Intuitive Quantum Physics (IQP)

Developed by: Jeffrey T. Morgan, Michael C. Wittmann, Eleanor C. Sayre, Katrina E. Black

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Intro College Conceptual

Modern / Quantum
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students)  Recitation/Discussion Session  Lab  Homework  Studio

What? Tutorials for a course introducing non-science majors to the basic ideas of quantum mechanics using minimal mathematics. Uses simplified models to help students understand spectroscopy, building simple molecules, and tunneling.

Example materials


Topic outline


Seeing the same things as other people
Waves passing through
Analogies connecting light and waves
Doing impossible things
Energy and probability
Physically possible wavefunctions
Bound states and more impossible things
Excited States
Modeling Molecules
Tunneling – A quantum mechanical consequence
Modeling Radioactivity

Student skills developed

Designed for:
  • Conceptual understanding
  • Making real-world connections
  • Metacognition
Can be adapted for:
  • Using multiple representations

Instructor effort required

  • High

Resources required

  • TAs / LAs
  • Advanced lab equipment
  • Tables for group work

Developer's website: Intuitive Quantum Physics (IQP)

You can download all course materials including tutorials, quizzes, and movies for free from the developer's website. You can download a sample tutorial from PhysPort.

Bronze Validation
This is the third highest level of research validation, corresponding to:
  • at least 1 of the "based on" categories
  • at least 1 of the "demonstrated to improve" categories
  • at least 1 of the "studied using" categories
(Categories shown below)

Research Validation Summary

Based on Research Into:

  • theories of how students learn
  • student ideas about specific topics

Demonstrated to Improve:

  • conceptual understanding
  • problem-solving skills
  • lab skills
  • beliefs and attitudes
  • attendance
  • retention of students
  • success of underrepresented groups
  • performance in subsequent classes

Studied using:

  • cycle of research and redevelopment
  • student interviews
  • classroom observations
  • analysis of written work
  • research at multiple institutions
  • research by multiple groups
  • peer-reviewed publication