Into the third dimension?


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    • #57324
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      A bit of thinking together through diagrams
      In some diagrams 3D representations might be more helpful than their 2D equivalents. I think that probably mostly depends on the topic area in physics.

      I’ve put together some diagrams to help think this through and invite comment – not about whether you would change some words on the diagram or whether for you the gravity force is always blue….at least you can offer opinions about these, but I might not pay attention.
      Rather I hope that you might comment on the learning gains for children, and on the uses to which you might put such diagrams, focussing on 2D vs 3D, didactical uses and pedagogical gains.

      TalkPhysics is not playing nicely with iFrames at the moment, so here are some links to follow. All are development versions, functionally complete (all browser-based), but not yet checked for publication. In particular these are text or narrative-light. That’s because I think the place to explain the diagram is probably not on the diagram (cf map keys).

      Here are three sample areas – it if look 3D try dragging the pointer around to rotate…

      Transformers: 3D

      Deflection of charged particles 2D:

      and in 3D:

      Electric fields:


      In the discussion, feel free to suggest other areas, but please give reasons as to why you think the 2D or 3D representation better supports learning. I’m afraid I’m old and cranky enough, and have been around computers long enough not to attach much weight to promoting engagement because its new / sexy / whatever.

      Disclosure: I am not gathering data for ‘writing research’ or anything sinister like that, rather I am trying to get a steer as to what might be usefully worked on.

      Encouragement: please follow the links and share your thoughts on the utility of the third dimension, imagining a commentary on the diagram as you go.

    • #58207
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      Just in time for Christmas, my tech hero has fixed TP, so I can now insert graphics again

      …maybe appearance on the page will tempt comment?

      it if looks 3D try dragging the pointer around to rotateā€¦

      Transformers: 3D

      a variant

    • #58208
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      Deflection of charged particles 3D:

    • #58209
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand


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