Class Report

Back Away From the Discovery Channel - Real Quantum Physics

Teacher: Adam Roush, above, full-time physics, math, and computer science high school teacher
Location: Washington Post
Date:February 24, 2015

See more photos of this class on Flickr!

What was the take-home message of the class?
Quantum physics is the study of the laws that define very small particles. And as Adam showed us, you don’t need a degree in mathematics to understand the basics. All it takes is an open mind and a willingness to accept that things at the scale of an atom don’t behave like things from our human-sized point of view.

What was the most surprising thing you learned?
I loved discussing concepts like Schrodinger’s Cat, quantum cryptography, and multiple universe theory.

What did you learn that you can put into practice immediately?
I look forward to calling out the bad physics in sci-fi films. In particular, Adam mentioned that as characters shrink, they would experience things much differently at an atomic level. I can’t wait for the “Ant-Man” film this summer.

Where can I find more information?
One of the resources Adam mentioned was XKCD. It’s a brilliant web comic that combines humor and physics.

Matty Greene is a native Austinite and passionate film producer/photographer. When she’s not making online videos for work — be it producing a video about manufacturing the American flag or filming fourth graders installing solar panels on their classroom roof — you can find her playing ukulele, working on 3D printing, or taking a Knowledge Commons DC class.