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Abstract Title: Student ability to reason about basic quantum mechanics ideas in the context of time-dependent perturbation theory
Abstract: Recent research suggests that many students complete an undergraduate course on quantum mechanics without having developed a solid understanding of some important fundamental concepts.  We are probing the ability of students to apply foundational ideas in quantum mechanics in a variety of contexts, including the complex problem of time-dependent perturbation theory.  Based on student responses to lecture posttests, tutorial pretests and posttests, as well as individual student interviews, we are identifying persistent difficulties that students have in applying basic ideas about energy measurement and the time evolution of energy eigenstates and superpositions of energy eigenstates.  The results are guiding the creation and revision of tutorials on topics students typically encounter the second half of their undergraduate instruction on quantum mechanics.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Gina Passante
University of Washington
and Co-Presenter(s)
Paul Emigh, University of Washington
Peter S. Shaffer, University of Washington

Contributed Poster

Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster