Physics 173 Internet
Question of the Week
January 13 - January 17, 1997
As we approach the topic of forces, you should continually be
aware of the fact that you have begun the course with a variety of
preconceptions. You have already formulated a variety of ideas
about acceleration, mass, weight, force, gravity, etc. Your task
of learning the concepts taught in this course demands that you
continually contemplate your own beliefs and deal with them
accordingly. This week's Internet search question will target the
topic of student preconceptions. You will visit a site which you
visited a few weeks ago, titled Comprehensive Conceptual
Curriculum for Physics (also called
Find the site titled Comprehensive Conceptual Curriculum for
Physics (also called C3P) using a
major search engine. The site is based at the University of
Dallas, the prinicpal investigator is Richard P. Olenick, and it
is a common high school physics education site. This should be
sufficient information to find the site using a keyword search.
Once you find the C3P home page,
click on the button titled Alternate Student Conceptions. A
variety of student preconceptions are listed on the linked page.
The list identifies the most common misconceptions believed by
students of physics. Note: these are MISconceptions - wrong
beliefs. (A word to the wise: this would be an excellent page to
print and to keep available as a checklist as you proceed through
the rest of the year. If you believe any of these ideas, then you
will likely have difficulty.)
Once you have found the site, do the following:
- identify the URL (address) of the Alternate
Student Conceptions page.
- describe the search path which you took to find the page
(see example description).
- review the preconceptions for the Newton's Laws/Forces
section and study the preconceptions listed under this heading.
For three of these preconceptions, write a few sentences in
which you state the preconception and describe a concrete
example which illustrates why such a preconception is a false
A 50-Newton force is applied to horizontally
accelerate a 20-kg object across a level surface. The mass
encounters a 38-Newton force of friction. Draw a free-body diagram
showing the types and direction of the forces acting upon the
object. Calculate the acceleration of the object. Finally, sketch
a velocity-time graph to describe the object's motion.
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Page Maintained by: Tom Henderson
Last Updated: January 13, 1998