How might you experience the world around you if you were shrunk to the size of an atom?






Particle in a box is a virtual world governmed by the laws of Quantum Mechanics that enables you to experience the world of the very small.

College quantum mechanics courses often focus more on the mathematical constructs and less on the qualitative understanding of the subject. Existing visualizations (and very few existing games) for QM are also highly technical, too focused on mathematical formulas, and hard to approach. To tackle this problem, we are exploring supporting material such as interactive visualizations and games for teaching and learning quantum mechanics.

Incorporating an iterative design process, Particle in a Box is a game that combines principles from game design, scientific visualization, and QM physics to create a unique experience that allows players to compare the classical and QM environments and create a virtual environment that engages and habituates students to QM concepts.



Play Game


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Our Team


The game is bring developed by an interdisciplinary team at Georgia Tech with people from various backgrounds such as Electrical Engineering, Digital Media and Computer Science. The research group is part of the Design and Social Interaction Studio at GVU.


Members



Research Advisors
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Nassim JafariNaimi
Assistant Professor, Digital Media, Georgia Tech
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Azad Naeemi
Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering, Georgia Tech



Student Researchers

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Aditya Anupam
PhD student, Digital Media
Pushing forth the STEAM Engine.
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Akansha Gupta
MS-Human Computer Interaction-DM
UX Designer
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Justeen Lee
Undergrad, Industrial Design
UX Designer and Motion Designer
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Muchao Tang
MS-Human Computer Interaction-ID
UX Designer


Previous Members

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Ridhima Gupta
MS-HCI
UX Designer
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Tanisha Wagh
MS-HCI
UX Designer and Storyboarder
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Rose Peng
MS-HCI
UX Designer at IBM
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Mithila Tople
MS-HCI
UX Designer at Airwatch by VMware
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Baishen Huang
Undergrad, Physics
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Bill Dorn
Undergrad, Computer Science
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Annick Huber
MS-HCI
UX Designer and Graphic Artist
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Shaziya Tambawala
MS-HCI
UX Designer and Researcher

Publications


Particle In A Box: An Experiential Environment for learning Quantum Mechanics
Aditya Anupam, Ridhima Gupta, Azad Naeemi, Nassim JafariNaimi
IEEE Transactions on Education (Under Review) 2016


Abstract
Quantum mechanics is a foundational subject in many fields of science and engineering. However, quantum mechanics is difficult to teach because it is abstract and built on probabilistic concepts that appear counterintuitive to students. Introductory quantum mechanics courses and texts predominantly focus on the mathematical formulations of the subject and lay less emphasis on its conceptual understanding. As a result students often struggle to develop robust mental models that are necessary for its understanding. In this paper, it is posited that games can provide an ideal platform for an experiential understanding of quantum mechanics. The rationale for this hypothesis is described in the repetitive nature of games that can represent probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics environments. This paper presents the design and evaluation of a digital game for learning basic quantum mechanics concepts. The evaluation of the game indicates an improvement in students’ conceptual understanding of probability, energy, and their relationship. Students also reported an increase in comfort level with the key concepts taught in the game.



A Novel Interactive Paradigm for Teaching Quantum Mechanics
Mithila Tople, Rose Peng, Bill Dorn, Azad Naeemi, Nassim JafariNaimi
11th Annual Games+Learning+Society Conference (GLS11), (Wisconsin-Madison, USA), 2015.


Abstract
Quantum Mechanics (QM) is the foundation for science and engineering disciplines as diverse as physics, materials science, chemistry, and nanotechnology. However, educators face major challenges in teaching QM concepts to students given the abstract and non-experiential nature of QM. To address the above challenges we are creating and evaluating a virtual environment governed by the laws of quantum mechanics as a way to engage alternative ways of teaching and learning QM.



Interactive Visualizations for Teaching Quantum Mechanics and Semiconductor Physics
Rose Peng, Bill Dorn, Azad Naeemi, Nassim JafariNaimi
IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), (Madrid, Spain), 2014.


Abstract
Work in Progress: The theory of Quantum Mechanics (QM) provides a foundation for many fields of science and engineering; however, its abstract nature and technical difficulty make QM a challenging subject for students to approach and grasp. This is partly because complex mathematical concepts involved in QM are difficult to visualize for students and the existing visualization are minimal and limited. We propose that many of these concepts can be communicated and experienced through interactive visualizations and games, drawing on the strengths and affordances of digital media. A game environment can make QM concepts more accessible and understandable by immersing students in nano-sized worlds governed by unique QM rules. Furthermore, replayability of games allows students to experience the probabilistic nature of QM concepts. In this paper, we present a game and a series of interactive visualizations that we are developing to provide students with an experiential environment to learn quantum mechanics. We will discuss how these visualizations and games can enable students to experiment with QM concepts, compare QM with classical physics, and get accustomed to the often counterintuitive laws of QM.