Science & Education

, Volume 11, Issue 5, pp 459–474 | Cite as

Lines of Force: Faraday's and Students' Views

  • M. Cecilia Pocovi
  • Fred Finley


In this work we analyzed how electric and magnetic lines of force were conceived byFaraday and how they are understood by a group of Argentine university studentsafter receiving instruction. Our results show that many students possess ideas similarto those of Faraday in that lines of force are conceived as real physical entities responsible for the transmission of the electric action. These results are in accordance with the interpretation of physical entities as ``matter-based'' suggested by Chi et al. (1994). It is suggested that emphasis on the geometrical character of these lines seems imperative in basic electromagnetism classes in order to avoid this kind of confusion.


Electric Action Physical Entity Magnetic Line Geometrical Character Electromagnetism Class 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Cecilia Pocovi
    • 1
  • Fred Finley
    • 2
  1. 1.Departamento de Física, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas Universidad Nacional de SaltaArgentina
  2. 2.Department of Curriculum & InstructionUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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