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Virtual neutron scattering experiments: Training and preparing students for large-scale facility experiments

Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

Documents

Julie Hougaard Overgaard, Jesper Bruun, Michael May, Linda Udby

We describe how virtual experiments can be utilized in a learning design that prepares students for hands-on experiments at large-scale facilities. We illustrate the design by showing how virtual experiments are used at the Niels Bohr Institute in a master level course on neutron scattering. In the last week of the course, students travel to a large-scale neutron scattering facility to perform real neutron scattering experiments. Through student interviews and survey answers, we argue, that the virtual training prepares the students to engage more fruitfully with experiments by letting them focus on physics and data rather than the overwhelming instrumentation. We argue that this is because they can transfer their virtual experimental experience to the real-life situation. However, we also find that learning is still situated in the sense that only knowledge of particular experiments is transferred. We proceed to discuss the affordances of virtual experiments.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLæring og Medier (LOM)
Volume9
Issue number16
Pages (from-to)1-28
Number of pages28
ISSN1903-248X
StatePublished - 23 Feb 2017

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