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Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research
written by Charles Baily and Noah D. Finkelstein
Variations in student epistemic and ontological commitments can be characterized, and many students have preferences for realist interpretations of quantum phenomena.

Introductory undergraduate courses in classical physics stress a perspective that can be characterized as realist; from this perspective, all physical properties of a classical system can be simultaneously specified and thus determined at all future times. Such a perspective can be problematic for introductory quantum physics students, who must develop new perspectives in order to properly interpret what it means to have knowledge of quantum systems. We document this evolution in student thinking in part through pre- and post-instruction evaluations using the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey. We further characterize variations in student epistemic and ontological commitments by examining responses to two essay questions, coupled with responses to supplemental quantum attitude statements. We find that, after instruction in modern physics, many students are still exhibiting a realist perspective in contexts where a quantum-mechanical perspective is needed. We further find that this effect can be significantly influenced by instruction, where we observe variations for courses with differing learning goals. We also note that students generally do not employ either a realist or a quantum perspective in a consistent manner.
Subjects ADS Supplements Resource Types
Education - Basic Research
- Assessment
= Conceptual Assessment
Modern Physics
- General
Quantum Physics
- Reference Material
= Article
= Research study
PER-Central Type Intended Users Ratings
- PER Literature
- Researchers
- Educators
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Format:
application/pdf
Mirror:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRev…
Mirror:
http://www.colorado.edu/physics/E…
Access Rights:
Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.
Rights Holder:
American Physical Society
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.5.010106
NSF Number:
0448176
PACSs:
01.40.Fk
03.65.-w
Keywords:
instruction, modern physics, physics education research, quantum mechanics
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created July 9, 2011 by Charles Baily
Record Updated:
January 20, 2012 by Vince Kuo
Last Update
when Cataloged:
March 23, 2009
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Record Link
AIP Format
C. Baily and N. Finkelstein, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 5 (1), 010106 (2009), WWW Document, (http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11302&DocID=2321).
AJP/PRST-PER
C. Baily and N. Finkelstein, Development of quantum perspectives in modern physics Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 5 (1), 010106 (2009), <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11302&DocID=2321>.
APA Format
Baily, C., & Finkelstein, N. (2009, March 23). Development of quantum perspectives in modern physics. Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res., 5(1), 010106. Retrieved July 24, 2014, from http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11302&DocID=2321
Chicago Format
Baily, Charles, and Noah Finkelstein. "Development of quantum perspectives in modern physics." Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 5, no. 1, (March 23, 2009): 010106, http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11302&DocID=2321 (accessed 24 July 2014).
MLA Format
Baily, Charles, and Noah Finkelstein. "Development of quantum perspectives in modern physics." Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 5.1 (2009): 010106. 24 July 2014 <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11302&DocID=2321>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Charles Baily and Noah Finkelstein", Title = {Development of quantum perspectives in modern physics}, Journal = {Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.}, Volume = {5}, Number = {1}, Pages = {010106}, Month = {March}, Year = {2009} }
Refer Export Format

%A Charles Baily
%A Noah Finkelstein
%T Development of quantum perspectives in modern physics
%J Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.
%V 5
%N 1
%D March 23, 2009
%P 010106
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11302&DocID=2321
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article
%A Baily, Charles
%A Finkelstein, Noah
%D March 23, 2009
%T Development of quantum perspectives in modern physics
%J Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.
%V 5
%N 1
%P 010106
%8 March 23, 2009
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11302&DocID=2321


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