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Abstract Title: Student use of a material anchor for quantum wave functions
Abstract: We closely analyze the actions of one undergraduate quantum mechanics student in an oral exam situation with two related problems. Both problems involved the visualization of a 3-d structure to represent the real and imaginary parts of the wave function on one spatial coordinate. Instruction before the exam included several in-class activities involving building 3-d representations of wave functions for several potentials using pipe cleaners. Though the oral exam did not specify that students should or should not use pipe cleaners, the student in this analysis brought and used them during the exam. We analyze the student's interaction with the pipe cleaners and varying degree of success from the point of view of material anchors for conceptual blends, including how the varying success may be accounted for in terms of the pipe cleaner's variable functionality.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Catherine C. Schiber
Texas State University-San Marcos
601 University Dr.
San Marcos, TX 78666
and Co-Presenter(s)
Hunter Close, Texas State University-San Marcos
Eleanor Close, Texas State University-San Marcos
David Donnelly Texas State University-San Marcos