Deductive introduction to quantum principles through resonance-focused chemistry laboratory


Communicating the principles of quantum mechanics to underclassmen can be a particularly difficult objective. However, laboratory demonstrations of quantum principles can greatly enhance young scientists' capacity to understand such concepts. Through this UTRA, we designed and developed a new underclassmen laboratory with the aim of providing hands-on learning of quantum mechanics, in order to allow the students to better relate to these concepts, which are usually left very abstract. Through this laboratory, students are first led to investigate resonance and standing waves at macroscopic level via mechanical vibration of membranes subject to varying boundary conditions. Then, they are exposed to the wave mechanics at mesoscopic level by synthesizing silver nanoparticles and analyzing how their plasmon frequencies change with size and shape of the nanoparticle. Through this practical macroscopic and mesoscopic level demonstration of wave mechanics, students obtain an intuition that opens the road to further questions in the realm of quantum mechanical aspects of chemistry.


Pirozzi, Ileana, "Deductive introduction to quantum principles through resonance-focused chemistry laboratory" (2015). Summer Research Symposium. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library.



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    Each year, Brown University showcases the research of its undergraduates at the Summer Research Symposium. More than half of the student-researchers are UTRA recipients, while others receive funding from a variety of Brown-administered and national programs and fellowships and go …