Can 12 and 13 year-old pupils be taught Quantum Physics?
The purpose of the Pocket Professor TV pilot is to provide a novel way for introducing and presenting very advanced concepts in Physics to children in the 12-14 age group through a series of short films which combine live action and animation seamlessly in a simple narrative style.
Rather than adopting conventional "talking head" or "voice-over plus
animation" methods of presentation, the Pocket Professor films use the device of a virtual holographic professor of physics who takes two
teenagers and their teacher on a light-hearted interactive adventure through a world in which they experience the physical concepts at first
The pilot film entitled the Quantum Cowboy focuses upon aspects of quantum physics, such as the structure of the atom, electron orbitals, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, the
emptiness of matter and particle-wave duality. The plot takes the adventurers down sequentially from millimetre, to micron, nanometre and
picometre length scales, and sees them encountering and interacting with silicon chips, buckyballs, atoms, electrons as both particles and waves,
The Pocket Professor project has been supported by a research grant from
the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) under the
Partnership for Public Engagement Scheme.