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archives

# physics

This tag is associated with 31 posts

### “This is a boss equation.”

We’ve been pushing graphical methods to solve problems (see: Vector Addition Diagrams, IFF Charts, LOL diagrams, etc) like nobody’s business. So even just a few units into the year, these physics kids may be graphical problem-solving wizards, but a lot of them still hunger for equations in an insatiable sort of way. Even though we … Continue reading »

### Building the Projectile Motion Particle Model

Note: This post details my version of the paradigm activity for what is Unit 6 (2-D Particle Models) of the Modeling Instruction Mechanics curriculum. My introduction to this unit varies from the official materials, and my classes build this as their sixth model (after building models for motion, forces, and momentum transfer). Due to differences in math comfort and … Continue reading »

### Force Vector Addition Diagrams (or, Components No More!)

The graphical solution bug has really gotten me this year (and in the best possible way). I’ve apparently done such a good job of pushing the graphical solutions that one of my classes stopped me in my tracks while I was showing them how to solve force problems by breaking the forces into components and … Continue reading »

### Energy Bar Charts (LOL Diagrams)

“LOL diagrams are my life.” —Honors Physics student from 2010 I have to admit, first of all, that I wasn’t expecting to love energy bar charts (when I first heard about them at a Modeling Instruction workshop). I didn’t originally learn to solve energy problems that way, and when I first saw them, I thought … Continue reading »

### Common Types of Energy (ETM Cheat Sheet)

After starting to build the Energy Transfer Model (ETM), we have the beginnings of an idea about change in energy. In order to start playing around with energy transfer, we need a common vocabulary. The front of the packet gives students a place to write down the information. It is handy to use as a … Continue reading »

### Building the Energy Transfer Model

Note: This post details my version of the paradigm investigation for what is Unit 7 (Energy) of the Modeling Instruction Mechanics curriculum. My paradigm lab varies from the official materials, and my classes build this as their seventh model (after establishing Newton’s Laws and after considering momentum transfer). Hey guys, bring a pencil and a calculator next door. I … Continue reading »

### Common Types of Forces (BFPM Cheat Sheet)

Before we can start building the Balanced Force Particle Model, we have to overcome some language problems. As was frequently said at the Modeling Workshop that I attended (and is repeated frequently in my classroom), “Physics is a foreign language that sounds just like English.” The word force is a prime offender, so we need to … Continue reading »

### Velocity Graphs into Equations

aka How to kill . Now that we’re pros (Wheaties box, here we come) at drawing velocity-vs-time graphs, we need to be able to turn those graphs into equations if we want to use them as tools for solving problems. One big stumbling block in solving constant acceleration (CAPM) problems is that, very very often, … Continue reading »

### Momentum Bar Charts (IF Charts, IFF Charts)

Disclaimer: I most certainly did not come up with this type of diagram, though the name (IF charts) is probably unique to my classes since it’s based on the way one of my first Modeling Physics students drew her bar charts. This post is meant to be a how-to and a why-to guide for the … Continue reading »

### Building the Momentum Transfer Model

Note: This post details my version of the paradigm experiment for what is Unit 9 (Impulsive Force Model) of the Modeling Instruction Mechanics curriculum. My paradigm lab varies from the official materials, and my classes build this as their fifth model (after establishing Newton’s Laws but before considering energy transfer). Hey guys, bring a pencil and a whiteboard next … Continue reading »