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Abstract Title: Physics thinking in complex analytical calculations
Abstract: The ability to carry out complex analytical calculations is an important skill for a physicist. As an activity in a first semester, upper division electricity and magnetism course, students work in groups during class to develop an integral expression for the magnetic field in all space due to a ring of charge rotating about its axis. This is a direct but complex application of the Biot-Savart Law, requiring students to break the problem into pieces and employ a number of physics concepts. The problem also presents an opportunity for students to draw on analogous earlier work, including finding the electrostatic potential and field due to a ring of charge. This poster will explore the "physics thinking" required to solve this problem, and how the activity and instructor engage students in that thinking.
Abstract Type: Targeted Poster
Targeted Session: Upper-division activities that foster "Thinking like a Physicist"

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Edward Price
California State University San Marcos