Journal of the Korean Physical Society

, Volume 73, Issue 2, pp 145–151 | Cite as

The Meanings of Physics Equations and Physics Education

  • Minchul Kim
  • Youngwook Cheong
  • Jinwoong SongEmail author
Review Articles
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. JKPS 50th Anniversary Reviews


Physics equation represents a relationship among symbols by modelling conceptual knowledge of physics mathematically. Teaching and learning the rich meanings of physics equations can enhance learners’ understanding of physics concepts. From this expectation, we introduced various discussions which categorised the meaning of the physics equation according to the semantic relationship between the related concepts and the function and status of the physics equation. The physics equations are classified into interaction relationship, state relationship, and causal relationship according to the semantic relationship among the concepts included in the equation. This classification is based on the distinction of several ontological categories. Physics equations are also divided into empirical laws, definitions and principles according to their function and conceptual status. This classification of equations can provide a basis for teaching and learning physics in-depth.


Physics equation Physical meaning Mathematical meaning Ontological category Epistemological category 


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Copyright information

© The Korean Physical Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physics EducationSeoul National UniversitySeoulKorea
  2. 2.Department of Physics EducationGyeongsang National UniversityJinjuKorea
  3. 3.Center for Educational Research & Department of Physics EducationSeoul National UniversitySeoulKorea

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