Bulletin of the American Physical Society
APS April Meeting 2019
Volume 64, Number 3
Saturday–Tuesday, April 13–16, 2019; Denver, Colorado
Session L13: Physics Education: From Particle Physics to Autonomous Driving to Contact
3:30 PM–5:18 PM,
Sunday, April 14, 2019
Sheraton Room: Plaza Court 2
Sponsoring Unit: FEd
Chair: Laurie McNeil, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Abstract: L13.00008 : Neutrino Oscillations in Magnetized Matter: A scaffolded quantum mechanics project for the thermal physics classroom*
4:54 PM–5:06 PM
View Presentation Abstract
Todd M. Tinsley
Todd M. Tinsley
A career physicist might look back on the undergraduate physics curriculum and see an introduction to fundamental and complimentary approaches to solving problems in our field. Our students, however, can often experience that curriculum as distinct courses where the content seldom spills beyond the walls of the classroom, much less to any recent research questions. Therefore, textbook authors and classroom instructors work to deepen our students’ appreciation for connections across the curriculum and to problems in our field. One approach is through project-based learning. This talk outlines a project for upper-level thermal physics students to apply their knowledge of statistical mechanics toward a question in particle physics: How does magnetized matter affect the rates of neutrino oscillations from a star? I will provide the learning goals for the project, describe how I scaffolded the learning in a recent iteration of an undergraduate thermal physics course, and present my assessment results along with student feedback.
*This work was supported by NASA/Arkansas Space Grant and the Hendrix Odyssey Program.
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