Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite

Edward F. Redish

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What's a field?

In this class, we repeatedly refer to an “electric field”. Describe what an electric field is. Discuss how you would know a non-zero field was present and how you would measure it.

Note to the instructor: The idea of a "field", especially a vector field, is very difficult for student. An electric field is particularly difficult because it is abstract. This lack of understanding can undermine their ability to make sense of otherwise straightforward problems involving fields.

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Page last modified October 19, 2002: E16