2013 April APS - Materials for active engagement in nuclear and particle phys
MATERIALS FOR ACTIVE ENGAGEMENT INNUCLEAR AND PARTICLE PHYSICS COURSES@ APRIL APS MEETINGNameSchoolDepartment DENVERJEFF LOATS, MSUKEN KRANE, OREGON STATE UNIVERSITYCINDY SCHWARZ, VASSAR COLLEGESUPPORTED BY NSFAWARD # DUE-1044037
2ABOUT THE GRANT – CONTEXTNational Science Foundation (NSF) Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science (TUES) 1.5 of 3 years complete.Context: Research-based instructional strategies (RBIS) often begin in the introductory sequence. Some have “percolated” up the curriculum.
3ABOUT THE GRANT – GOALSDevelop a range of active engagement materialsfor nuclear and particle physics.Encourage and enable instructors to bringempirically tested pedagogies into thesecourses.
4TYPES OF MATERIALS - IPre-lecture “warm up” questions (for use with Just in Time Teaching).Conceptual discussion questions (for use with Peer Instruction).Back-of-the-envelope estimation exercises, using both recent and historical experiments.Small projects and case studies using nuclear and particle physics databases.Conceptual exam questions (to close the loop)
5TYPES OF MATERIALS - IIBack-of-the-envelope estimation exercises, using both recent and historical physics experiments.Small projects and case studies using information from nuclear and particle physics databases.Conceptual exam questions (to close the loop)
6JUST IN TIME TEACHINGUsed in intro. courses for 15+ years.Effectiveness demonstrated in many contextsEasy to adoptBasics of JiTTStudents answer 2-3 short-response questions(warm ups) the night before lecture. – Usually conceptual, graded on effortInstructor reads responses “just in time” tpmodify lecture and motivate discussion.
7EXAMPLE JITT WARM UP QUESTIONSDescribe in your own words the reason that allnuclei in their ground state have an electricdipole moment of zero.There are three color charges (RGB) and eachgluon carries a color and an anticolor. Why thenare there only eight gluons and not the nine(3x3) we might expect?
8PEER INSTRUCTIONUsed in many courses for 20+ yearsHighly effective, especially paired with JiTTUsually implemented with “clickers”Basics of Peer InstructionDifficult conceptual questions asked during classStudents respond individuallyStudents discuss in informal groupsStudents respond individually, post discussionClass-wide discussion
9EXAMPLE PEER INSTRUCTION QUESTIONThe vertex shows aHiggs Boson decayinginto two fermions.According to the standardmodel, which of the followingquarks would the Higgs most likely decay into?A) top and anti-topB) strange and anti-strangeC) up and anti-upD) charm and anti-charm
10BACK-OF-THE-ENVELOPE ESTIMATIONSFrom Fermi Questions to proofs-of-concept,estimations are important in physics.Estimation discourages calculators and too-precise answers. (No calculators allowed!)Estimation encourages a focus on keyparameters and central concepts.We try to base estimation exercises on eitherrelevant recent or historical experiments.
11EXAMPLE ESTIMATION EXERCISEConsider the fusion reactions2H + 2H 3He + n and 2H + 2H 3H + 1HSuppose each one is initiated in an identicalfashion by colliding two 2H nuclei head-on withequal kinetic energies. In which reaction wouldyou expect the total kinetic energies of the twofinal products to be greater, and on what basisdo you form your expectation?
12SMALL PROJECTS/CASE STUDIESContext-Rich-Problems (and others) have shownthe power of digging into detailed case studies.Real situations help integrate concepts andsolidify learning.Flexible! These small-group activities can beused in class or as weekly projects.
13EXAMPLE CASE STUDYConsider the image […] The line emergingfrom the bottom corresponds to an electron Cstruck by a muon antineutrino. Ba) What is the direction of the magnetic field in the bubble chamber? Ab) Describe the change in the trajectory that occurs around the point marked A in the image.c) What physical process must have occurred at A in order for the trajectory to have changed in this way?d) Etc.
14CONCEPTUAL EXAM QUESTIONSLeaving your exams unchanged can accidentallyderail efforts to move toward activeengagement.Answered in sentence to probe understanding.Offer powerful insight into the depth ofknowledge our students have gained (or… not).
15EXAMPLE CONCEPTUAL EXAM QUESTIONSConsider a hypothetical nucleus with 10nucleons.a) In terms of the various interactions inside the nucleus, why is it that a clump of 10 neutrons is not a stable configuration?b) How many stable configurations of 10 nucleons are there? Justify your answer with an empirical argument.
16FIND, USE, SHARE!No moldy files! Please test, use, tweak andmodify … (Modern? Conceptual? Etc.)Please take a card, send an email or google us: Jeff Loats, firstname.lastname@example.org Ken Krane, email@example.com Cindy Schwarz, firstname.lastname@example.orgFind these slides at www.slideshare.net/jeffloats Thank you NSF! (Award # DUE-1044037)