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Investigating the Influence of Visualization on Student Understanding of Quantum Superposition
written by Antje Kohnle, Charles Baily, and Scott Ruby
Visualizations in interactive computer simulations are a powerful tool to help students develop productive mental models, particularly in the case of quantum phenomena that have no classical analogue. The QuVis Quantum Mechanics Visualization Project develops research-based interactive simulations for the learning and teaching of quantum mechanics. We describe efforts to refine the visual representation of a single-photon superposition state in the QuVis simulations. We developed various depictions of a photon incident on a beam splitter, and investigated their influence on student thinking through individual interviews. Outcomes from this study led to the incorporation of a revised visualization in all QuVis single-photon simulations. In-class trials in 2013 and 2014 using the Interferometer Experiments simulation in an introductory quantum physics course were used for a comparative study of the initial and revised visualizations. The class that used the revised visualization showed a lower frequency of incorrect ideas about quantum superposition, such as the photon splitting into two half-energy components.
Physics Education Research Conference 2014
Part of the PER Conference series
Minneapolis, MN: July 30-31, 2014
Pages 139-142
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Foundations
- Learning Theory
= Representations
- Problem Solving
= Representational Use
Education Practices
- Technology
= Multimedia
Quantum Physics
- Foundations and Measurements
= Probability and Interference
- Probability, Waves, and Interference
- Upper Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Research study
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- Researchers
- Educators
- application/pdf
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Mirror:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/perc.20…
Access Rights:
Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the published article's author(s), title, proceedings citation, and DOI.
Rights Holder:
American Association of Physics Teachers
DOI:
10.1119/perc.2014.pr.031
PACSs:
01.50.ht
03.65.-w
Keywords:
PERC 2014, conceptual understanding, quantum mechanics, simulations, visualization
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created April 24, 2015 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
May 31, 2015 by Bruce Mason
Last Update
when Cataloged:
April 28, 2015
Other Collections:

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Record Link
AIP Format
A. Kohnle, C. Baily, and S. Ruby, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2014, Minneapolis, MN, 2014, WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13468&DocID=4067).
AJP/PRST-PER
A. Kohnle, C. Baily, and S. Ruby, Investigating the Influence of Visualization on Student Understanding of Quantum Superposition, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2014, Minneapolis, MN, 2014, <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13468&DocID=4067>.
APA Format
Kohnle, A., Baily, C., & Ruby, S. (2014, July 30-31). Investigating the Influence of Visualization on Student Understanding of Quantum Superposition. Paper presented at Physics Education Research Conference 2014, Minneapolis, MN. Retrieved December 16, 2017, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13468&DocID=4067
Chicago Format
Kohnle, A, C. Baily, and S. Ruby. "Investigating the Influence of Visualization on Student Understanding of Quantum Superposition." Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2014, Minneapolis, MN, July 30-31, 2014. https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13468&DocID=4067 (accessed 16 December 2017).
MLA Format
Kohnle, Antje, Charles Baily, and Scott Ruby. "Investigating the Influence of Visualization on Student Understanding of Quantum Superposition." Physics Education Research Conference 2014. Minneapolis, MN: 2014. 139-142 of PER Conference. 16 Dec. 2017 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13468&DocID=4067>.
BibTeX Export Format
@inproceedings{ Author = "Antje Kohnle and Charles Baily and Scott Ruby", Title = {Investigating the Influence of Visualization on Student Understanding of Quantum Superposition}, BookTitle = {Physics Education Research Conference 2014}, Pages = {139-142}, Address = {Minneapolis, MN}, Series = {PER Conference}, Month = {July 30-31}, Year = {2014} }
Refer Export Format

%A Antje Kohnle
%A Charles Baily
%A Scott Ruby
%T Investigating the Influence of Visualization on Student Understanding of Quantum Superposition
%S PER Conference
%D July 30-31 2014
%P 139-142
%C Minneapolis, MN
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13468&DocID=4067
%O Physics Education Research Conference 2014
%O July 30-31
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Conference Proceedings
%A Kohnle, Antje
%A Baily, Charles
%A Ruby, Scott
%D July 30-31 2014
%T Investigating the Influence of Visualization on Student Understanding of Quantum Superposition
%B Physics Education Research Conference 2014
%C Minneapolis, MN
%P 139-142
%S PER Conference
%8 July 30-31
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13468&DocID=4067


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