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Concept Map: VEUF

Keywords: Small Group Activity, Concept Maps, Electric Field, Electrostatic Potential and Potential Energy, Electrostatic Force, Conservative Fields, Vector Calculus


Highlights of the activity

  1. This small group activity is designed to help students consolidate their knowledge of electric field, electrostatic potential, electrostatic energy, and electrostatic force.
  2. Students are asked to find mathematical relationships between pairs of: electric field, electrostatic potential, potential energy, and electrostatic force.
  3. The wrap-up discussion addresses the many different ways you can get to all four concepts via different mathematical paths.

Reasons to spend class time on the activity

Middle division E&M courses focus on the formal and geometric relationships between E&M quantities. It is helpful to students to see parallel relationships among quantities, and concept maps can be used to highlight various types of relationships. This activity helps students to see that the relationship between electric field and potential is exactly the same as the relationship between force and potential energy. Students also see that the relationship between force and electric field is the same as between potential energy and potential.


Instructor's Guide

Authors: Corinne Manogue & Elizabeth Gire
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