AAPT Abstract Archive

Abstract Information

  Session: Post-deadline Abstract (Paper)
  Paper Type: Contributed
  Title: Making Sense of Y-intercepts in Introductory Laboratories
  Meeting: 2015 Winter Meeting: San Diego, California
  Location: N/A
  Time: 4:10PM
  Author: Bradley S. Moser, University of New England
8607963010, bmoser@une.edu
  Co-Author(s): James Vesenka
  Abstract: Modeling instruction methods emphasize paradigm discovery labs that encourage students to invent physical models themselves instead of relying on textbook equations. The key component of each lab is the "linearization" of data collected in order to answer the problem statement "How does Y depend on X?" Students determine the physical meaning of the slope, either through deduction or by defining new quantities. The slope is typically of great importance while the y-intercept is negligible or merely an initial value of the dependent variable. What if, however, the experimental scenario was rich enough to support a y-intercept just as meaningful as the slope? Then a laboratory could host multiple opportunities to hone the art of sense-making. In this talk, we will highlight various paradigm experiments, each with a meaningful and physically interesting y-intercept, such as buoyancy, standing waves, static equilibrium, and Newton's second law.
  Footnotes: None
  Presentation: AAPT 2015 winter meeting - Session IA05 - Moser.pdf

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