Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2003 09:23:42 -0600

Author: Jerry DiMarco

Subject: RE: Newton's Third Law

Post:

I think it is too soon to draw a conclusion from the example given
below. There is another possible interpretation of this result that may
shed a little light on why students don't make the transition from the
classroom to the real world. Maybe they weren't reverting to a previous
condition. Maybe it was just the case that they were distracted by this
real world experience, and instead of thinking like scientists they thought
like kids in dodgems (I'm assuming this is some kind of bumper car). They
probably put themselves in the occupants' position instead of thinking
about the forces on the cars at the point of impact. I wonder if they
would have done better had they been directed to think about the car
instead of the occupants...

Jerry


At 08:24 PM 9/18/2003, you wrote:
>Greetings,
>
>I agree it is not an easy concept to internalize. One year I had 44
>students in two honors physics classes. We discussed Newton's law, had
>students do most of the demonstrations mentioned thus far, quizzed them
>a couple of times on it and finally tested them on a chapter exam. By
>this time no one missed it. They all knew it well. Then in May I took
>the 44 to Cedar Point amusement park. Working in pairs of two, they were
>asked the question.
>
>On the dodgems, one car with three large football players, and the other
>car with two little cheerleaders collided, which one experienced the
>greater force? All 22 pairs responded with the car with the two
>cheerleaders. Yes they knew it in the classroom, but when they were in
>the "real" world, they reverted to their pre-physics days.
>
>Conclusion, we don't teach, we just facilitate and hope they retain what
>they have been exposed to.
From rtarara@saintmarys.edu Fri Sep 19 09:11:13 2003
Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2003 10:55:06 -0500
From: Rick Tarara
Subject: Re: Newton's Third Law
To: tap-l@listproc.appstate.edu
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This is just to the point of my previous note. When a big truck collides
with a student's Ford Focus, they are only going to be concerned with the
forces on them, the forces on THEIR car, and the damage done to their car.
The fact that EXACTLY the same amount of force was acting on the truck is an
intellectual exercise that is VERY difficult to internalize.

Now for a simple demo that forces the students to invoke the third
law--stand in front of the class and ask them to instruct you how to walk!
Make them explain in detail how they are going to get a forward net force to
act ON YOU so that you can accelerate from rest.

Rick

*********************************************************
Richard W. Tarara
Professor of Physics
Saint Mary's College
Notre Dame, Indiana
rtarara@saintmarys.edu
********************************************************
Free Physics Educational Software (Win & Mac)
www.saintmarys.edu/~rtarara/software.html
Energy 2100--class project
www.saintmarys.edu/~rtarara/ENERGY_PROJECT/ENERGY2100.htm
********************************************************
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jerry DiMarco"
To:
Sent: Friday, September 19, 2003 10:23 AM
Subject: RE: Newton's Third Law


> I think it is too soon to draw a conclusion from the example given
> below. There is another possible interpretation of this result that may
> shed a little light on why students don't make the transition from the
> classroom to the real world. Maybe they weren't reverting to a previous
> condition. Maybe it was just the case that they were distracted by this
> real world experience, and instead of thinking like scientists they
thought
> like kids in dodgems (I'm assuming this is some kind of bumper car). They
> probably put themselves in the occupants' position instead of thinking
> about the forces on the cars at the point of impact. I wonder if they
> would have done better had they been directed to think about the car
> instead of the occupants...
>
>
Jerry
>
>
> At 08:24 PM 9/18/2003, you wrote:
> >Greetings,
> >
> >I agree it is not an easy concept to internalize. One year I had 44
> >students in two honors physics classes. We discussed Newton's law, had
> >students do most of the demonstrations mentioned thus far, quizzed them
> >a couple of times on it and finally tested them on a chapter exam. By
> >this time no one missed it. They all knew it well. Then in May I took
> >the 44 to Cedar Point amusement park. Working in pairs of two, they were
> >asked the question.
> >
> >On the dodgems, one car with three large football players, and the other
> >car with two little cheerleaders collided, which one experienced the
> >greater force? All 22 pairs responded with the car with the two
> >cheerleaders. Yes they knew it in the classroom, but when they were in
> >the "real" world, they reverted to their pre-physics days.
> >
> >Conclusion, we don't teach, we just facilitate and hope they retain what
> >they have been exposed to.
>
From peacock@physics.utah.edu Fri Sep 19 09:41:37 2003
Message-ID: <3F6B2EBA.645A74D7@physics.utah.edu>
Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2003 10:28:42 -0600
From: "Zigmund J. Peacock"
Organization: University of Utah , Department of Physics
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To: tap-l@listproc.appstate.edu
Subject: Re: lab equipment organization
References: <5.2.1.1.1.20030918132142.00b1f158@physics.montana.edu> <5.1.0.14.0.20030919094652.00b98c68@c.mail.vanderbilt.edu>
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Cynthia, don't you have the cool car around Vanderbilt?
Zig

Cynthia Coutre wrote:
Dick- The "leaving you car keys" suggestion is great! *giggles* If I

> started that, I would definitely insist that faculty with cool cars borrow
> the equipment for the entire day... and if I needed to run an errand while
> I had the keys, well...
>
> Cynthia

Zigmund J. Peacock WWW.physics.utah.edu/people/staff/peacock.html
University of Utah/Physics peacock@physics.utah.edu
115 SOUTH 1400 EAST #201 Tel 801 581 6602
SALT LAKE CITY UT 84112-0830 Fax 801 581 4801

"We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in
the night to do violence to those who would do us harm"
-- George Orwell

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good
men do nothing!"
-- Edmund Burke

From grahamaj@appstate.edu Fri Sep 19 10:28:37 2003
Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2003 13:11:35 -0400
From: AGraham
Subject: Virus warning: Fake Microsoft Security Update
To: Tap-L@appstate.edu
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Hi Tappers,

Beware of an email (supposedly) from Microsoft, claiming to contain the
"September 2003, Cumulative Patch". This email has an attachment
(cibmip.exe) which is infected with W32-Gibe-F (virus or worm).

Don't open this attachment. If your virus scanner didn't catch the
message you should update your security dat. files immediately. Try
downloading updates from nai.com.

I've received three copies of the infected message in the last hour.

Have a great weekend.

andy
From thomason@colorado.edu Fri Sep 19 11:05:51 2003
Reply-To:
From: "Michael Thomason"
To:
Subject: RE: lab equipment organization
Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2003 11:48:59 -0600
Organization: Physics Learning Laboratories
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Hey Cynthia,

Be gentle with that dusty stuff - it's probably the equipment I used when I
was a student there,

Michael Thomason, Director, Physics Learning Laboratories
University of Colorado, Boulder, Department of Physics
http://physicslearning.colorado.edu
mailto:thomason@colorado.edu
303-492-7117

"Species of plants and animals are disappearing a hundred or more times
faster than before the coming of humanity, and as many as half may be gone
by the end of this century. An Armageddon is approaching... It is the
wreckage of the planet by an exuberantly plentiful and ingenious humanity.
The race is now on between the technoscientific forces that are
destroying the living environment and those that can be harnessed to save
it. We are inside a bottleneck of overpopulation and wasteful consumption.
If the race is won, humanity can emerge in far better condition than when it
entered, and with most of the diversity of life still intact.
...Surely the rest of life matters. Surely our stewardship is its
only hope. We will be wise to listen carefully to the heart, then act with
rational intentions and all the tools we can bring to bear."
E O Wilson, "The Future of Life"


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-tap-l@listproc.appstate.edu
[mailto:owner-tap-l@listproc.appstate.edu] On Behalf Of Cynthia Coutre
Sent: Friday, September 19, 2003 8:52 AM
To: tap-l@listproc.appstate.edu; tap-l@listproc.appstate.edu
Subject: RE: lab equipment organization


Thanks to everyone for the suggestion on equip organization! Wish me
luck. I'll probably be wearing a mask to keep from choking on the dust.

Dick- The "leaving you car keys" suggestion is great! *giggles* If I
started that, I would definitely insist that faculty with cool cars borrow
the equipment for the entire day... and if I needed to run an errand while
I had the keys, well...

Cynthia

From MLowry@D115.ORG Fri Sep 19 13:54:28 2003

Back