Entries by kuruman

Frames of Reference: Linear Acceleration View

My previous Insight, Frames of Reference: A Skateboarder’s View, explored mechanical energy conservation as seen from an inertial frame moving relative to the “fixed” Earth.  Shifting one’s point of view to the moving frame proved to be somewhat controversial as far as mechanical energy conservation was concerned.  Here I will examine shifting into accelerating frames […]

I am a retired university physics professor. I have done research in biological physics, mostly studying the magnetic and electronic properties at the active sites of biomolecules and their model complexes. I have also dabbled in Physics Education research.

Frames of Reference: A Skateboarder’s View

My essay Explaining Rolling Motion raised some commentary about frames of reference and their equivalence when solving physics problems. I wish to pursue the idea of shifting one’s frame of reference because its use is relatively uncommon in introductory physics courses.   Students are asked to solve problems mostly in the (approximately) inertial frame of […]

I am a retired university physics professor. I have done research in biological physics, mostly studying the magnetic and electronic properties at the active sites of biomolecules and their model complexes. I have also dabbled in Physics Education research.

Explaining Rolling Motion

Although rolling wheels are everywhere, when most people are asked “what is the axis of rotation of a wheel that rolls without slipping?”, they will answer “the axle”.  It is an intuitively obvious answer shared by 3/4 or more of the students in an introductory physics class.  It is also the wrong answer.  Here I […]

I am a retired university physics professor. I have done research in biological physics, mostly studying the magnetic and electronic properties at the active sites of biomolecules and their model complexes. I have also dabbled in Physics Education research.