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Abstract Title: Students Perceptions of Simplification- From Fine-Grained to Coarse- Grained Modeling
Abstract: An introductory curriculum was developed which builds the conceptual physics framework behind complex phenomena that are of interest to the materials and life sciences. The curriculum was implemented, evaluated and refined in a course for interested and capable high-school students.
Students engaged in constructing a series of computational models intended to align the stochastic nature of molecular motions (random walks) with their prior knowledge of Newtonian mechanics. Students analyze the temporal evolution of particle trajectories and averaged over different time scales. This analysis serves to introduce the concepts of fine and coarse graining as well as to justify the shift from deterministic, molecular dynamics, to the Brownian dynamics of a colloidal particle dominated by frictional and stochastic forces, resulting from averaging over the interactions with the many-particles of the solvent. We will present findings regarding students' attitudes and perception of fine and coarse grained modeling following completion of the unit.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session II
Poster Number: B25

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Haim Edri
Science Teaching Department, Weizmann Institute of Science
234 Herzl Street, Rehovot 7610001 Israel
Rehovot, Israel, Non U.S. 7610001
and Co-Presenter(s)
Sam Safran, Department of Materials and Interfaces,  Weizmann Institute of Science

Edit Yerushalmi, Department of Science Teaching , Weizmann Institute of Science