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Abstract Title: “Pulling out” as a procedural resource when solving partial differential equations
Abstract: We investigate how students solve partial differential equations and partial derivatives in the context of quantum mechanics. We use the resources framework to investigate students discussion in a group problem solving environment to investigate the fine-grain elements of their problem solving. We analyze an example of students' use of separation of variables tool to solve a partial differential equation for a free particle problem in a senior-level quantum mechanics class. We identify a mathematical action called "Pulling out" as a procedural resource to help students with pulling the time part out of the space part and vice versa, in the course of solving the Schrodinger's partial differential equation. We discuss how students use "pulling out" as a procedural step in solving partial differential equations and sense-making.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Bahar Modir
Kansas State University
Department of Physics
116 Cardwell Hall, 1228 N 17th St
Manhattan, KS 66506
Phone: 7853209066
and Co-Presenter(s)
Eleanor C Sayre, Kansas State University, Department of Physics