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Students' choices when solving expectation value problems
written by Gina Passante, Homeyra R. Sadaghiani, Steven J. Pollock, and Benjamin P. Schermerhorn
In quantum mechanics, one is often interested in the expectation value (or average) of different quantities. It is possible to find expectation values for many different physical systems, for example the energy or position of a particle in the infinite square well, the z-component of spin for an electron, or the angular momentum of an electron in a hydrogen atom. In addition to the different physical contexts where the expectation value can be calculated, there are several methods one can use to solve for the expectation value. Depending on the information given in the problem, it might be easiest to solve using an integral, matrix mathematics, or a finite summation. In this work we analyze student responses to expectation value exam questions in several different physical contexts from several institutions, with a goal of determining which calculation methods and representations students choose most frequently and if some methods are more likely to result in correct answers.
Physics Education Research Conference 2018
Part of the PER Conference series
Washington, DC: August 1-2, 2018
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Basic Research
- Alternative Conceptions
- Problem Solving
= Processes
- Upper Undergraduate
- Lower Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Research study
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Format:
application/pdf
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.2018.pr.Passante
NSF Numbers:
1626594
1626280
1626482
Keyword:
PERC 2018
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created December 31, 2018 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
January 1, 2019 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
December 31, 2018
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Record Link
AIP Format
G. Passante, H. Sadaghiani, S. Pollock, and B. Schermerhorn, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2018, Washington, DC, 2018, WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14836&DocID=4983).
AJP/PRST-PER
G. Passante, H. Sadaghiani, S. Pollock, and B. Schermerhorn, Students' choices when solving expectation value problems, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2018, Washington, DC, 2018, <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14836&DocID=4983>.
APA Format
Passante, G., Sadaghiani, H., Pollock, S., & Schermerhorn, B. (2018, August 1-2). Students' choices when solving expectation value problems. Paper presented at Physics Education Research Conference 2018, Washington, DC. Retrieved April 6, 2020, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14836&DocID=4983
Chicago Format
Passante, G, H. Sadaghiani, S. Pollock, and B. Schermerhorn. "Students' choices when solving expectation value problems." Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2018, Washington, DC, August 1-2, 2018. https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14836&DocID=4983 (accessed 6 April 2020).
MLA Format
Passante, Gina, Homeyra Sadaghiani, Steven Pollock, and Benjamin P. Schermerhorn. "Students' choices when solving expectation value problems." Physics Education Research Conference 2018. Washington, DC: 2018. of PER Conference. 6 Apr. 2020 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14836&DocID=4983>.
BibTeX Export Format
@inproceedings{ Author = "Gina Passante and Homeyra Sadaghiani and Steven Pollock and Benjamin P. Schermerhorn", Title = {Students' choices when solving expectation value problems}, BookTitle = {Physics Education Research Conference 2018}, Address = {Washington, DC}, Series = {PER Conference}, Month = {August 1-2}, Year = {2018} }
Refer Export Format

%A Gina Passante
%A Homeyra Sadaghiani
%A Steven Pollock
%A Benjamin P. Schermerhorn
%T Students' choices when solving expectation value problems
%S PER Conference
%D August 1-2 2018
%C Washington, DC
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14836&DocID=4983
%O Physics Education Research Conference 2018
%O August 1-2
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Conference Proceedings
%A Passante, Gina
%A Sadaghiani, Homeyra
%A Pollock, Steven
%A Schermerhorn, Benjamin P.
%D August 1-2 2018
%T Students' choices when solving expectation value problems
%B Physics Education Research Conference 2018
%C Washington, DC
%S PER Conference
%8 August 1-2
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14836&DocID=4983


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