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2011 AAPT Summer Meeting
July 30-August 3, 2011
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Sessions and Events w/Abstracts

Date: Monday, August 01

 

Total Number of Records Found: 6

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Reflections on the Gordon Conference on Experimental Research and Labs in Physics Education
  Location: SS 105
  Date: Monday, Aug.01
  Time: 8:00AM - 9:30AM
  Presider: Kiko Galvez,
  Co-Presiders(s): None
  Equipment: N/A
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AD01:   

Using Experiments to Foster Conceptual Understanding: Insights From PER*
  Location: SS 105
  Date: Monday, Aug.01
  Time: 8:00AM - 8:30AM
  Author: MacKenzie R. Stetzer, University of Washington
206 543-6390, stetzer@phys.washington.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: The Physics Education Group at the University of Washington has been investigating student learning in an upper-division laboratory course in analog electronics. Our findings indicate a need for research-based instructional materials that are expressly designed to help deepen student understanding and to address specific difficulties identified through research. As we begin this curriculum-development effort, we plan to draw on our extensive experience designing research-based and research-validated materials for use in special laboratory-based, inquiry-oriented courses for K-12 teachers.1 In this talk, I will highlight the role of experiments in instructional strategies that have been shown to strengthen the conceptual understanding of K-12 teachers. I will also reflect on how such approaches may be implemented in upper-division laboratory courses.
  Footnotes: *This work has been supported in part by the NSF under Grant No. DUE-0618185. 1. Physics by Inquiry, L.C. McDermott and the Physics Education Group at the University of Washington, Wiley (1996).
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AD02:   

Dynamic Interferometric Measurements: Acoustical/Mechanical Resonators and Changing Magnetic Fields
  Location: SS 105
  Date: Monday, Aug.01
  Time: 8:30AM - 9:00AM
  Author: Richard Peterson, Bethel University
703-292-4629, petric@bethel.edu
  Co-Author(s): Keith Stein
  Abstract: Physical optics combines with computational physics to make three experimental project areas especially rich in experimental breadth (optics, electronics, acoustics, fluid dynamics, along with structural and magnetic properties of materials), in addition to facilitating year-to-year student/faculty creativity. Stroboscopic holography techniques with a high (130 - 160) dB gas resonator allow real-time imaging of sound patterns at resonance as gas density variations impact the index of refraction and produce quantifiable fringe motions at pressure antinodes. A steel tuning fork is rich in torsional and transverse modes that yield to spectral analysis and computational FFT work with COMSOL. Stroboscopic holography produces quantifiable video images of these modes that may be compared to spectral and COMSOL predictions. Rapidly changing magnetic fields in a material produce Faraday-effect induced interferometric phase shifts between circularly polarized beams, and real-time fringe readouts can measure rapidly changing fields at the level of a few gauss in TGG.
  Footnotes: Supported in part by the MN NASA Space Grant and the Carlsen-Lewis Endowment at Bethel University.
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AD03:   

Quantum Mechanics with a Lab
  Location: SS 105
  Date: Monday, Aug.01
  Time: 9:00AM - 9:10AM
  Author: Enrique J. Galvez, Colgate University
(315)228-7205, egalvez@colgate.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: I report on an undergraduate course on quantum mechanics with a lab component. The lab consists of five experiments with correlated photons for students to learn applications of quantum mechanics. Optical components are represented by matrix operators. Hilbert spaces can be momentum modes (propagation along x or y directions), polarization modes (horizontal or vertical), or combinations of these for one or two photons, forming two or four-dimensional spaces. The experiments explore basic quantum mechanical operations such as basis projection, basis rotation, superposition and measurement. Experiments also touch modern themes such as the concepts of qubits and entanglement. We use two optical layouts, each set up on a 2' x 5' optical breadboard.
  Footnotes: None
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AD04:   

Fundamental Instructional Labs in Quantum Mechanics for Undergraduate Physics Majors
  Location: SS 105
  Date: Monday, Aug.01
  Time: 9:10AM - 9:20AM
  Author: Gabriel C. Spalding, Illinois Wesleyan University
(309) 556-3004, gspaldin@iwu.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: Many students have a difficult time grasping quantum mechanical models and, particularly given that the most popular undergraduate text on quantum (Griffiths) forgoes references to real experiments, a new generation of instructional experiments is deemed to provide the absolutely critical visualization and tangible proof that are needed to convince students of key elements of quantum theory. Such instructional labs have been featured highlights of the 2009 Advanced Lab Topical Conference in Ann Arbor and of the 2010 Gordon Conference on Physics Research and Education, and have also been incorporated into the ALPhA Immersion Program, which provides hands-on training for lab instructors (e.g., in demonstrating the existence of photons, single-photon interference, indistinguishability and the quantum eraser, entanglement and tests of Bell's inequalities, etc.). This led us to establish a group focused on furthering efforts to make these sorts of labs more affordable.
  Footnotes: None
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AD05:   

What Is the Relevance of Physics Education Research to the Advanced Lab?
  Location: SS 105
  Date: Monday, Aug.01
  Time: 9:20AM - 9:30AM
  Author: Benjamin M. Zwickl, University of Colorado at Boulder
3034921446 , benjamin.zwickl@colorado.edu
  Co-Author(s): Noah D. Finkelstein, Heather J Lewandowski
  Abstract: The University of Colorado Boulder is in the early stages of a 2.5-year research-based redesign of our upper-division physics lab courses. There has been a nationwide resurgence of interest in advanced physics labs among instructors and faculty, but the PER community to date has focused on introductory and lecture-format classes. Little research has been conducted on these uniquely sophisticated and resource-rich learning environments in terms of goals, measurements of learning, and outcomes of modification. We are applying the existing research-base and methods of PER as a tool to make our labs better with the dual purpose of finding generalizable lessons about effective instruction in advanced lab courses. We will report preliminary outcomes that include our process of modification, learning goals, assessment frameworks, and a revised lab example.
  Footnotes: None
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