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Analysis of Shifts in Studentsí Reasoning Regarding Electric Field and Potential Concepts
Meltzer, David E.mailto: (firstname.lastname@example.org) Department of Physics, University of Washington
Abstract: Studentsí reasoning regarding the relationships among electric fields, forces, and equipotential line patterns was explored using pre- and post-test responses to selected multiple-choice questions on the Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism. Studentsí written explanations of their reasoning, provided both pre- and post-instruction, allowed additional assessment of the changes in their thinking. In particular, the data indicate that although students largely abandon an initial tendency to associate stronger fields with wider equipotential line spacing, many of them persist in incorrectly associating electric field magnitude at a point with the electric potential at that point.
Supported in part by NSF REC-#0206683 (T. J. Greenbowe, Co-P.I.), DUE-#0243258, and DUE-#0311450
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