Investigating Student Difficulties with Time dependence of Expectation Values in Quantum Mechanics Documents
Emily Marshman and
Quantum mechanics is challenging even for advanced undergraduate and graduate students. In the Schrödinger representation, the wave function evolves in time according to the time dependent Schrödinger equation. The time dependence of the wave function gives rise to time dependence of the expectation value of observables. We have been exploring the difficulties that advanced undergraduate and graduate students have with time dependence of expectation values in quantum mechanics. We have developed and administered conceptual free response and multiple-choice questions to students to investigate these difficulties. We also interviewed 23 students individually using a think-aloud protocol to obtain a better understanding of the rationale behind students' written responses. We find that many students struggle with time dependence of expectation values of observables. We discuss some findings.
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Published February 1, 2014
Last Modified January 31, 2014
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