Physics: Lens Misconceptions
Students whiteboarded and discussed the results of Friday’s lab. I’m always intrigued by the conversations about the image formed when part of the lens is covered up. Students consistently express the common misconception that blocking the lens will block part or all of the image with very little analysis of that idea. Once they saw the full image, however, they quickly and easily made connections to partially covered mirrors to declare a dimmer, but whole image is exactly what they should see. Without the unexpected observations in the lab, my students felt no need to consider related observations or apply tools like ray diagrams to challenge their ideas. I know this is exactly how misconceptions tend to play out (Derek Mueller’s video on Newton’s 3rd law is a great example), but there’s seeing this process happen always fascinates me.
Students did a simple solubility lab where they measured how much sugar could be dissolved in water at different temperatures.