Journal Article Detail Page

Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research
written by Michael C. Wittmann, Jeffrey Morgan, and Roger Feeley
We report on the development of students' ideas of probability and probability density in a University of Maine laboratory-based general education physics course called Intuitive Quantum Physics. Students in the course are generally math phobic with unfavorable expectations about the nature of physics and their ability to do it. We describe a set of activities used to teach concepts of probability and probability density. Rudimentary knowledge of mechanics is needed for one activity, but otherwise the material requires no additional preparation. Extensions of the activities include relating probability density to potential energy graphs for certain "touchstone" examples. Students have difficulties learning the target concepts, such as comparing the ratio of time in a region to total time in all regions. Instead, they often focus on edge effects, pattern match to previously studied situations, reason about necessary but incomplete macroscopic elements of the system, use the gambler's fallacy, and use expectations about ensemble results rather than expectation values to predict future events. We map the development of their thinking to provide examples of problems rather than evidence of a curriculum's success.
Subjects ADS Supplements Resource Types
Education Foundations
- Alternative Conceptions
Education Practices
- Curriculum Development
= Course
= Laboratory
General Physics
- Physics Education Research
Mathematical Tools
- Probability
Quantum Physics
- Probability, Waves, and Interference
- Reference Material
= Research study
Categories Intended Users Ratings
- Tutorial
- Educators
- Researchers
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Format:
application/pdf
Access Rights:
Free access
Restriction:
© 2006 American Physical Society
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.2.020104
NSF Number:
0410895
PACSs:
01.40.Fk
01.50.Qb
02.50.Cw
Keywords:
Intuitive Quantum Physics, probability, probability density
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created February 7, 2007 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
July 13, 2013 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
August 2, 2006
Other Collections:

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Record Link
AIP Format
M. Wittmann, J. Morgan, and R. Feeley, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 2 (2), (2006), WWW Document, (http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.2.020104).
AJP/PRST-PER
M. Wittmann, J. Morgan, and R. Feeley, Laboratory-tutorial activities for teaching probability Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 2 (2), (2006), <http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.2.020104>.
APA Format
Wittmann, M., Morgan, J., & Feeley, R. (2006, August 2). Laboratory-tutorial activities for teaching probability. Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res., 2(2). Retrieved July 28, 2014, from http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.2.020104
Chicago Format
Wittmann, M, J. Morgan, and R. Feeley. "Laboratory-tutorial activities for teaching probability." Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 2, no. 2, (August 2, 2006), http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.2.020104 (accessed 28 July 2014).
MLA Format
Wittmann, Michael, Jeffrey Morgan, and Roger Feeley. "Laboratory-tutorial activities for teaching probability." Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 2.2 (2006). 28 July 2014 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.2.020104>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Michael Wittmann and Jeffrey Morgan and Roger Feeley", Title = {Laboratory-tutorial activities for teaching probability}, Journal = {Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.}, Volume = {2}, Number = {2}, Month = {August}, Year = {2006} }
Refer Export Format

%A Michael Wittmann
%A Jeffrey Morgan
%A Roger Feeley
%T Laboratory-tutorial activities for teaching probability
%J Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.
%V 2
%N 2
%D August 2, 2006
%U http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.2.020104
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article
%A Wittmann, Michael
%A Morgan, Jeffrey
%A Feeley, Roger
%D August 2, 2006
%T Laboratory-tutorial activities for teaching probability
%J Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.
%V 2
%N 2
%8 August 2, 2006
%U http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.2.020104


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