Electric field lines

The implications of students' interpretation on their understanding of the concept of electric field and of the superposition principle

Esmeralda Campos, Genaro Zavala, Kristina Zuza, Jenaro Guisasola

Resultado de la investigación: Article

Resumen

A common way to represent an electric field in a course on electricity and magnetism is with the electric field line diagram. Some literature claims that students have difficulties understanding this representation and relating it to their understanding of the electric field concept. We conducted a study at the introductory level that aims to understand the effect of students' interpretation of electric field line diagrams on their application of the superposition principle for the electric field. The results give some evidence that an incorrect interpretation of the electric field line diagram may hinder the understanding of the superposition principle. Students who understand a vector representation of a field at a position tend to answer a superposition principle question better. We question whether teaching the electric field line representation is productive at the introductory level, and we discuss the need to have a representation that helps students reach a better understanding of the electric field concept and of the superposition principle.

Idioma originalEnglish
Páginas (desde-hasta)660-667
Número de páginas8
PublicaciónAmerican Journal of Physics
Volumen87
N.º8
DOI
EstadoPublished - 1 ago 2019

Huella dactilar

students
electric fields
diagrams
electricity
education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Citar esto

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abstract = "A common way to represent an electric field in a course on electricity and magnetism is with the electric field line diagram. Some literature claims that students have difficulties understanding this representation and relating it to their understanding of the electric field concept. We conducted a study at the introductory level that aims to understand the effect of students' interpretation of electric field line diagrams on their application of the superposition principle for the electric field. The results give some evidence that an incorrect interpretation of the electric field line diagram may hinder the understanding of the superposition principle. Students who understand a vector representation of a field at a position tend to answer a superposition principle question better. We question whether teaching the electric field line representation is productive at the introductory level, and we discuss the need to have a representation that helps students reach a better understanding of the electric field concept and of the superposition principle.",
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Electric field lines : The implications of students' interpretation on their understanding of the concept of electric field and of the superposition principle. / Campos, Esmeralda; Zavala, Genaro; Zuza, Kristina; Guisasola, Jenaro.

En: American Journal of Physics, Vol. 87, N.º 8, 01.08.2019, p. 660-667.

Resultado de la investigación: Article

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