In English

Explorable Explanations on Statistical Physics

Many Tiny Things

Pontus Granström
Göteborg : Chalmers tekniska högskola, 2016. 52 s.
[Examensarbete på avancerad nivå]

This thesis report describes the development of Many Tiny Things, a series of explorable explanations on basic statistical physics. The explanations guide the reader through a molecular dynamics model, which is simulated and visualised on the reader’s computer. The reader can interact with the simulated model, and explore concepts such as energy, temperature, friction, entropy and state transitions. The target audience is people with little physics or mathematics background, and the focus is on conveying an intuitive understanding, not a quantitative one. The goal is for the reader to play and experiment with the model, and hopefully learn something new about the world in the process. In the report I detail the design of the simulated model and the reader’s interaction with it, as well as the way the guiding explanations are presented. I cannot o er any conclusive general wisdom about explorable explanations, but the discussion on my design process could prove interesting for future projects similar to this one. The explanations are implemented as web pages, which has both benefits and drawbacks. A web page is easy to access and reference, but it is ill-suited for making performant programs, which is needed for many real-time simulations. There are many challenges in writing interactive texts, among them a lack of tools and experience. I suggest possible solutions to issues I have encountered and directions for further developing explorable explanations.

Nyckelord: teaching, learning, pedagogical, simulation, explorable explanation, statistical physics, thermodynamics, molecular dynamics

Publikationen registrerades 2017-01-05. Den ändrades senast 2017-01-18

CPL ID: 246661

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