Web-based Interactive Problem Solving Tutorials for Introductory Physics




Not only can learning physics help you understand how things work, it provides an excellent platform for developing problem solving and reasoning skills. 

The effective way for solving a problem includes an initial qualitative analysis of the problem followed by planning, implementation, assessment, and reflection upon the problem solving process to repair, extend and organize knowledge. 

Before working through a tutorial which breaks down a quantitative problem into sub-problems (multiple-choice questions) related to various stages of problem solving,  try solving the problem yourself to the best of your ability.  Struggling with the problem will help you learn from the tutorial better than what you will learn from it if you do not try to solve the problem to the best of your ability on your own.

While working on the multiple-choice sub-problems in the tutorials, click on a choice that you think is correct. 

You should not move forward in the tutorial unless you have answered all of the preceding sub-problems correctly. 

Even if you solve a sub-problem correctly, you may want to view the feedback to ensure you understand why other options for a multiple-choice question (related to a particular stage of problem solving) are incorrect. 

Also, consider taking advantage of the  feedback that  exemplifies a particular stage of problem solving (e.g.,  initial qualitative analysis, implementation, reflection). You can stop and go back to previous questions in the tutorial at any time (the home link takes you to the beginning of the tutorial). 

After working through a tutorial, you must work on the paired problems to ensure that you have the ability to apply the concepts learned from the tutorial to a problem that employs the same physics principles but has a somewhat different context. 

We have developed tutorials related to introductory mechanics and electricity and magnetism. Topics in mechanics include linear and rotational kinematics, Newton's laws, work and energy, and momentum. Topics in electricity and magnetism include Coulomb's law, Gauss's law, electric potential and potential energy, motion of charged particles in a constant external electric field, motion of charged particles in a constant external magnetic field, Faraday's Law and Lenz's Law.

Below, you will find 20 web-based interactive problem solving tutorials and corresponding paired problems for introductory mechanics and electricity and magnetism. Please note that you must download each tutorial on your own computer and then work on each tutorial in the power point slide show mode in order for the links to work (to go to another slide, e.g., for the appropriate hint for a multiple-choice question when you click on a particular choice). Alternatively, you can work on the web version of the tutorial which does not need to be downloaded. Have fun!

All tutorials and their associated materials were developed by Chandralekha Singh and Seth Devore, with funding support from the National Science Foundation.

Copyright 2014, University of Pittsburgh.  All Rights Reserved. 

Tutorials for Introductory Classical Mechanics: 

Tutorials for Electricity and Magnetism:

Subpages (20): Conservation of Angular Momentum Conservation of Mechanical Energy and Conservation of Momentum Conservation of Mechanical Energy and Newton's Second Law in a Non-Equilibrium Situation Conservation of Mechanical Energy and Work-Energy Theorem Conservation of Mechanical Energy to determine Speed of a Proton in a Uniform Electric Field Between Charged Plates Conservation of Mechanical Energy to Determine the Outcome of a Rolling Race for Objects with Different Shapes Rolling Down an Incline Electric Field in an Off-Center Spherical Cavity in an Insulating Charged Sphere with Uniform Volume Charge Distribution Using Gauss's Law and Superposition Principle Electric Field in Different Regions of a Conducting Spherical Shell Due to Changes in the Cavity and on the Conductor Using Gauss's Law and Superposition Principle Equilibrium Application of Newton's Second Law Equilibrium Application of Newton's Second Law in a problem involving Friction Helical Motion of a Charged Particle in a Uniform External Field Mechanical Equilibrium of a Rigid Body (ladder resting against a wall) Newton's Second Law in an Equilibrium Situation to Determine Magnitude of Charge Non-equilibrium application of Newton's Second Law Non-Equilibrium Application of Newton's Second Law Non-Equilibrium Application of Newton's Second Law and Torque Equation to Calculate Angular Acceleration and Tension for a Pulley System Projectile Motion Two Dimensional Kinematics with Constant Acceleration to Determine Motion of Electron in a Uniform Electric Field Between Charged Plates Use of Faraday's Law to Determine the Terminal Speed of a Metal Bar Down an Incline Which Forms Part of a Conducting Loop Use of Faraday's Law to Determine the Terminal Speed of a Vertically Falling Metal Bar Which Forms Part of a Conducting Loop
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Chandralekha Singh,
Sep 2, 2013, 11:25 AM
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Chandralekha Singh,
Sep 2, 2013, 11:27 AM
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Chandralekha Singh,
Sep 2, 2013, 11:26 AM
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