentz force, that magnetic fields apply perpendicular forces on moving charges, is often the first lesson of electromagnetism. It is a joy to share this unexpected behavior of magnets. Yet the students do not usually get to handle the apparatus, let alone build it. Typical demonstrations are cathode ray tubes, jumping wires, and possibly a lab using an e/m apparatus. In this article we discuss several other methods by which to provide hands-on demonstrations of the Lorentz force, most with simple equipment, and all that are intriguing and effective.
      Citation: The Physics Teacher
      PubDate: 2019-10-21T08:46:36Z
      DOI: 10.1119/1.5131139
       
  • Visualizing Viscous Flow and Diffusion in the Circulatory System
    • Authors: Benjamin Spitznagel, Justin Weigal, Juan Rodriguez
      Abstract: The Physics Teacher, Volume 57, Issue 8, Page 529-532, November 2019.
      For many life science students, introductory physics is a requirement that bears little relevance to their future career goals. This perception is particularly striking in pharmacy programs, where only 12.6% of students identify physics as being very important toward their profession. To combat this perception, and to provide a more effective learning environment for our students, our institution is making an effort to infuse medically oriented applications into its introductory physics courses. Here, we share three computer simulations we developed for visualizing and exploring the physics of substance transport through vascular circulation and into tissue compartments. The transport is based on a simple model where molecules obey Newton’s second law as they are acted upon by a pressure gradient, viscous forces, and diffusion. These simulations can be used as class demonstrations, active learning activities, or virtual labs.
      Citation: The Physics Teacher
      PubDate: 2019-10-21T08:46:35Z
      DOI: 10.1119/1.5131117
       
  • On a Common Mistake in the Description of the Photoelectric Effect
    • Authors: Josu Martinez-Perdiguero
      Abstract: The Physics Teacher, Volume 57, Issue 8, Page 536-537, November 2019.
      The photoelectric effect is one of the key experiments taught during first- or second-year university and high school modern physics courses. It is usually the first experiment to introduce light quantization and the concept of photons as “packets of energy.” Here, we want to point out a widespread mistake concerning the interpretation of the saturation current at constant light intensity that is found even in some classic hardback literature. Although this is usually overlooked, it can weaken the conclusions a student can draw from the correct understanding of the experiment.
      Citation: The Physics Teacher
      PubDate: 2019-10-21T08:46:35Z
      DOI: 10.1119/1.5131119
       
  • Writing from left to right: What does it mean'
    • Authors: Edward Bormashenko, Samuel Shaki
      Abstract: The Physics Teacher, Volume 57, Issue 8, Page 516-516, November 2019.

      Citation: The Physics Teacher
      PubDate: 2019-10-21T08:46:34Z
      DOI: 10.1119/1.5131110
       
  • Paul Anderson site dedicated to NGSS and grade school physics pedagogy
    • Abstract: The Physics Teacher, Volume 57, Issue 8, Page 565-565, November 2019.

      Citation: The Physics Teacher
      PubDate: 2019-10-21T08:46:34Z
      DOI: 10.1119/1.5131131
       
  • More YouTube Physics Channels: DrPhysicsA
    • Abstract: The Physics Teacher, Volume 57, Issue 8, Page 565-565, November 2019.

      Citation: The Physics Teacher
      PubDate: 2019-10-21T08:46:34Z
      DOI: 10.1119/1.5131132
       
  • In Memoriam
    • Abstract: The Physics Teacher, Volume 57, Issue 8, Page 518-518, November 2019.

      Citation: The Physics Teacher
      PubDate: 2019-10-21T08:46:33Z
      DOI: 10.1119/1.5131112
       
  • M&m&4M
    • Abstract: The Physics Teacher, Volume 57, Issue 8, Page 567-567, November 2019.

      Citation: The Physics Teacher
      PubDate: 2019-10-21T08:46:33Z
      DOI: 10.1119/1.5131134
       
  • Sizing up Earth with a pair of sticks
    • Authors: Carl E. Mungan
      Abstract: The Physics Teacher, Volume 57, Issue 8, Page 517-517, November 2019.

      Citation: The Physics Teacher
      PubDate: 2019-10-21T08:46:32Z
      DOI: 10.1119/1.5131111
       
  • Determination of the radius of curves and roundabouts with a smartphone
    • Authors: Christoph Fahsl, Patrik Vogt
      Abstract: The Physics Teacher, Volume 57, Issue 8, Page 566-567, November 2019.
      Based on earlier work, this article describes two further experiments that can be carried out on the road. It will be explained how to determine the radius of curves and roundabouts of public streets using only a smartphone. The first experiment shows how to determine the radius of a curve by driving a car around the curve while sampling the acceleration data of the car. The second experiment shows how to calculate the radius of a roundabout by using the built-in gyroscope sensor in combination with the acceleration sensor of the smartphone. The same procedure was used by Monteiro et al. to examine a merry-go-round.
      Citation: The Physics Teacher
      PubDate: 2019-10-21T08:46:32Z
      DOI: 10.1119/1.5131133
       
  • Modeling Potential Energy of the Gaussian Gun
    • Authors: Leslie Atkins Elliott, André Bolliou, Hanna Irving, Douglas Jackson
      Abstract: The Physics Teacher, Volume 57, Issue 8, Page 520-522, November 2019.
      The Gaussian gun is an arrangement of magnets and ball bearings (pictured in Fig. 1) such that—when the leftmost ball is released—the rightmost ball is ejected at high speeds. The device has been described in several articles on energy education. The sudden appearance of kinetic energy offers a productive context for considering a range of challenging ideas: the often-counterintuitive relationship between force and potential energy, the escape velocity for attractive forces, why energy is required to break bonds, and why energy is released when bonds form. Beyond these ideas, it is also useful for motivating the representation of a potential well and bound states for both quantum mechanics and chemistry.
      Citation: The Physics Teacher
      PubDate: 2019-10-21T08:46:30Z
      DOI: 10.1119/1.5131114
       
  • Solution to October Figuring Physics
    • Authors: Paul Hewitt
      Abstract: The Physics Teacher, Volume 57, Issue 8, Page 569-569, November 2019.

      Citation: The Physics Teacher
      PubDate: 2019-10-21T08:46:30Z
      DOI: 10.1119/1.5131136
       
  • WALL FRICTION
    • Authors: Paul Hewitt
      Abstract: The Physics Teacher, Volume 57, Issue 8, Page 519-519, November 2019.

      Citation: The Physics Teacher
      PubDate: 2019-10-21T08:46:28Z
      DOI: 10.1119/1.5131113
       
  • Estimating the temperatures of possibly habitable extrasolar planets
    • Authors: Michael C. LoPresto
      Abstract: The Physics Teacher, Volume 57, Issue 8, Page 568-569, November 2019.
      A possible extension activity to a recently published exercise on using actual real data from the Kepler mission to identify “possibly habitable” exoplanets in the habitable zones of their stars that could be offered to students is, once they have been identified, to calculate average surface temperatures for these planets and see if they are indeed within the habitability range of temperatures, 273 K to 373 K, at which water can exist as liquid.
      Citation: The Physics Teacher
      PubDate: 2019-10-21T08:46:28Z
      DOI: 10.1119/1.5131135
       
  • Question 1: Cell phones make me boil; Question 2: Charging the phone
    • Abstract: The Physics Teacher, Volume 57, Issue 8, Page 571-571, November 2019.

      Citation: The Physics Teacher
      PubDate: 2019-10-21T08:46:28Z
      DOI: 10.1119/1.5131138
       
  • 3D Printable Quark Puzzle: A Model to Build Your Own Particle Systems
    • Authors: Lachlan McGinness, Susanne Dührkoop, Julia Woithe, Alexandra Jansky
      Abstract: The Physics Teacher, Volume 57, Issue 8, Page 526-528, November 2019.
      There is an increasing emphasis on fundamental particles, including quarks, in the high school physics classroom. However, many teachers might not feel comfortable teaching particle physics because it is a highly abstract and complex topic, and there are few hands-on activities to help teachers bring it into the classroom. In 2010, Gettrust presented a two-dimensional quark puzzle, a physical manipulative that allowed students to discover the rules of the Standard Model of particle physics through inquiry. In the paper Gettrust states: “An ideal set of pieces representing quarks would consist of three-dimensional objects that fit nicely together into some basic shape, such as a sphere or some platonic solid, but only for quark combinations allowed by Standard Model rules.” Here we report on our development of such a set of 3D manipulatives.
      Citation: The Physics Teacher
      PubDate: 2019-10-21T08:46:27Z
      DOI: 10.1119/1.5131116
       
  • From the simple to the surprisingly complex – An incremental study
           of elasticity
    • Authors: Bradley Allen
      Abstract: The Physics Teacher, Volume 57, Issue 8, Page 570-571, November 2019.
      We can often find beautifully complex phenomena hidden in seemingly basic systems. This column describes a sequence of experiments that introductory students can undertake to explore elastic systems. The three experiments are all stylistically unique, but they share the feature of guided inquiry, posing a problem for the students, and allowing them the freedom to investigate.
      Citation: The Physics Teacher
      PubDate: 2019-10-21T08:46:26Z
      DOI: 10.1119/1.5131137
       
  • Do-It-Yourself Low-Cost Desktop Lightboard for Engaging Flipped Learning
           Videos
    • Authors: Katrina Hay, Zachary Wiren
      Abstract: The Physics Teacher, Volume 57, Issue 8, Page 523-525, November 2019.
      A prelecture video can be made more engaging with a lightboard. With this method, an instructor presents material in a video while directly facing the camera and writing on a transparent screen in front of them. We present instructions for constructing an inexpensive removable desktop lightboard that can be stored as smaller pieces. We share tips for basic lightboard video editing (notably flipping the visual right-to-left) that results in visually striking, engaging videos for students, personalized by the instructor.
      Citation: The Physics Teacher
      PubDate: 2019-10-21T08:46:25Z
      DOI: 10.1119/1.5131115
       
  • Ground rainbow
    • Authors: Erin Ubertelli, David Shane
      Abstract: The Physics Teacher, Volume 57, Issue 8, Page 576-576, November 2019.

      Citation: The Physics Teacher
      PubDate: 2019-10-21T08:46:25Z
      DOI: 10.1119/1.5131140
       
  • An Image Analysis Method for Calculating the Moon’s Orbital
           Eccentricity
    • Authors: Vitoria Treff, Alberto C. Bertuola, Victo S. Filho
      Abstract: The Physics Teacher, Volume 57, Issue 8, Page 562-564, November 2019.
      In this work we describe a teaching proposal to calculate the eccentricity of the Moon’s trajectory by applying a geometrical technique. The values of the ratios between the Earth-Moon distance and the diameter of the Moon at apogee and at perigee were calculated from a kinematic model associated with a geometrical technique of image analysis. The experimental data were collected from two videos of the Moon’s movement in positions close to the apogee and perigee. We chose two frames of both videos, and by means of image analysis we obtained a geometrical parameter for each video and by means of a kinematic model we defined a physical parameter. Then, by combining both parameters we calculated the maximal and minimum apparent diameters, which were used to calculate the eccentricity. Finally, we compared our results with values of literature.
      Citation: The Physics Teacher
      PubDate: 2019-10-21T08:46:24Z
      DOI: 10.1119/1.5131128
       
  • “TRAINING: Training in research-based activities that support INclusive
           and INquiry learninG” website
    • Abstract: The Physics Teacher, Volume 57, Issue 8, Page 565-565, November 2019.

      Citation: The Physics Teacher
      PubDate: 2019-10-21T08:46:24Z
      DOI: 10.1119/1.5131129
       
  • Answer to November 2019 Figuring Physics
    • Authors: Paul Hewitt
      Abstract: The Physics Teacher, Volume 57, Issue 8, Page A519-A519, November 2019.

      Citation: The Physics Teacher
      PubDate: 2019-10-21T08:46:24Z
      DOI: 10.1119/1.5131107
       
  • The lipstick rule for the cross product
    • Authors: Diego Lozano
      Abstract: The Physics Teacher, Volume 57, Issue 8, Page 516-516, November 2019.

      Citation: The Physics Teacher
      PubDate: 2019-10-21T08:46:23Z
      DOI: 10.1119/1.5131109
       
  • Solutions for Fermi Questions, November 2019: Question 1: Cell phones make
           me boil; Question 2: Charging the phone
    • Abstract: The Physics Teacher, Volume 57, Issue 8, Page A571-A571, November 2019.

      Citation: The Physics Teacher
      PubDate: 2019-10-21T08:46:23Z
      DOI: 10.1119/1.5131108
       
  • Physics and the Development of Railway Steam Engines
    • Authors: B. T. G. Tan
      Abstract: The Physics Teacher, Volume 57, Issue 8, Page 538-542, November 2019.
      With the rapid spread of high-speed railway technology, there is a resurgence of interest in trains and railways. The main propulsive engine for railways was the steam engine for over a century, which gave way to the diesel and electrical engines. The steam engine was crucial to the birth and development of the railway industry, and understanding its evolution and application to railways can usefully illustrate a number of key principles in physics, particularly in heat and thermodynamics.
      Citation: The Physics Teacher
      PubDate: 2019-10-21T08:46:22Z
      DOI: 10.1119/1.5131120
       
  • Teaching Modeling Using Super Mario Maker
    • Authors: Matthew Geske
      Abstract: The Physics Teacher, Volume 57, Issue 8, Page 543-546, November 2019.
      Many introductory physics courses begin with the teaching of motion and kinematics. This naturally leads to the use of constant acceleration equations to solve various problems involving common motions (free fall being a notable example). Students can sometimes get the impression that these equations are the only thing they need to remember in order to determine the motion of an object. Indeed students often have trouble understanding what the equations presented to them represent. It can also be difficult to impress upon the students the source of these mathematical tools, and how to distinguish the tools from the science behind them. Often students have difficulty connecting physics concepts to mathematical equations, and instead treat the math as a separate entity. It has been suggested that teaching computational tools and modeling in physics yields better student understanding of these ideas. It has also been suggested that exploring the link between the mathematical equations and the physics concepts behind them can improve students’ problem solving capabilities. The following activity was developed to attempt to introduce modeling concepts to students early on in an introductory course, and in a way that is simple to implement in any course structure.
      Citation: The Physics Teacher
      PubDate: 2019-10-21T08:46:22Z
      DOI: 10.1119/1.5131121
       
  • Squashing Method for Moment of Inertia Calculations
    • Authors: Jinhui Wang, Bernard Ricardo
      Abstract: The Physics Teacher, Volume 57, Issue 8, Page 551-554, November 2019.
      Moments of inertia (MOIs) are usually derived via substantial integration and may intimidate undergraduates without prior backgrounds in calculus. This paper presents an intuitive geometric operation, termed “squashing,” that transforms an object into an equivalent one with a reduced dimension, whose MOI is simpler to determine. The combination of squashing and other methods (e.g., scaling arguments, the perpendicular-axis and parallel-axis theorems) enables the computation of complex MOIs with minimal integration.
      Citation: The Physics Teacher
      PubDate: 2019-10-21T08:46:20Z
      DOI: 10.1119/1.5131123
       
  • Asking Real-World Questions with Inquiry-Based Labs
    • Authors: Daniel A. Dale, Jessica Sutter, Dylan Kloster
      Abstract: The Physics Teacher, Volume 57, Issue 8, Page 547-550, November 2019.
      We have developed and employed a set of inquiry-based labs built around engaging “real-world” scenarios for our studio-style introductory Physics II course. In real-world situations, there is more than one path to success and step-by-step instructions are not provided. For this reason, the primary goal for these labs is to provide students with the freedom to develop collaborative solutions to open-ended challenges, where creativity and independent thought are encouraged. This approach is more akin to what they will encounter in the academic or industrial lab settings. The main challenges facing the students are developing the experimental plan and writing an in-depth lab report; in the end, the necessary measurements typically require only 5-10 minutes. The primary challenge to the instructor(s) is providing just enough guidance to keep students on the path to a feasible plan without giving away the solution. Student feedback has been very positive and we have made these labs freely available to our students and the larger physics community.
      Citation: The Physics Teacher
      PubDate: 2019-10-21T08:46:18Z
      DOI: 10.1119/1.5131122
       
  • Job satisfaction and salaries for astronomy bachelor’s degree
           recipients
    • Abstract: The Physics Teacher, Volume 57, Issue 8, Page 554-554, November 2019.

      Citation: The Physics Teacher
      PubDate: 2019-10-21T08:46:17Z
      DOI: 10.1119/1.5131124
       
  • Multiple Source Interference with Sound
    • Authors: Kenneth W. Trantham, L. Janssen
      Abstract: The Physics Teacher, Volume 57, Issue 8, Page 555-557, November 2019.
      The construction of a linear speaker array, which emits coherent sound radiation from multiple sources, is described. The device is an improvement over the two-speaker systems for demonstrating wave interference effects. The operation of the array is demonstrated with example data.
      Citation: The Physics Teacher
      PubDate: 2019-10-21T08:46:17Z
      DOI: 10.1119/1.5131125
       
  • The Physics of [math]
    • Authors: Ian Lovatt
      Abstract: The Physics Teacher, Volume 57, Issue 8, Page 558-559, November 2019.
      Students in first-year calculus meet [math], perhaps as a step toward finding the derivative of sin θ. If they see a proof, it involves a version of the so-called squeeze theorem, resulting in cos θ ≤(sin θ)/ θ ≤ 1/(cos θ). All very nice, rigorous, elegant even, but…
      Citation: The Physics Teacher
      PubDate: 2019-10-21T08:46:15Z
      DOI: 10.1119/1.5131126
       
  • Faraday’s Law of Induction by Experiment
    • Authors: Kader Médjahdi
      Abstract: The Physics Teacher, Volume 57, Issue 8, Page 560-561, November 2019.
      Measuring magnetic induction is occasionally performed by our students during their academic training in physics. Among the various methods used to measure it, the Hall effect is the most common and widespread. Another way consists of employing an electronic flux-meter. It is constituted by a small flat coil (SFC) connected to the input of an integrator circuit working with an op amp, whereas the output is connected to a data logger. Then, the SFC is moved perpendicularly to the direction of the magnetic field. Finally, the application of Faraday’s law allows the calculation of the magnetic induction. An electromotive force (EMF) is also induced across the ends of the SFC when it is held stationary in a variable magnetic field. However, this kind of integrator raises numerous problems because the op amp is sensitive to bias and offset currents; both are integrated, leading to the saturation of the output signal.
      Citation: The Physics Teacher
      PubDate: 2019-10-21T08:46:15Z
      DOI: 10.1119/1.5131127
       
  • Convergence on diversity and underrepresented students in physics, STEM,
           and in general National Science Board released Science & Engineering
           Indicators 2020: State of U.S. STEM education
    • Abstract: The Physics Teacher, Volume 57, Issue 8, Page 565-565, November 2019.

      Citation: The Physics Teacher
      PubDate: 2019-10-21T08:46:15Z
      DOI: 10.1119/1.5131130
       
 
 
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