Q in high school

Some schools all over the world start having programs introducing quantum physics to secondary students, in the years before the university. Most of these programs basically copy (and sometimes simplify) the first chapters of the first university course. This choice is not wise in my opinion: the first chapters of a course are written having in mind that there will be later chapters and even further modules to complete the students’ formation. But this won’t happen for secondary students, who certainly won’t all go to physics.

It would be much better to come up with a completely new design of the syllabus, tailored to convey the essentials in the few available sessions. I have made such an attempt with some secondary students, first from Fribourg (Switzerland), later from Singapore. In both cases, the feedback was very positive. Finally, with two students, I have put everything into the book Six Quantum Pieces (now available also in Chinese).

I think it’s a nice achievement, but I am sure there is much more to do in this direction. Think this way: what do you want the students to remember? “Nature is fascinating and there is real randomness there”, or “once my teacher forced us to learn some complicated maths that are used to describe discrete energy levels”? I am looking forward to your feedback!

  1. Ah, enlightened, enlightened. The celerity with which you are building your blog is very amazing.

  2. Six Quantum Pieces is a powerful book for teacher that would like to work out some recent topics in quantum physics. I recommend it also to stimulate young student, for example if they have to do a individual project at the end of the high school. I’m doing that since several years and I have done many interesting experiences.

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