Flows in Theoretical Physics & a Communication-Based Approach to Peer Instruction
When physicists study subatomic particles, they must carefully consider the energy scales in particle scattering processes. For example, at particle colliders such as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Switzerland, higher energy collisions allow exploration of higher mass particles and new physics that cannot be accessed at lower energies. A key tool for taking energy scale into account is called the “renormalization group". Elvang will study the formal properties of renormalization as they apply to theoretical particle physics, string theory, and condensed matter physics. The educational portion of her project involves developing a sophomore-level undergraduate course encouraging students to develop – and learn to value – scientific writing and oral presentation skills as an integral part of what it means to be a scholar. She also aims to create an enhanced “active learning” process that goes well beyond passively absorbing knowledge from a classroom lecture.