Teaching of Apparent Mass Increase for Understanding News Media on the Higgs Boson and Crystallized Intelligence Assessment for Community College Physics Students

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internal motion, dispersion relation, spontaneous symmetry breaking, Higgs boson, fluid intelligence, crystallized intelligence, one-shot learning


News Media has been an obvious convenient information source for college students due to their digital experience. The recent discovery of the Higgs boson and the confirmation of the Brout-Englert-Higgs mechanism as reported in the News Media had created confusion among our community college students as they are familiar with the concept of the negative contribution of the binding energy to the mass term taught in physics as well as in chemistry classes. Related questions such as “Would a body mass come mainly from the BEH mechanism?” would become difficult to answer without some numerical illustrations at the community college level. Given this student learning challenge, examples such as a force pulling on a composite 2-block system with internal motion and a truck as a driven oscillator on a washboard road have been formulated to supplement the News Media information. The explanation of apparent mass increase for zero initial mass (via dispersion relation) and the spontaneous symmetry breaking that would support small oscillation (bosons) at the lowest energy state with non-zero field value are also included for students interested in studying physics in a community college. Physics education research assessment in terms of fluid intelligence development, crystallized intelligence practice, and one-shot versus incremental learning are discussed.


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How to Cite

Cheung, T. (2015). Teaching of Apparent Mass Increase for Understanding News Media on the Higgs Boson and Crystallized Intelligence Assessment for Community College Physics Students. International Journal of Physics and Chemistry Education, 7(2), 83–99. Retrieved from https://www.ijpce.org/index.php/IJPCE/article/view/49