An Inquiry-based approach to the Franck-Hertz experiment

Risultato della ricerca: Conference contribution

Abstract

In this study we present the results of an inquiry-driven learning path experienced by a sample of15 selected engineering undergraduates engaged to perform the Franck-Hertz experiment. Beforebeing involved in this experimental activity, the students received a traditional lecture-basedinstruction on the fundamental concepts of quantum mechanics. Despite the instructor’sintroduction to specific technological/engineering-based contents during the course, the students’answers to an open-ended questionnaire, administered at the end of the lectures, demonstrated thatthe acquired knowledge was characterized by a strictly theoretical vision of quantum science,basically in terms of an artificial mathematical framework having very poor connections with thereal world. This could be ascribed to the many difficulties that students demonstrated to have inorder to deal with concepts at scales in which they cannot have a direct experience in theireveryday life, especially at microscopic and sub-microscopic scales. In order to fulfil these lacks, the students were invited to actively participate to an experimentalactivity within an inquiry-based learning environment at the Laboratory of Condensed MatterPhysics at the Department of Physics and Chemistry of the University of Palermo. The Franck-Hertz experiment was introduced to the students by starting from the problem of finding anexperimental confirmation of the Bohr’s postulates asserting that atoms can absorb energy only inquantum portions. By following the lines of a scientific inquiry, the students, working in group,performed a questioning activity that naturally guided them throughout the steps of the Franck-Hertz experiment.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteBook of Abstact of GIREP-MPTL International Conference 2014
Pagine301-302
Numero di pagine2
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2014

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