Using analogies for introducing synchrotron light in high school

Vitor Acioly, Telecio Barbosa Neto, Antonio Carlos Fontes dos Santos


The aim of this paper is to propose the use of analogies for teaching principles of synchrotron radiation for high-school students. Analogy is an important tool for teaching new abstract subjects based on familiar content. In this paper, we suggest the use of Teaching With Analogies Strategy (TWAS), which is an approach to overcome the didactic obstacles in introducing abstract physics content to students. The authors expect that this work may  contribute to the students' understanding of synchrotron radiation, reflecting  the needs and interests of secondary school teachers.


Acioly, V., Picoreti, R., Rocha, T. C., Azevedo, G. D. M. & Santos, A. C. F. (2020) A luz síncrotron iluminando a formação de professores, Física na Escola 18(2), 81-86
Acioly, V., Paiva, T., Azevedo, G., Rocha, T., Picoreti, R., & Santos, A. C. F. D. (2021). Shedding synchrotron light on teacher training. Physics Education, 56(3), 035021.
Araújo, M. S. T. D., & Abib, M. L. V. D. S. (2003). Atividades experimentais no ensino de física: diferentes enfoques, diferentes finalidades. Revista Brasileira de ensino de física, 25, 176-194.
Arce-Larreta, E., Aretz, S., Baumgartner, T., da Cruz e Silva, C. B., Bonkowsky, C. F., Bonkowsky, S. B., ... & Weening, J. (2021). Behind the scenes: The two-weeks stay of beamline for schools winning students at desy. The Physics Educator, 3(1), 2150001.
Barretto, J. T. (2022). A physical model to simulate the photoelectric effect. Physics Education, 57(5), 053003.
Bonventi Jr, W., & Aranha, N. (2015). Estudo das oscilações amortecidas de um pêndulo físico com o auxílio do “Tracker”. Revista Brasileira de Ensino de Física, 37, 2504-1.
Catelli, F., & Libardi, H. (2010). CDs como lentes difrativas. Revista Brasileira de Ensino de Física, 32.
Chevallard, Y. (1991). La Transposición Didactica: from wise knowledge to learned knowledge (Ed. Aique, City of Buenos Aires)
Gentner, D., & Holyoak, K. J. (1997). Reasoning and learning by analogy: Introduction. American psychologist, 52(1), 32.
Glynn, S. M., Duit, R. (Eds.). (1995). Learning science in the schools: Research reforming practice. Routledge.
Glynn, S. M., Duit, R., & Thiele, R. B. (2012). Teaching science with analogies: A strategy for constructing knowledge. In Learning science in the schools (pp. 247-273). Routledge.
Harrison, A. G., & Treagust, D. F. (2006). Teaching and learning with analogies: Friend or foe?. Metaphor and analogy in science education, 11-24.
Kettler, J. E. (1991). The compact disk as a diffraction grating. American Journal of Physics, 59(4), 367-368.
Kovačević, M. S., & Djordjevich, A. (2006). A mechanical analogy for the photoelectric effect. Physics education, 41(6), 551.
Macedo, R. A. (2016) Use of Low Cost Materials in Teaching Electromagnetism for High School. Master's Dissertation in Physics Teaching, Institute of Exact Sciences, Fluminense Federal University, Volta Redonda
Machado, K. D. (2006), Teoria do Eletromagnetismo 3 (Editora UEPG, Ponta Grossa, 2006) p 486
Magalhães, M. D. F., Santos, W., & Dias, P. (2002). Uma proposta para ensinar os conceitos de campo elétrico e magnético: uma aplicação da História da Física. Revista Brasileira de Ensino de Física, 24, 489-496.
Micha, D. N., Penello, G. M., Kawabata, R. M. S., & Camarotti, T. (2011). "Vendo o invisível": experimentos de visualização do infravermelho feitos com materiais simples e de baixo custo. Revista Brasileira de Ensino de Física, 33, 1501.
Micklavzina, S., Almqvist, M., & Sörensen, S. L. (2014). Bringing physics, synchrotron light and probing neutrons to the public: a collaborative outreach. Physics Education, 49(2), 221-230.
Moraes, I. P., Alves, R., & de Novais, E. R. P. (2019). Experimento para visualização das linhas de campo elétrico. Scientia Plena, 15(7).
Kipnis, N. (2005). Scientific analogies and their use in teaching science. Science & Education, 14(3-5), 199-233.
Pessanha, M., & Pietrocola, M. (2017). Particle Accelerators and Didactic Obstacles: A Teaching and Learning Experience in São Paulo and Cataluña. Crossing the Border of the Traditional Science Curriculum: Innovative Teaching and Learning in Basic Science Education, 45-59.
Santos, A. C. F., Nunes, L. N. (2013). Using analogies to visualize the equipotential lines with spread sheets. Revista Brasileira de Ensino de Física, 35, 1-9.
Santos, A. C. F. dos (2020). A origem clássica da força do oscilador. Revista Brasileira De Ensino De Física, 42, e20190176.
Sinflorio, D. A., Fonseca, P., Coelho, L. F. S., & Santos, A. C. F. (2006). Teaching electromagnetism to high-school students using particle accelerators. Physics education, 41(6), 539.
Treagust, D. F., Harrison, A. G., & Venville, G. J. (1998). Teaching science effectively with analogies: An approach for preservice and inservice teacher education. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 9(2), 85-101.
Velloso, M., Acioly, V., & Santos, A. C. F. (2020). Introduzindo o conceito de força do oscilador nas disciplinas iniciais de mecânica quântica. Revista Brasileira de Ensino de Física, 42, e20200209.
Wiener, G. J., Woithe, J., Brown, A., & Jende, K. (2016). Introducing the LHC in the classroom: an overview of education resources available. Physics Education, 51(3), 035001.
Whalley, M. (2005). The photoelectric effect: a useful sporting analogy. Physics education, 40(6), 503.


Vitor Acioly (Primary Contact)
Telecio Barbosa Neto
Antonio Carlos Fontes dos Santos
Acioly, V., Neto, T. B., & Santos, A. C. F. dos. (2023). Using analogies for introducing synchrotron light in high school. omentum: hysics ducation ournal, 7(2), 331–336.

Article Details