Changing the Hamiltonian

There are a lot of metaphorical parallels between the complex systems physicists deal with and the complex system impacting learning transfer. The following story has just been published in Physics World, June 2012 edition.

It’s Friday night, and Ed Executive and Fiona Physicist are in their local pub after yet another stressful week at their hi-tech company. Ed looks glum as he sips his pint.

“I wish our staff could learn faster, Fiona,” he sighed. “Right now the two of us are spending far too much time working on projects, and not nearly enough leading the company. We’re surviving today at the expense of thriving tomorrow.”

I know, but I was looking through my old mechanics textbook earlier today, and I think I’ve figured out what we need to do.” Fiona looked pleased with herself.

Ed raised his eyebrows. “Oh? What’s that?”

Change the Hamiltonian!” She grinned impishly at Ed as his blank look changed to curiosity. They had worked together ever since they started their PhDs, so they had long since become accustomed to each other’s quirks. Reluctantly, he laughed. “Okay, what crazy meta-application of physics have you dreamt up this time?”

Read on here: for the rest of the metaphorical story about two physicists realising they need to change the system around their employees to get better performance!

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