Faculty, staff, and students from the Elizabeth and Richard Henes Center for Quantum Phenomena offer educational outreach to middle and high school teachers and students. CQP also provides programs for the general public.
Teaching topics include introductory concepts of motion, and using a portable scanning tunneling microscope, or STM, to image surfaces at the atomic scale by harnessing the quantum phenomenon known as tunneling.
The interactive 90-minute workshop “Imaging the Invisible” introduces students and teachers to the wonders of nanotechnology using a portable STM to image the carbon atoms in graphene, and a portable atomic-force microscope to image the transistors on a memory chip.
More than 1,200 students so far have experienced the workshops through Michigan Tech’s Women in Engineering and Engineering Scholars summer programs.
CQP uses history to teach quantum physics to undergraduate students. Quantum theory is introduced by investigating discoveries and ideas from the early twentieth century that culminate in development of quantum mechanics. Students take comfort in the knowing how many great physicists struggled to understand it.
Quantum mechanics, conceptually rich and challenging, places substantial mathematical demands on students. But it never ceases to fascinate students and instructors alike.