What Happens in Copenhagen Stays in Copenhagen: Using the Play Copenhagen to Understand the Nature of Knowledge

Debra Semmler, Physics, East Mecklenburg High School

Final Unit (PDF)  Implementing Common Core Standards (PDF)


The atomic scientist of the early twentieth not only created a great uncertainty
in the world, but they generated moral and ethical dilemma through their discovery of
nuclear fission and fusion and the creation of atomic weapons. This curriculum unit uses
Michael Frayn play Copenhagen to address International Baccalaureate Theory of
Knowledge curriculum concepts of memory and reasoning and to examine how
comparisons between the different areas of knowledge, reflect on how knowledge is
arrived at in the various subject areas and what each subject area have in common.
Students will also study the impact of physics on society, the moral and ethical dilemmas
created by scientific discovery, and the social economic and environmental impact of the
work of scientists in a global context.