This paper focuses on difficulties linked to situations in physics involving two models: geometrical optics and wave optics. The starting point is an investigation of university-level students’ difficulties. Excerpts from textbooks are given, to illustrate potential difficulties. A content analysis is then presented, underlining two important features required for dealing with such situations: awareness of the status of the drawings, and the “backward selection” of paths of light. These features could provide some guidelines for the designing of innovative teaching strategies.
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PAPERS| July 01 2001
Using two models in optics: Students’ difficulties and suggestions for teaching
P. Colin, L. Viennot; Using two models in optics: Students’ difficulties and suggestions for teaching. Am. J. Phys. 1 July 2001; 69 (S1): S36–S44. https://doi.org/10.1119/1.1371256
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