Choosing a system of interest and identifying the interactions of the system with its environment are crucial steps in applying the relation between work and energy. Responses to problems that we administered in introductory calculus-based physics courses show that many students fail to recognize the implications of a particular choice of system. In some cases, students do not believe that particular groupings of objects can even be considered to be a system. Some errors are more prevalent in situations involving gravitational potential energy than elastic potential energy. The difficulties are manifested in both qualitative and quantitative reasoning.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)