Computer Program Detail Page
Three Point Charges Model
written by Andrew Duffy
The Three Point Charges is an inquiry-based model for exploring the force between charged objects. Initially, the simulation sets up three charged objects, one at each corner of an equilateral triangle. The charges have different magnitudes, represented by force vectors. The charges can be moved, allowing users to test the electric force in a variety of alignments. The student's task is to rank the charges based on their magnitudes, from largest to smallest. After practicing, students then write and share their methods for determining the correct ranking.
See Supplemental Document below for a student worksheet developed specifically to accompany this simulation.
See Annotations (below) for an interactive student tutorial on Coulomb's Law, which provides additional content support on electric force.
This item was created with Easy Java Simulations (EJS), a modeling tool that allows users without formal programming experience to generate computer models and simulations. To run the simulation, simply click the Java Archive file below. To modify or customize the model, See Related Materials for detailed instructions on installing and running the EJS Modeling and Authoring Tool.
Please note that this resource requires at least version 1.5 of Java (JRE).
The Physics Classroom: Newton's Laws and the Electrical Force (Author: Tom Henderson)
This interactive tutorial fully explains the complex physical situation that exists when three point charges interact. It will help your students understand what is going on at the macro scale and clarify how Newton's Laws can be applied to static electricity phenomena. We suggest introducing it AFTER your students work with the Three Point Charges Model simulation.
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Three Point Charges Model:
Is Based On Easy Java Simulations Modeling and Authoring Tool
The Easy Java Simulations Modeling and Authoring Tool is needed to explore the computational model used in the Three Point Charges Model.relation by Wolfgang Christian
Is a Teaching Guide For The Physics Classroom: Electric Force - Coulomb's Law
Is a Teaching Guide For Physics Classroom: Newton's Laws and the Electrical Force
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