Curvilinear Motion in the Absence of External Forces: Naïve Beliefs About the Motion of Objects

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Science  05 Dec 1980:
Vol. 210, Issue 4474, pp. 1139-1141
DOI: 10.1126/science.210.4474.1139


University students were asked to draw the path a moving object would follow in several different situations. Over half of the students, including many who had taken physics courses, evidenced striking misconceptions about the motion of objects. In particular, many students believed that even in the absence of external forces, objects would move in curved paths.

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