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Energies 2018, 11(1), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11010098

A Time for Introducing the Principle of Least Potential Energy in High School Physics

Department of Physics and Project Unit, Sapir Academic College, Sderot, Hof Ashkelon 79165, Israel
Received: 29 November 2017 / Revised: 25 December 2017 / Accepted: 28 December 2017 / Published: 3 January 2018
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Abstract

Comprehending physical phenomena in topics such as advanced mechanics, quantum mechanics, relativity theory, or particle physics demands one considering the system’s energy, usually under equilibrium constrains. The least potential energy principle (LPEP), which demonstrates an interesting fascinating generalization in physics, is a powerful tool to understand such physics phenomena. Unfortunately, students at high school and universities are exposed to solely considering the forces acting on the system’s particle and apply the Newton’s laws on the system’s particles. Thus, they gain only partial understanding of the physical phenomena they are confronted with and find enormous difficulties to apply energy consideration when needed. If we wish providing students with necessary background to deal with advanced physics, the LPEP should be introduced already in high schools. The current essay provides examples of physics situations in equilibrium where students can apply the LPEP. View Full-Text
Keywords: principle of least potential energy; high-schools; physics curriculum principle of least potential energy; high-schools; physics curriculum
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Ben-Abu, Y. A Time for Introducing the Principle of Least Potential Energy in High School Physics. Energies 2018, 11, 98.

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