Day 80: Velocity Addition Diagrams



After doing Force Addition Diagrams, relative velocity problems are easier to teach. The bolded arrow is the resultant velocity, and students easily catch the link between that and net force in FADs.



2 Comments on “Day 80: Velocity Addition Diagrams”

  1. Thanks for your blog! I am really getting some terrific ideas to help me keep my Physics 12 class “fresh”!
    Regarding FADs, have you ever considered teaching your equilibrium unit right after you introduction vector addition? Usually, teachers dive straight into kinematics, but I’ve really enjoyed going to equilibrium first, so that we can use direct applications of the vector addition.
    It’s also nice to start on a unit that they haven’t seen from Grade 11.

    • Wow Dana, thanks so much for the kind words! I am pretty stuck with my scope and sequence since my class is articulated through the U of MN. That said, I don’t actually do a vector addition section, but instead just teach it in context with the FADs. They already have a concept of vectors from motion maps in kinematics, so that helps too. I like the idea of trying equilibrium first though! My only concern on that front is that I teach all of balanced forces together, which includes motion at a constant velocity…but I don’t think it would have to be done that way. Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

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