Here is your opportunity to experience, online, select content from Perimeter Institute's highly successful two-week International Summer School for Young Physicists (ISSYP). While we could reach up to 100 "young physicists" per year with our onsite ISSYP camps, our Virtual ISSYP opens up this fantastic learning experience for all to enjoy. The Virtual ISSYP is intended for students, teachers and anyone interested in learning more about the wonders of modern physics and the excitement of research and discovery at the frontiers of knowledge.
Development of a successful mathematical model of spin.
Learning Outcomes:
• A review of the mathematics of vectors.
• Applying the experimental results of QM-14 to construct a mathematical model of an electron spinning in any direction as a certain superposition of the spin up and spin down states.
A discussion of the surprising results of the single slit and double slit experiments.
Learning Outcomes:
• How the single slit experiment suggests that chance is at the heart of nature, and that the behaviour of particles might need to be described by something different from Newton’s laws.
• How the double slit experiment suggests that understanding the behaviour of particles will require a radically new way of thinking about how nature works at a fundamental level.
Making the connection between particle probability patterns and wave intensity patterns, leading to the famous de Broglie relationship.
Learning Outcomes:
• Repeating the single slit experiment with waves instead of particles. Seeing that the particle probability pattern is the same as the wave intensity pattern.
• Same as above, but for the double slit experiment.
• Putting it all together to derive the de Broglie relationship between the momentum of a particle and the wavelength of a corresponding wave.
Using the de Broglie relation as a foundation for understanding the quirky quantum behaviour of particles.
Learning Outcomes:
• Understanding how a particle in one-dimensional box behaves like a superposition of left- and right-moving de Broglie waves, implying that the particle is moving both left and right simultaneously.
• Understanding the relationship between the intensity of de Broglie waves and the probability of finding the particle at specific locations inside the box.
An introduction to spacetime diagrams – a first step towards understanding Einstein’s special theory of relativity.
Learning Outcomes:
• Newton’s absolute space and time vs. Einstein’s relative space and time.
• Bodies move through both space and time – spacetime diagram “worldlines” show both motions.
• Drawing worldlines for bodies in various states of motion: at rest, moving with various constant velocities, and accelerating.
Drawing spacetime diagrams of simple thought experiments involving sound in air as a warm up exercise for light in vacuum.
Learning Outcomes:
• Deepening our understanding of how to draw and interpret spacetime diagrams.
• Measuring space and time in the same units – a first step towards unifying space and time into “spacetime.”
• Why, for an observer at rest with respect to still air, the speed of sound is independent of the motion of the source of sound.
Continuation of a thought experiment from SR-2 leading up to a derivation of the familiar Doppler shift for sound in air.
Learning Outcomes: The real meaning of Newton’s assumption of absolute (or universal) time; Understanding the Doppler shift for sound in terms of a spacetime diagram; How to derive the (non-relativistic) Doppler shift formula for sound as a consequence of assuming Newton’s universal time.
An experimental introduction to electron spin.
Learning Outcomes:
• To develop the classical understanding of a spinning bar magnet, and how we would expect it to be affected on passing through a Stern-Gerlach apparatus.
• How actual experiments with silver atoms (containing an electron that acts like a tiny spinning bar magnet) give results that are completely different from the above classical expectations.
Introduction to Einstein's famous rotating disk thought experiment, which he used to help him understand the true nature of gravity.
Learning Outcomes:
• Understanding that an observer placed at the edge of a rotating disk (or inside a rotating cylinder) experiences an artificial gravitational field related to his centripetal acceleration.
• Appreciating the ways in which this artificial gravitational field exactly mimics the real gravitational field we experience near the Earth's surface.
Analyzing the artificial gravitational field inside a rotating cylinder to discover hints about the nature of real gravitational fields.
Learning Outcomes:
• How to compare relativistic effects of an accelerated observer who is inside the rotating cylinder to observers at rest in the inertial reference frame outside the rotating cylinder.
• Understanding that the relative time dilation effect decreases as the rotating observer moves toward the axis of rotation, and how this suggests that a real gravitational field might warp time.