Re-enacting the Wild and Weird Nature of Things

Do you like really weird stuff? Then this module is for you. Quantum Mechanics is the study of very small particles. Things almost too small to be measured. This makes them behave in ways you wouldn't think is possible, such as being in two places at the same time. Quantum weirdness was discovered by some real charters at a time in history when the world was changing fast. To get a sense of how the science of Quantum Mechanics came to be, it is fun to try to recreate the world that generated it.

We will role play the history and discoveries that formed our modern understanding of quantum mechanics. You will take on the persona of one of these physicists, build a costume and demonstration around their identity then present it at the end of the module. During the two weeks, we will expose you a number of physics demonstrations that illustrate quantum weirdness, such as the double slit experiment, polarized light measurement, and wave and particle models. You will have a chance to engineer potential ramps for marbles and make other things in UAF's physics and astronomy lab. We will have daily discussions, improve games, and debates about the nature of the world. It will be a wild and weird ride into the development of a science.

This module is open to students entering 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th grades in the fall of 2019

2018 Physics students


 Instructor: Geneva Mottet, Physics Department, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Geneva Mottet
I am a physics graduate student and think quantum mechanics is one of the coolest subjects ever invented. It is also one of the hardest, as a very famous physicist,  Richard Feynman, once said, "If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don't understand quantum mechanics." I have always loved being challenged, so have taken courses in it, and read many books on the topic. I still don't understand quantum mechanics, but have a great appreciation for it and think the double slit experiment is a big reason of what made me go to physics graduate school. When I am not doing physics, I play with my telescope doing amateur astronomy, am a student member of the society of creative anachronisms where I do historical reenactments, and enjoy sewing, knitting, and cooking.


Instructor: Demsey Rogers, Physics Department, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Dempsy Rogers
Hi, I’m Dempsey Rogers! I’m currently a physics grad student at UAF. I’m studying physics because I’ll always have something new to explore. In the past I’ve worked as an instructor for Guided Discoveries observatory in California, as well as the Huntington Learning Center. I’ve been looking forward to sharing some awesome science ever since.