What colors do you use in class when teaching electromagnetism? For many physics educators we simply use what we learned or what is used in the textbook. Browsing through a large collection of introductory physics textbooks reveals that the vast majority use red for the electric field, blue for the magnetic field, and some shade of green for the electric potential. These color choices, although common, may be confusing to students with color vision deficiency. Color vision deficiency (CVD), often incorrectly referred to as color blindness, affects roughly 6% of physics majors (calculated from Refs. 2–4). For people with red/green CVD, the fall colors (red, orange, yellow, green) collapse into shades of yellow. In addition to yellows, those with red/green CVD can perceive blues (and blacks and whites), hence they are not color “blind.” Using an alternative color palette when teaching electromagnetism is a quick and easy way to facilitate the learning of students with CVD.
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PAPERS| September 01 2022
Color Vision Deficiency and Teaching Electromagnetism
Phys. Teach. 60, 466–468 (2022)
Nathan Tompkins, Karen L. Gunther; Color Vision Deficiency and Teaching Electromagnetism. Phys. Teach. 1 September 2022; 60 (6): 466–468. https://doi.org/10.1119/5.0049803
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