Many students are unable to predict whether a potential difference will arise (‘be induced’) between two points of a wire that is moving in a described way in a magnetic field.

Electricity and Magnetism


Resources to Address This

  • Electromagnetic Induction (16-19)

    Source - TAP/ Fields/ Electromagnetism/ Episode 414 ; Electromagnetic induction

    Students will already have ideas about electromagnetic induction. In this resource, your task is to develop a picture of induction in which it is the cutting of lines of flux by a conductor that leads to an induced EMF or current.

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  • Cutting a magnetic field with a wire (11-16)

    Source - Practical physics/ Electromagnetic induction/ ...

    Students should previously have inserted a magnet into a coil and measured the e.m.f. generated. This is a simpler version showing first of all only one coil (or loop) of wire.

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The following studies have documented this student thinking:

  • Maloney, D. P.; O'Kuma, T. L.; Hieggelke, C. J. and Van Heuvelen, A. () Surveying students' conceptual knowledge of electricity and magnetism. American Journal of Physics, 69 (S1),


    Review sheet

  • Thong, W. M. and Gunstone, R. () Some Student Conceptions of Electromagnetic Induction. Research in Science Education, 38 (1),


    Review sheet

  • Guth, J. () An in-depth study of two individual students' understanding of electric and magnetic fields. Research in Science Education, 25 (4),


    Review sheet

  • Zuza, K.; De Cock, M.; van Kampen, P.; Bollen, L. and Guisasola, J. () University students’ understanding of the electromotive force concept in the context of electromagnetic induction. European Journal of Physics, 37 (6),


    Review sheet


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