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Teaching Quantum Physics to Children: Ellie the Electron

November 10, 2013 Filed under Blog, Featured, Potpourri 


Ellie the Electron is a children’s story about an electron who wants to be the star of the show. It was written by Dr. Yvette Hancock, a lecturer in Physics at the University of York. Yvette has done many outreach activities to promote physics to students (such as her Institute of Physics lecture at the Royal Institution), but Ellie goes one step further: communicating complex science concepts to young children through imaginative story-telling.

The story has been made into a musical pantomime (Ellie the Electron and the Quantum Circus), which has played at the Yorkshire Philosophical Society Christmas lecture and the Manchester Science Festival.

Stories about Ellie have appeared on the Australian Broadcasting Company and Reading Time. Yvette has even presented on Ellie at a scientific conference.

Ellie has a Twitter account and a Facebook page.

Watch out for more Ellie the Electron coming your way soon.

(Disclaimer: Ellie the Electron was written by my wife.)

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3 Responses to “Teaching Quantum Physics to Children: Ellie the Electron”
  1. Brian Curran says:

    Hey Dave,

    A couple of questions, if you don’t mind. I’m just curious…

    1) Is Ellie introverted? I ask this because it’s been observed that it takes a bit of energy to get her out of her shell.

    2) When Ellie gets excited, does she wave?

    3) Is she attractive? (careful how you answer this one)

    4) How hard is it for Ellie to sit still? I hear she’s all over the place.

    5) Is she owned by a cat?


  2. Brian Curran says:

    Also you might want to let Ellie know that the Neutrinos down the block converted to Roman Catholicism. They have mass now.

  3. Prof. David M. Schultz says:

    Brian, Ellie says she will respond to your questions at her Facebook page. Also visit her at

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