Paul Alstein, Kim Krijtenburg-Lewerissa, Wouter R. van Joolingen
This review presents an overview and analysis of the body of research on special relativity theory (SRT) education at the secondary and lower undergraduate level. There is currently a growing international interest in implementing SRT in pre-university education as a first introduction to modern physics. For this reason, insights into learning opportunities and challenges in SRT education are needed. Currently, studies on this topic are sparse, especially at the level of secondary education, and there is a need for a general overview and synthesis of the results reported. We have selected 39 articles and categorized them according to reported learning difficulties, teaching approaches and research tools. Analysis shows that students at all educational levels experience learning difficulties with the use of frames of reference, the postulates of SRT and relativistic effects. In the reported teaching sequences, instructional materials and learning activities, this problem is approached from different angles. Some teaching approaches focus on thought experiments to express conceptual features of SRT, while others use virtual environments to provide realistic visualization of relativistic effects. Finally, we show that students' conceptual understanding of SRT is measured primarily by means of thought experiments. The reported thought experiments can be grouped into five categories related to basic concepts from Galilean relativity and SRT. More research is needed to investigate how learning activities and multimedia tools can be used to support students' reasoning with the conceptual features of SRT.
До кучи, о нобелевской премии этого года:
2020 Nobel Prize for Physics: Black holes and the Milky Way's darkest secret: https://arxiv.org/abs/2011.06656
This article was written at the invitation of Current Science to explain the history and Science behind this year's Nobel prize in Physics. The article is aimed at a general audience and provides a popular account and perspective on the subject of black holes.
Comments: 14 pages 5 figures. Due to appear in Current Science