Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In this chapter, we present and discuss two inquiry-based learning paths on condensed matter physics topics in which numerical simulations play a relevant role. The first one addresses the study of the electron transport dynamics via simulative explorations in 3D semiconductors. His emphasis is not on student modelling skills, but rather on a chain of reasoned investigations performed within a learning environment aimed at supporting a valuable understanding of the physics concepts underlying the complex world of semiconductor electronics. The second learning path is a 5E-cycle-based workshop of advanced physics targeted to strengthen student’s understanding of the various aspects of the Hall Effect. In this latter, the instructors stimulate a discussion about the classical, integer and fractional quantum Hall effects. Both learning paths represent a powerful instrument for educators introducing young undergraduates to the effectiveness of numerical simulations to investigate a physical system where the theoretical processes are well known, but analytical methods of examination still provide only approximate results. Our findings show that the stimulated activation of the inquiry process, also by means of numerical simulations, can represent an effective teaching/learning method. This approach successfully engages students into active learning and, at the same time, supports the clarifying of important experimental and technological aspects of material science, representing a feasible example of combination of a traditional lecture-based teaching method with efficacious teaching/learning strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFundamental Physics and Physics Education Research
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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