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Abstract Title: What do Students Know about Electromagnetic Wave Generation?
Abstract: We are interviewing students in a second semester introductory physics course as well as graduate physics students about the generation of electromagnetic waves. We have interviewed 43 intro level students and 20 graduate students. We found that only 10 of 43 intro students could identify accelerating charges as a source for electromagnetic radiation. 15 of these students came from a course that used the Matter and Interactions text and 7 were able to identify accelerating charges as a source of EM waves. Fully half of the grad students could not answer correctly. If you restrict to graduate students that do not work with radiation as part of their research, 7 of 8 graduate students could not answer correctly. We are continuing to search for specific difficulties as well as reasons why students do not seem to grasp this core concept. Additional details of methodology and findings will be presented.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session I
Poster Number: 1.N5

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Nickolas Gray
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27607
and Co-Presenter(s)
Robert Beichner, North Carolina State University