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PERC 2010 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Surveying Students’ Understanding of Quantum Mechanics in One Spatial Dimension
Abstract: Development of conceptual multiple-choice surveys related to a particular physics topic is important for designing research-based learning tools to reduce the difficulties. We explore the difficulties that the advanced undergraduate and graduate students have with quantum mechanics formalism in one spatial dimension. We developed a research-based conceptual multiple-choice survey that targets these issues to obtain information about the common difficulties and administered it to more than a hundred students from seven different institutions. The issues targeted in the survey include possible wavefunctions, bound and scattering states, quantum measurement, expectation values, Hamiltonian, time-dependence of wavefunction and time-dependence of expectation value. We find that the advanced undergraduate and graduate students have many common difficulties with these concepts but research-based tutorials and peer-instruction tools can significantly reduce these difficulties. The survey can be administered to assess the effectiveness of various intructional strategies.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Chandralekha Singh
University of Ptitsburgh
3941 Ohara St.
Department of Physics, University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Phone: 4126249045
Fax: 4126249163
and Co-Presenter(s)
Guangtian Zhu, Department of Physics and Astronomy,
University of Pittsburgh