Conference Proceedings Detail Page

written by Donald B. Mountcastle, Brandon Bucy, and John R. Thompson
Equilibrium properties of macroscopic systems are highly predictable as n, the number of particles approaches and exceeds Avogadro's number; theories of statistical physics depend on these results. Typical pedagogical devices used in statistical physics textbooks to introduce entropy (S) and multiplicity () (where S = k ln()) include flipping coins and/or other equivalent binary events, repeated n times. Prior to instruction, our statistical mechanics students usually gave reasonable answers about the probabilities, but not the relative uncertainties, of the predicted outcomes of such events. However, they reliably predicted that the uncertainty in a measured continuous quantity (e.g., the amount of rainfall) does decrease as the number of measurements increases. Typical textbook presentations assume that students understand that the relative uncertainty of binary outcomes will similarly decrease as the number of events increases. This is at odds with our findings, even though most of our students had previously completed mathematics courses in statistics, as well as an advanced electronics laboratory course that included statistical analysis of distributions of dart scores as n increased.
Physics Education Research Conference 2007
Part of the PER Conference series
Greensboro, NC: August 1-2, 2007
Volume 951, Pages 152-155
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General Physics
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- Statistics
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Mirror:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.2820919
Access Rights:
Limited free access and
Available by subscription and
Available for purchase
Restriction:
© 2007 2007 American Institute of Physics.
DOI:
10.1063/1.2820919
NSF Number:
0406764
PACSs:
01.40.Fk
01.40.gb
05.70.Ce
Keywords:
PERC 2007, educational courses, physics, research initiatives, statistical mechanics, student experiments, thermodynamic properties
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created June 9, 2009 by Jenny Rempel
Record Updated:
July 16, 2013 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
November 12, 2007
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AIP Format
D. Mountcastle, B. Bucy, and J. Thompson, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2007, Greensboro, NC, 2007, WWW Document, (http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=9092&DocID=2009).
AJP/PRST-PER
D. Mountcastle, B. Bucy, and J. Thompson, Student Estimates of Probability and Uncertainty in Advanced Laboratory and Statistical Physics Courses, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2007, Greensboro, NC, 2007, <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=9092&DocID=2009>.
APA Format
Mountcastle, D., Bucy, B., & Thompson, J. (2007, August 1-2). Student Estimates of Probability and Uncertainty in Advanced Laboratory and Statistical Physics Courses. Paper presented at Physics Education Research Conference 2007, Greensboro, NC. Retrieved December 21, 2014, from http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=9092&DocID=2009
Chicago Format
Mountcastle, D, B. Bucy, and J. Thompson. "Student Estimates of Probability and Uncertainty in Advanced Laboratory and Statistical Physics Courses." Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2007, Greensboro, NC, August 1-2, 2007. http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=9092&DocID=2009 (accessed 21 December 2014).
MLA Format
Mountcastle, Donald, Brandon Bucy, and John Thompson. "Student Estimates of Probability and Uncertainty in Advanced Laboratory and Statistical Physics Courses." Physics Education Research Conference 2007. Greensboro, NC: 2007. 152-155 Vol. 951 of PER Conference. 21 Dec. 2014 <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=9092&DocID=2009>.
BibTeX Export Format
@inproceedings{ Author = "Donald Mountcastle and Brandon Bucy and John Thompson", Title = {Student Estimates of Probability and Uncertainty in Advanced Laboratory and Statistical Physics Courses}, BookTitle = {Physics Education Research Conference 2007}, Pages = {152-155}, Address = {Greensboro, NC}, Series = {PER Conference}, Volume = {951}, Month = {August 1-2}, Year = {2007} }
Refer Export Format

%A Donald Mountcastle
%A Brandon Bucy
%A John Thompson
%T Student Estimates of Probability and Uncertainty in Advanced Laboratory and Statistical Physics Courses
%S PER Conference
%V 951
%D August 1-2 2007
%P 152-155
%C Greensboro, NC
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=9092&DocID=2009
%O Physics Education Research Conference 2007
%O August 1-2
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Conference Proceedings
%A Mountcastle, Donald
%A Bucy, Brandon
%A Thompson, John
%D August 1-2 2007
%T Student Estimates of Probability and Uncertainty in Advanced Laboratory and Statistical Physics Courses
%B Physics Education Research Conference 2007
%C Greensboro, NC
%V 951
%P 152-155
%S PER Conference
%8 August 1-2
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=9092&DocID=2009


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