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ERIC Number: EJ933246
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Aug
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
ISSN: ISSN-0157-244X
The "Heisenberg's Microscope" as an Example of Using Thought Experiments in Teaching Physics Theories to Students of the Upper Secondary School
Velentzas, Athanasios; Halkia, Krystallia
Research in Science Education, v41 n4 p525-539 Aug 2011
In this work an attempt is made to explore the possible value of using Thought Experiments (TEs) in teaching physics to upper secondary education students. Specifically, a qualitative research project is designed to investigate the extent to which the Thought Experiment (TE) called "Heisenberg's Microscope", as it has been transformed by Gamow for the public in his book "Mr. Tompkins in Paperback", can function as a tool in the teaching of the "uncertainty principle". The sample in the research consisted of 40 Greek students, in 11 groups of 3-4 students each. The findings of this study reveal that the use of this TE has positive results in teaching the uncertainty principle. Students, based on the TE, were able (i) to derive a formula of the uncertainty principle, (ii) to explain that the uncertainty principle is a general principle in nature and it is not a result of incompleteness of the experimental devices and (iii) to argue that it is impossible to determine the trajectory of a particle as a mathematical line.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Greece