Catapult Description of Magnetic Fields and Forces

McCall, Martin W. and Kinsler, Paul and Tymms, Vijay (2020) Catapult Description of Magnetic Fields and Forces. Physics Teacher, 58. pp. 416-417. ISSN 1943-4928

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In many high school teaching materials the force on a current-carrying wire in a magnetic field is discussed using an idea based on a so-called “catapult field” (cf. Fig. 1), an engaging depiction of magnetic forces, albeit one which, to the best of our knowledge, has neither been used in college-level educational material or scrutinized in academic journals. Here we examine carefully the physical basis of the “catapult field” concept, and find both its accuracy and utility seriously questionable.

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Journal Article
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Physics Teacher
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Copyright 2019 American Institute of Physics. The following article This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics.
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29 Apr 2020 15:25
Last Modified:
17 Sep 2023 02:49