Is the Archimedes principle a law of nature? Discussions in an 'extended teacher room'

Olof Dahl, Bo Eklund, Ann Marie Pendrill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Is a suction cup at the bottom of a bathtub subject to an upward force from the surrounding water, even if there is no water under it? A student question, posted in a teacher facebook group on a Monday morning, led to a discussion involving 21 comments with 225 replies offered by 16 teachers during the next few days, including several simple experiments, as well as modeling, to evaluate different arguments. The discussions, summarized in this paper, provide an example of how social media can provide an 'extended teacher room' where teachers can explore and refine their understanding in a safe and mostly supportive environment, and also find ways to give more elaborate answers to challenging student questions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number065025
JournalPhysics Education
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Other Physics Topics
  • Pedagogical Work

Free keywords

  • Archimedes? principle
  • buoyancy
  • extended teacher room
  • Gauss? theorem
  • physics teaching
  • pressure
  • social media


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