Nereis. Interdisciplinary Ibero-American Journal of Methods, Modelling and Simulation.


Visualization of the Avogadro Number


On the occasion of the redefinition of the Avogadro constant, a brief history and some didactic reflections on its magnitude are presented. Some analogies are reviewed and others are suggested to help visualize the extent of its magnitude, and their usefulness is assessed. These analogies are set in the teaching context of the first and second courses of the degrees in several scientific and technic disciplines. Their effectiveness is discussed for the first time on the basis of a questionnaire filled by the corresponding students. The suggestions for educating and learning are that the most helpful models, following the opinion of the students, are those related to more substantial items, for example, neurons, individuals, planets, above analogies on geometric constructions. Challenging current thought, pictorial descriptions are not all the times so advantageous.


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