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Teaching Quantum Concepts in General Chemistry with Interactive Computer SoftwarePowerPoint Presentation

Teaching Quantum Concepts in General Chemistry with Interactive Computer Software

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### Teaching Quantum Concepts in General Chemistry with Interactive Computer Software

Alan D. Crosby1 – ([email protected])

Peter Carr2

Luciana S. Garbayo2

Alexander Golger1

1Department of Chemistry, Boston University

2School of Education, Boston University

http://quantumconcepts.bu.edu

Dan Dill1

Peter S. Garik2

Morton Z. Hoffman1

What’s the problem with teaching Quantum Concepts in general chemistry?

- Anti-intuitive with respect to the macroscopic world
- Demands the suspension of belief
- Historical presentation in text books
- Supporting graphics paint misleading and inaccurate images
- Perpetuation of misconceptions

What’s the problem with teaching general chemistry? general chemistry?

- Passive learning with the lecture format
- Solitary learning is the norm
- Large discussion sections become mini-lectures
- TA’s are often from different cultural, educational, and linguistic backgrounds
- Textbooks are voluminous, and increasing in content

Do we really need to teach Quantum Concepts in general chemistry?

- The future belongs to the quantum
- Nano-technology
- Quantum lasers
- Quantum computers

- The foundation of modern science
- Molecular medicine and drug design
- Biochemical interactions

- Beyond general chemistry
- Organic
- Inorganic
- Physical
- Biochemistry

What to do? chemistry?

- Develop materials to enhance learning
- Change the pedagogy to promote active learning

Project design: basic principles chemistry?

- Quantum concepts unify the teaching of general, organic, inorganic, and physical chemistry.
- Quantum concepts force us to confront how we know what we know about the physical world.
- Students learn best through direct exploration and discovery.

Project summary chemistry?

- Visually oriented tools based on real-time rigorous numerical calculations.
- Fun to use while discovering and exploring key features of fundamental quantum concepts.
- Enable students to grasp the essence of the quantum concepts.
- Builds a foundation upon which the teaching of modern chemistry is based.

Current project modules chemistry?

- Schrödinger Shooter
- Energy levels and wavefunctions that are solutions to the Schrödinger Equation in a given potential.

- Atomic Explorer
- Energy levels and shapes of atomic orbitals.

- Bond Explorer
- Bonding and energy levels for overlapping atomic orbitals to create molecular orbitals.

- Diatomic Explorer
- Bonding and energy levels for diatomic molecules.

Project modules in development chemistry?

- Hybridization Explorer
- Potential energy surfaces and the force field that results in the directional bonding of key elements (e.g., B, Be, C, N, and O).

- Reactivity Explorer
- An extension of the concepts developed in the Bond and Hybridization Explorers; examine the force field that determines the reaction sites.

- Spectral Explorer
- Display laboratory spectra and compare with spectra that can result from energy transitions between molecular or atomic energy levels.

Curriculum reform chemistry?

- Use of peer-led workshop model in honors level general chemistry
- Required reading of text and supplementary material
- Detailed discussions, group activities, and demonstrations in lecture section
- Workshops on quantum concepts
- Development of semi-quantitative understanding
- Use of interactive software for active learning

Group investigations chemistry?

- Discussion of wavefunction value, curvature, and kinetic energy (the Schrödinger Equation) without mathematics:
curvature of ψ∝- kinetic energy × ψ

- Sketching of wavefunctions for different simple potential energy functions:
- Free electron
- Linear ramp potential
- Infinite vertical wall (particle in a box)
- Finite vertical wall (particle “escapes”)

- Variation of total energy
- Normalization

Where are we? chemistry?

- Current application of PLTL
- Honor-level general chemistry
- Physical chemistry/quantum concepts
- Inorganic chemistry

- Development of advanced materials for physical chemistry based on the modules

Where are we going? chemistry?

- PLTL across the curriculum
- Introduction of the modules in other courses

“Shooter” workshop overview chemistry?

- Part I – develop understanding
- Qualitative “feel” for the Schrödinger Equation; qualitative and semi-quantitative interpretation.
- Physical interpretation of potential energy functions, wavefunctions, and probability.
- Free-hand sketching of expected wavefunctions for simple potential energy functions.

- Part II – use the Schrödinger Shooter
- Verify the results from Part I.
- Examine more realistic potential energy functions.
- Collect energy values as functions of quantized parameters.
- Discover the origin of quantum numbers.

Acknowledgements chemistry?

Project funding:

- Current: US Department of Education, Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education (FIPSE), Award P116B020856, "Exploring Quantum Concepts in Chemistry: Active Discovery by Students in the General Chemistry Course."
- Previous: NSF Grant REC 9554198 and a NSF minigrant subcontract from the University of Northern Colorado (REC-0095023).

How the Schrödinger shooter works chemistry?

- Real-time Cooley-Numerov integration
- Many potential energy functions
- Adjustable interface of parameters
- Multiple views and visualizations:
- Value of the wavefunction (amplitude)
- Amplitude squared (probability)
- Range of parameters
- Potential, kinetic, and total energy depiction

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