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Students Love Learning Real Modern Physics

  • September 12, 2021 at 6:38 am
Students Love Learning Real Modern Physics

Why is middle school students losing interest and enthusiasm for physics? What is Australia’s performance in science, technology engineering, mathematics STEM? The Einstein-First Project believes it has the answer. This is because the students online experience with science is completely at odds with the school curriculum.

National Science Week was my opportunity to speak to 650 students ranging in age from 5 to 11. I asked them if they’d heard of black holes. Minimum 80% of them raised their hands. What are the black holes in school curriculum? We don’t. Because 19th-century Physics is all about curved time and warped space, it’s impossible to talk about black holes.

Our students have made it abundantly clear that science school is not about old stuff. Modernizing the curriculum is essential. We need to replace 19th-century concepts by 21st century concepts and teach all students the language of modern Physics, beginning in primary school. Today we launch our book Teaching Einsteinian Physics in Schools. It’s design to lead a revolution in school science beginning at year 3.

Young Students Grasp Einsteinian Concepts

The conceptual revolution began with Einstein’s 1905 discoveries. The last steps, Einstein’s theory of gravity in 1915, and de Broglie’s 1924 discovery, that all matter has a combination of bulletiness and waviness (commonly known as wave particle duality), were fundamental in changing physicists’ ideas about space, time and radiation. These discoveries form the basis of almost all modern technology.

Ten years ago, I ask my colleagues, it possible for Einsteinian concepts to taught in primary school? They replied, No. First, you must learn Newton’s Physics! I was blunt in my response! I responded bluntly! It states that things can travel arbitrarily quickly and gravity travels instantly, time is constant everywhere, mass and energies are independent, and the universe works like clockwork.

Our initial trial taught Einsteinian Physics in a primary school. The most amazing thing about our initial trial was the fact that children did not seem to be surprise by the idea. They simply took it in stride. The trial was repeat eight times in various primary and secondary schools.

The students were taught that light is compose of photons with a combination of waviness, bulletiness, space curvature and geometry changes, and that there time on top of mountains. They were not surprise by any of this. It was a hit with the children. A teacher in year three said, By the end, they had master vocabulary and understood concepts that not normally taught until high school. It was hard to get them away from their activities. Surprisingly, they accepted concepts that teachers and adults find difficult.

It’s Easy To Learn By Doing And It’s Great Fun

Activity-based learning is a favourite with the children. They also love toys so toys are used whenever possible. Toy photons are created using Nerf gun bullets, pingpong balls as toy electrons, and toy molecules that are made from magnetic tennis balls and/or ping-pong ball. To increase the bulletiness of toy cars, we sometimes use them as photons. We also use objects with greater mass to increase their bulletiness (i.e. Momentum. These toys enable experiments such as the dissociation toy molecules by toy ultraviolet photons. This allows us to understand why UV light can cause DNA damage and skin cancer and why radio (and even 5G!) are so popular. Photons have less bulletiness, which makes them safer.

The explanatory power of Einsteinian Physics is immense, regardless of whether it’s at quantum interactions or gravity. Einsteinian gravity refers to space as elastic fabric. Our two-dimensional spacetime toy is made of lycra. You can easily measure the stretching of time and space by rolling different balls on the Lycra. As the video below illustrates, almost all gravitational phenomena are easy to observe.

These spacetime simulators are a favorite among students of all levels. They learn how photon trajectories can be deflected in curving space, how gravity gradient forces tear apart comets, and how orbits change their orientation (called precession). A year 7 teacher stated, It makes it easier to talk with students about interesting topics, such as the latest black hole discovery.