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Title: Impetus-Force-Like Drawings May Be Less Common Than You Think
Perhaps the most commonly cited student idea about forces in the literature is the notion of an impetus force, defined as the “belief that there is a force inside a moving object that keeps it going and causes it to have some speed,” that can then “fade away as the object moves along.” According to the literature, even after physics instruction students use impetus force reasoning to argue that forces are necessary to sustain motion or that motion implies force. For example, many students drew an upward arrow to indicate a force on a coin that was moving upward after being tossed. The coin was halfway between the point of its release and its turnaround point. Interviews with students in the course indicate that the arrow was meant to indicate “the ‘force of the throw,’ the ‘upward original force,’” and so on. Clement interprets these results to mean that students “believe that continuing motion implies the presence of a continuing force in the same direction, as a necessary cause of the motion.”  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1914603 1914572
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
The Physics Teacher
Page Range / eLocation ID:
254 to 257
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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