Many students have difficulty predicting the direction of the force that would be experienced by a magnetic pole near a wire or coil, by a current-carrying wire in a magnetic field, or by an electrically-charged object moving in a magnetic field.
Resources to Address This
The Force on a Conductor in a Magnetic Field (16-19)
Source - TAP/ Fields/ Electromagnetism/ Episode 412 ...
This resource, aimed at A-Level classes, describes a series of demonstrations, class discussions, and practice questions on the force exerted on a moving charge.View Resource
The Force on a Moving Charge (16-19)
Source - TAP/ Fields/ Electromagnetism/ Episode 413 ...
Here you can extend the idea of a magnetic force on a current to consider moving charges.View Resource
Catapult magnetic field (11-16)
Source - Practical physics/ Electromagnetism/ Forces on moving charges/ ...
A spectacular demonstration showing how magnetic fields interact to produce forces on wires.View Resource
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),
- Karal, I. S.; Alev, N. and Baskan, Z. () Student teachers’ Subject Matter Knowledge (SMK) on electric current and magnetic field. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2 (2),
- Onorato, P. and De Ambrosis, A. () Laboratory and Multimedia In Science Teaching: Experiments About Magnetic Force. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 116,
- Fatmaryanti, S. D. () Student representation of magnetic field concepts in learning by guided inquiry Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 795 (1),
- Sağlam, M. and Millar, R. () Upper High School Students’ Understanding of Electromagnetism. International Journal of Science Education, 28 (5),