Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite

Edward F. Redish

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Playing Catch

A boy and a girl are tossing an apple back and forth between them. The sketch at the right shows the path the apple followed when watched by an observer looking on from the side. The apple is moving from the left to the right. Five points are marked on the path. Ignore air resistance.

  1. Make a copy of this figure. At each of the marked points, draw an arrow that indicates the magnitude and direction of the force on the apple when it passes through that point.

  2. Make a second copy of the figure. This time, at each marked point, place an arrow indicating the magnitude and direction of the apple's velocity at the instant it passes that point.

  3. Did you change your answer to the first question after solving the second? If so, explain what you were thinking at first and why you changed it.

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Page last modified September 30, 2002: D04