Electromagnetic Radiation
Quantum and Nuclear | Light, Sound and Waves

Thinking about actions to take: Radiating from Source to Absorber

Teaching Guidance for 14-16 Supporting Physics Teaching

There's a good chance you could improve your teaching if you were to:

Try these

  • emphasising that there is movement as radiations travel from source to detector
  • ensuring that radiating is presented as a unifying mechanism, across families of radiations
  • using a simple, but evocative description of radiating, such as do like me, but later
  • consistently characterising waves by their frequency and amplitude
  • being consistent about the energy in stores and the power in pathways
  • giving examples of the full range of media for each family of radiations
  • explicitly modelling situations with ray diagrams

Teacher Tip: Work through the Physics Narrative to find these lines of thinking worked out and then look in the Teaching Approaches for some examples of activities.

Avoid these

  • referring to light energy
  • not implying that light simply runs out
  • conflating rays with physical objects
  • not making unifying connections between different phenomena

Teacher Tip: These difficulties are distilled from: the research findings; the practice of well-connected teachers with expertise; issues intrinsic to representing the physics well.

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