Many students are unable to distinguish clearly between momentum and kinetic energy and to recognize which is conserved in specific situations

Energy and Thermal Physics


Resources to Address This

  • Investigating momentum during collisions (11-16)

    A moving glider on a linear air track collides with a stationary glider, thus giving it some momentum. This data logging experiment explores the relationship between the initially moving glider's momentum and both gliders' momentum after the collision.

    The event can also be described in terms of energy transfer.

    View Resource


  • Loverude, M. E. () Student Understanding Of Gravitational Potential Energy And The Motion Of Bodies In A Gravitational Field, AIP Conference Proceedings, 790, 77, California State University Fullerton, American Institute of Physics.

    This Israel-based investigation of introductory-course students' (including 48 non-science majors) understanding of energy concepts demonstrates that many students develop incomplete and incorrect understandings of gravitational potential energy.

    Paper digest

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