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
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.
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.
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.