Goals & Objectives of PhAQ Project


Summer 2007


To investigate rotational motion, the students are asked to thinking about a rotating disk. Using observations as well as previous knowledge, they should be able to construct new concepts related to rotational motion.


A wheel is spinning counterclockwise at a constant rate about a fixed axis (as viewed from above).  The diagram at right represents a snapshot of the wheel at one instant in time. Is the time taken by point B to move through one complete circle greater than, less than or the same as the time taken by point A?  (To help you visualize the motion, you might want to grab a disk, such as a CD or coin, and track two points as you spin it.)




Some students incorrectly answer this initial question and then continue to apply that mistake to later portions, thereby ultimately reinforcing misconceptions (or creating new ones!).


  1. L. C. McDermott and P. S. Shaffer Tutorials in Introductory Physics, Prentice Hall, 2002