Visualization of non-Intuitive Physical Phenomena

There are certain physical phenomena that are difficult to grasp. Often because the description of these phenomena are contradicted by our day-to-day experiences. Excellent examples are Quantum Mechanics and the effects of Relativistic velocities.

Relativistic Effects can be displayed via computer graphics and simulation, whereby the effects of relativistic velocities on the propagation of electromagnetic energy become obvious. Such visualization and realtime interaction can provide an 'intuitive' grasp of physical phenomena for the average student, comparable to what was once available only to the gifted student. A sample of such visualization can be seen in Figure 1. This visualization/ simulation approach to demonstrating physical phenomena lends itself well to online distance learning.
Figure 1

Other similar phenomena are Quantum Mechanical effects, which may likewise be displayed and grasped via visualization. One virtue of an intuitive grasp of a concept, is transference - i.e. - the student or professional can transfer the concept to another field.

The research should be multi-sensorial so as to encompass haptics (via force feedback) and auditory stimulation. This allows the student to be able to mentally key on information from multiple cognitive index structures - 'it feels like', 'it sounds like', 'it looks like', and 'it means'.

This multisensory approach to the demonstration of physical phenomena provides an opportunity for those with diminished sensory capacity to participate in these educational environments (vision, hearing, kinesthetic, or motor impaired). Visualization likewise transcends language, implying the possibility of creating a language independent educational environment.

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