2015 BFY II Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: W39 - Quantum Analogs
Abstract: Students have trouble forming intuition about quantum mechanics, especially if partial differential equations are not their natural language.  To help in conceptualization, TeachSpin offers a collection of apparatus and experiences in classical acoustics of air in confined volumes to teach analogies to quantum phenomena.  By using acoustic experiments to display the solutions of a differential equation analogous to the Schrödinger Equation, students can see classical normal modes as the analogs of quantum eigenstates.  Using a spherical resonator, they can see directly the spherical harmonics that are common to classical and quantum-mechanical problems in spherical systems.  A one-dimensional array of acoustic modules provides hands-on analogs from particle-in-a-box to the behavior of semiconductors

Participants will:
• See the 'mode spectrum' of acoustic resonances in a spherical resonator by scanning over frequency
• Choose one mode, and explore its spherical-harmonic character
• Perturb that mode out of a sphere, and see frequency splittings
• Graduate to a periodic 1-d acoustic structure, and see acoustic bands and gaps
• Learn how 3 independent variables control 3 dependent variables in the band-gap pattern
• Manage to leave the room after using this highly addictive apparatus for only 40 minutes.
Abstract Type: Workshop

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Barbara Wolff-Reichert
and Co-Presenter(s)
Jonathan Reichert, George Herold, David Van Baak, TeachSpin

Workshop Documents

Workshop Doc 1: Download the Workshop Doc 1
Workshop Doc 2: Download the Workshop Doc 2