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Interpretive Themes in Quantum Physics: Curriculum Development and Outcomes Documents

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Interpretive Themes in Quantum Physics: Curriculum Development and Outcomes 

written by Charles Baily and Noah D. Finkelstein

A common learning goal for modern physics instructors is for students to recognize a difference between the experimental uncertainty of classical physics and the fundamental uncertainty of quantum mechanics. Our prior work has shown that student perspectives on the physical interpretation of quantum mechanics can be characterized, and are differentially influenced by the myriad ways instructors approach interpretive themes in their introductory courses. We report how a transformed modern physics curriculum (recently implemented at the University of Colorado) has positively impacted student perspectives on quantum physics, by making questions of classical and quantum reality a central theme of the course, but also by making the beliefs of students (and not just those of scientists) an explicit topic of discussion.

Published February 6, 2012
Last Modified August 25, 2011

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