Lamp on a Desk by shuifanglj

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									                                 Lamp on a Desk




Mrs. Smith pointed to a lamp sitting on her desk. She asked her students to describe any
forces acting on the lamp. This is what some of her students said:

Sarah:        “The only force acting on the lamp is air pressure.”

Dalton:       “There is one force acting on the lamp. Gravity is the force that pulls on the
                lamp.”

Chris:        “There are two forces; the desk pushes up on the lamp and gravity pulls down on
               the lamp.”

Izak:         “There are many forces acting on the lamp; but, it is the holding force in the lamp
               that keeps it on the desk.”

Traci:        “There are no forces acting on the lamp because the desk stops any forces from
               acting on it.”

Which student do you most agree with? _________________________________________

Explain your thinking. What rule or reasoning did you use to decide if there were any forces
acting on the lamp?
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Adapted from Uncovering Student Ideas in Science, Vol 3

								
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