Students' conceptual difficulties in hydrodynamics
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© 2017 authors. Published by the American Physical Society. Published by the American Physical Society under the terms of the »https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/» Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the published article's title, journal citation, and DOI. We describe a study on the conceptual difficulties faced by college students in understanding hydrodynamics of ideal fluids. This study was based on responses obtained in hundreds of written exams complemented with several oral interviews, which were held with first-year engineering and science university students. Their responses allowed us to identify a series of misconceptions unreported in the literature so far. The study findings demonstrate that the most critical difficulties arise from the students' inability to establish a link between the kinematics and dynamics of moving fluids, and from a lack of understanding regarding how different regions of a system interact.