Resources Students Use to Understand Quantum Mechanical Operators Documents
Elizabeth Gire and
Corinne A. Manogue
The Paradigms team at Oregon State University has developed a quantum mechanics curriculum aimed at middle division students that begins with a strong emphasis on using operators, matrices and Dirac notation to describe quantum systems. The curriculum begins with spin systems, and this content ordering relies on students being able to understand quantum mechanical operators, eigenstates and quantum measurement without prior instruction on wave functions. We have analyzed classroom and an interview video to identify resources students use when considering these quantum ideas. Identification of such resources will inform introductory curricula that are prerequisite to the quantum Paradigms and inform the development of Paradigms materials that will guide students to use these resources productively.
Published October 20, 2008
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