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Welcome to The Physics Education Research Laboratory

Our interests include

  • student understanding of specific physics concepts
  • models and mechanisms of human reasoning and learning
  • the use of mathematics in physics learning
  • curriculum development and dissemination
  • professional development of K-12 teachers and university instructors

Recent activities

  • research and curriculum development
    • teaching and learning at the physics-mathematics interface
    • analog electronics and electric circuits in upper-division laboratory courses
    • upper-division thermodynamics and statistical mechanics
    • metacognition in learning physics
    • student reasoning patterns
    • intermediate level mechanics with the Intermediate Mechanics Tutorials
    • a course in Intuitive Quantum Physics
  • theory and theoretical framework development
    • extending the resources framework, a knowledge-in-pieces approach to describing student reasoning
    • studying embodied cognition in physical and mathematical reasoning
    • applying models for knowledge transfer and learning to empirical data, especially for the application and use of mathematics in physics
    • applying conceptual blending to physics
  • teacher professional development
    • research on the interplay between specialized content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge, especially knowledge of student ideas, in physics
    • developing and assessing courses on teaching and learning in physics for future secondary science teachers, university teaching assistants, and university faculty

Conference Organization


PERL is affiliated with:

The Physics Education Research Laboratory
Phone: (207) 581-1237 and (207) 581-1030
E-mail: and
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469