Thesis Detail Page

written by Charles Baily
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 studies suggest this notoriously difficult task may be frustrated by the intuitively realist perspectives of introductory students, and a lack of ontological flexibility in their conceptions of light and matter. We have developed a framework for understanding and characterizing student perspectives on the physical interpretation of quantum mechanics, and demonstrate the differential impact on student thinking of the myriad ways instructors approach interpretive themes in their introductory courses. Like expert physicists, students interpret quantum phenomena differently, and these interpretations are significantly influenced by their overall stances on questions central to the so-called measurement problem: Is the wave function physically real, or simply a mathematical tool? Is the collapse of the wave function an ad hoc rule, or a physical transition not described by any equation? Does an electron, being a form of matter, exist as a localized particle at all times? These questions, which are of personal and academic interest to our students, are largely only superficially addressed in our introductory courses, often for fear of opening a Pandora's Box of student questions, none of which have easy answers. We show how a transformed modern physics curriculum (recently implemented at the University of Colorado) may positively impact student perspectives on indeterminacy and wave-particle duality, by making questions of classical and quantum reality a central theme of our course, but also by making the beliefs of our students, and not just those of scientists, an explicit topic of discussion.
University: University of Colorado at Boulder
Academic Department:  Physics
Pages 353
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Foundations
- Assessment
= Conceptual Assessment
Education Practices
- Curriculum Development
= Course
General Physics
- Physics Education Research
- Scientific Reasoning
Modern Physics
- General
Quantum Physics
- Foundations and Measurements
- Lower Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Thesis/Dissertation
Categories Intended Users Ratings
- Pedagogy
- Educators
- Researchers
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http://tinyurl.com/baily-disserta…
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© 2011 Charles Baily
Type:
Ph.D.
Keywords:
conceptual understanding, curriculum development, instruction, interpretation, modern physics, physics education research, quantum mechanics
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created July 9, 2011 by Charles Baily
Record Updated:
June 5, 2012 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
May 11, 2011
Other Collections:

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Record Link
AIP Format
C. Baily, Ph.D., University of Colorado at Boulder, 2011, WWW Document, (http://www.colorado.edu/physics/EducationIssues/baily/dissertation/).
AJP/PRST-PER
C. Baily, Perspectives in Quantum Physics: Epistemological, Ontological and Pedagogical Ph.D., University of Colorado at Boulder, 2011, <http://www.colorado.edu/physics/EducationIssues/baily/dissertation/>.
APA Format
Baily, C. (2011, May 11). Perspectives in Quantum Physics: Epistemological, Ontological and Pedagogical (Ph.D., University of Colorado at Boulder, 2011). Retrieved July 29, 2014, from http://www.colorado.edu/physics/EducationIssues/baily/dissertation/
Chicago Format
Baily, Charles. "Perspectives in Quantum Physics: Epistemological, Ontological and Pedagogical." Ph.D., University of Colorado at Boulder, 2011. http://www.colorado.edu/physics/EducationIssues/baily/dissertation/ (accessed 29 July 2014).
MLA Format
Baily, Charles. "Perspectives in Quantum Physics: Epistemological, Ontological and Pedagogical." Ph.D.. 11 May 2011. University of Colorado at Boulder, 2011. 29 July 2014 <http://www.colorado.edu/physics/EducationIssues/baily/dissertation/>.
BibTeX Export Format
@phdthesis{ Author = "Charles Baily", Title = {Perspectives in Quantum Physics: Epistemological, Ontological and Pedagogical}, School = {University of Colorado at Boulder}, Type = {Ph.D.}, Month = {May}, Year = {2011} }
Refer Export Format

%A Charles Baily
%T Perspectives in Quantum Physics: Epistemological, Ontological and Pedagogical
%R Ph.D.
%D May 11, 2011
%P 353
%I University of Colorado at Boulder
%U http://www.colorado.edu/physics/EducationIssues/baily/dissertation/
%O Physics
%O application/pdf
%O Ph.D.

EndNote Export Format

%0 Thesis
%A Baily, Charles
%D May 11, 2011
%T Perspectives in Quantum Physics: Epistemological, Ontological and Pedagogical
%B Physics
%I University of Colorado at Boulder
%P 353
%8 May 11, 2011
%9 Ph.D.
%U http://www.colorado.edu/physics/EducationIssues/baily/dissertation/


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