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Student Explorations of Quantum Effects in LEDs and Luminescent Devices
The Physics Teacher (2004)
  • Lawrence Todd Escalada, University of Northern Iowa
  • N. Sanjay Rebello, Kansas State University
  • Dean A. Zollman, Kansas State University
We developed activity-based instructional units to introduce basic quantum principles to students with limited physics and mathematics backgrounds. To emphasize the practical applications of contemporary physics, we introduced concepts using the contexts of light-emitting devices such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs), fluorescent lamps, and glow-in-the-dark toys. As our standard of living becomes more dependent on the latest developments in science and technology, our students’ literacy must be at a level that enables them to make educated decisions on science- and technology-related issues and their everyday applications. Students need to have at least a basic understanding of 20th-century physics and its applications in order to make informed decisions about them. Unfortunately, many physics teachers either exclude or spend very little time on modern topics such as quantum mechanics in high school physics courses.1,2 The high degree of mathematical formalism and abstract nature of quantum mechanics is frequently given as a reason for not introducing quantum physics in high school physics courses
Publication Date
March, 2004
Citation Information
Lawrence Todd Escalada, N. Sanjay Rebello and Dean A. Zollman. "Student Explorations of Quantum Effects in LEDs and Luminescent Devices" The Physics Teacher Vol. 42 Iss. 3 (2004) p. 173 - 179
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