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Physics Almost Saved the President! Electromagnetic Induction and the Assassination of James Garfield: A Teaching Opportunity in Introductory Physics
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Electromagnetic induction is probably one of the most challenging subjects for students in the introductory physics sequence, especially in algebra-based courses. Yet it is at the heart of many of the devices we rely on today. To help students grasp and retain the concept, we have put together a simple and dramatic classroom demonstration that combines sight and sound with a compelling personal story from U.S. history. Other classroom activities dealing with induction have been discussed in this journal, 1–4 but we believe that this one will be especially likely to attract and retain student interest, particularly in courses geared toward medical, biological, and other non-physics majors.
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