Technology Enabled Active Learning
Visualizing Electricity and Magnetism at MIT
We are using visualizations in teaching physics interactively in freshman
courses at MIT (classes of 500 students). We combine desktop experiments
with visualizations of those experiments to "make the unseen
seen". Our pedagogy utilizes the following elements:
learning--students work in groups of 3, with 9 students
sitting at a round table and discussing electromagnetic phenomena.
- Networked laptaps, one for each group of 3, with data acquisition
links to desktop experiments that students perform and analyze.
- Media-rich software for multimedia visualization, delivered
via class laptops and the Web.
- Extensive course notes with links to the visualizations.
- Assessment showing learning gains a factor of 2 higher than traditional
||A rendering of the TEAL classroom and a photograph
of students at work (click to enlarge).
Our visualizations are organized into five categories: Vector
Law, and Light.
Here we present a selected few from over 100 visualizations ranging
in format from passive mpeg animations to interactive Shockwave and
Java 3D applets. The main index is available at http://web.mit.edu/8.02t/www/802TEAL3D.
contained herein can be freely used and redistributed for non-profit
educational purposes, as long as an acknowledgment is given to the
MIT TEAL/Studio Physics Project for such use.
|| Title: A
Van de Graff Generator Repelling a Charge
An animation of the electric fields around a van de Graaff generator
as it repels a positive charge. We show both the "moving
field lines" and the"dynamic
line integral convolution" representation of the
electric field. Correlations in the animated texture indicate
the direction of the field. Set Windows Media Player to "repeat".
Molecules 3D simulates the interaction of charged particles
in three dimensional space. The particles interact via the classical
Coulomb force, as well as the repulsive quantum-mechanical Pauli
force. In response to these forces, individual particles will
first pair off into dipoles and then slowly combine into larger
structures over time. Select "Fullscreen Version".
Left click and drag to rotate camera. Hold down "Shift"
and click on a particle to select it, then use the arrow keys
to move it around. Press "f" while a particle is selected
to toggle fieldlines on/off around that particle. The fieldlines
will show the local direction of the electric field.
Wires in Series
An animation of the magnetic field and forces generated by two
parallel wires is visualized when the current in the wires run
in opposite directions. When the current is turned on, the resulting
magnet field pressure between the wires pushes them apart.
The Alex and Brit d'Arbeloff Fund for Excellence in MIT Education, MIT iCampus, the Davis Educational Foundation, NSF, the Class of 1960 Endowment for Innovation in Education, the Class of 1951 Fund for Excellence in Education, the Class of 1955 Fund for Excelence in Teaching, and the Helena Foundation.
Falling Ring with Finite Resistance
A visualization of the magnetic field configuration that is
generated around a conducting non-magnetic ring (e.g. copper)
as it falls under gravity in the magnetic field of a fixed permanent
magnet. The current in the ring is indicated by the small moving
spheres. In this case, the ring has finite resistance and falls
past the magnet. Set Windows Media Player to "repeat".
Falling Coil Applet
An interactive Java 3D applet field shows the field configuration
around a non-magnetic ring as it falls under gravity in the
field of a fixed magnet. In the initial configuration the coil
has no resistance and levitates in the field of the magnet.
Hit run and let the ring bounce several times. At the bottom
of a bounce hit the "iron filings" box to see a representation
of the complete field. Hit run again and increase the resistance
to "10" using the slider. Watch the subsequent behavior
of the ring.
Pedagogy: John Belcher, Peter Dourmashkin, Sen-ben Liao, David
Litster, Norman Derby, Stanislaw Olbert
Assessment: Yehudit Judy Dori
Project Manager: Andrew McKinney
Java Simulations: Andrew McKinney, Philip Bailey, Michael Danziger,
Mesrob Ohannesian, Pierre Poignant, Ying Cao
3D Illustration/Animation: Mark Bessette, Michael Danziger
Shockwave Visualizations: Michael Danziger
Visualization Techniques R&D: Andreas Sundquist (DLIC),
Mesrob Ohannessian (IDRAW)