Physics 11 – Today was our Misconceptions in Gravity class. We did a lot of voting and discussion centered on three themes: what things affect gravity?, do small things also have a force of gravity?, and do interacting objects have an equal force of gravity acting on each other?.
There’s too much on these subject to list here, but the above diagram is one of the more convincing arguments. Students see that as they add additional particles to the diagram (X, Y, Z, etc), each new particle has a force of gravity acting between it and A. The extension of this is that large objects, or objects with millions or billions of particles, will have the same number of force arrows as does the small object (A).
Some students were a bit too “white flag-ish” for this class. It’s so easy to tune out and say to yourself “I don’t know.” Those students can make this a difficult lesson to teach. But other students really like it. It’s interesting and challenging. It’s solving a mystery or a puzzle.