Ways to Teach… Atomic Physics

We talk with Jackie Flaherty about how the Ogden SKPT programme approaches Atomic Physics. Ths course is broken down as follows and we use this as a structure for the podcast:

  • Challenges as an intro
  • Models of the atom – diagnostics and liaising with colleagues from Chemistry, size and scale
  • Half life – models and limitations, how to develop understanding, multiple representations, 
  • Applications – importance of secure understanding of subject matter knowledge – SATIS style problem solving
  • Background radiation and physics in the news– science capital teaching approach, scientific literacy
  • History and stories
  • Nuclear fission – opinion boards, debate, models and process 

At the end of the episode we finally inform the dear listener that we will be mothballing the podcast at the end of this academic year. Thomas is off to avoid falling off his bike whilst cycling slowly up mountains and Robin is getting distracted trying to find his dark side as he scrabbles up the tiers of management. We don’t think it is a full stop for the podcast, but a pause until we are both back in the game. We intend to do some work with the Ogden Trust before we go.

The Ogden Trust aims to increase the uptake of physics post-16 by supporting physics education and engagement for all young people (4-18), particularly those in under-represented groups. The Trust supports schools, teachers, projects and programmes that are committed to enhancing physics teaching and learning.

The Ogden Trust

The Ogden Trust mission statement almost exactly sums up our thinking when we started the podcast. They existed long before we began and will continue long after. We will do what we can to promote them in our remaining episodes in the hope that late arrivals to the podcast will have somewhere else to turn other than a couple of nuggets!


Join in!

Please share ideas or successes – or indeed questions – on our Facebook Page: https://fb.me/physicstp .  You can also message us via our website contact form at the.physicsteachingpodcast.com, Twitter @physicstp, email using  the address given in the podcast (if we remember), you could even email us an autio file if you are feeling really keen.


The music is used under the Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License