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  • Exploring Universes
PER-Based Tutorials for Quantum Physics
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PER-Based Tutorials for Quantum Physics

This series of student tutorials for quantum physics, covering topics of wave ... (more)

This series of student tutorials for quantum physics, covering topics of wave properties of light and matter, probability, and wave functions. Included with some of the tutorials are pre-tests for the topic and related homework. This material is based on the work on Intuitive Quantum Physics from the University of Maryland, and tutorials developed at the University of Washington (less)

Subject:
Mathematics
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Instructional Material
Lesson Plans
Reference
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Bradley S. Ambrose
M&MŒŹ Model of the Atom: Edible Subatomic Particles
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M&MŒŹ Model of the Atom: Edible Subatomic Particles

In this activity, learners use colored candy to represent subatomic particles and ... (more)

In this activity, learners use colored candy to represent subatomic particles and make a model of an atom (Bohr model). This activity will help familiarize learners with subatomic components of an atom as well as nuclear notation of the periodic table. (less)

Subject:
Mathematics
Chemistry
Engineering
Life Science
Physics
Technology
Education
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Data
Instructional Material
Provider:
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Eric Muller
The Exploratorium
Quantum Physics: An Introduction
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Quantum Physics: An Introduction

Introduction to Quantum Physics concepts with an activity demonstrating Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, ... (more)

Introduction to Quantum Physics concepts with an activity demonstrating Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, wave/particle duality, Planck's Constant, de Broglie wavelength, and how Newton's Laws go right out the window on a quantum level. (less)

Subject:
Science and Technology
Physics
Education
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Assessments
Instructional Material
Lesson Plans
Simulations
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC)
SERC at Carlton College
Provider Set:
Pedagogy in Action
Pedagogy in Action (SERC)
Quantum Physics Online
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Quantum Physics Online

This is a set of interactive Java applets illustrating various aspects of ... (more)

This is a set of interactive Java applets illustrating various aspects of quantum physics through simulations and animations. It is part of an ongoing effort for developing a fully interactive quantum-physics class. It stresses conceptual and qualitative understanding of the topics. Both French and English versions are available. (less)

Subject:
Mathematics
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Instructional Material
Interactive
Reference
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Manuel Joffre
Refined characterization of student perspectives on quantum physics
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Refined characterization of student perspectives on quantum physics

The perspectives of introductory classical physics students can often negatively influence how ... (more)

The perspectives of introductory classical physics students can often negatively influence how those students later interpret quantum phenomena when taking an introductory course in modern physics. A detailed exploration of student perspectives on the interpretation of quantum physics is needed, both to characterize student understanding of physics concepts, and to inform how we might teach traditional content. Our previous investigations of student perspectives on quantum physics have indicated they can be highly nuanced, and may vary both within and across contexts. In order to better understand the contextual and often seemingly contradictory stances of students on matters of interpretation, we interviewed 19 students from four introductory modern physics courses taught at the University of Colorado. We find that students have attitudes and opinions that often parallel the stances of expert physicists when arguing for their favored interpretations of quantum mechanics, allowing for more nuanced characterizations of student perspectives in terms of three key interpretive themes. We present a framework for characterizing student perspectives on quantum mechanics, and demonstrate its utility in interpreting the sometimes contradictory nature of student responses to previous surveys. We further find that students most often vacillate in their responses when what makes intuitive sense to them is not in agreement with what they consider to be a correct response, underscoring the need to distinguish between the personal and the public perspectives of introductory modern physics students. (less)

Subject:
Chemistry
Physics
Education
Material Type:
Reference
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Charles Baily
Noah D. Finkelstein
Development and Use of a Conceptual Survey in Introductory Quantum Physics
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Development and Use of a Conceptual Survey in Introductory Quantum Physics

Conceptual surveys have become increasingly popular at many levels to probe various ... (more)

Conceptual surveys have become increasingly popular at many levels to probe various aspects of science education research such as measuring student understanding of basic concepts and assessing the effectiveness of pedagogical material. The aim of this study was to construct a valid and reliable multiple-choice conceptual survey to investigate students’ understanding of introductory quantum physics concepts. We examined course syllabi to establish content coverage, consulted with experts to extract fundamental content areas, and trialled open-ended questions to determine how the selected content areas align with students’ difficulties. The questions were generated and trialled with different groups of students. Each version of the survey was critiqued by a group of discipline and teaching experts to establish its validity. The survey was administered to 312 students at the University of Sydney. Using the data from this sample, we performed five statistical tests (item difficulty index, item discrimination index, item point biserial coefficient, KR-21 reliability test, and Ferguson’s delta) to evaluate the test’s reliability and discriminatory power. The result indicates that our survey is a reliable test. This study also provided data from which preliminary findings were drawn on students’ understandings of introductory quantum physics concepts. The main point is that questions which require an understanding of the standard interpretations of quantum physics are more challenging for students than those grouped as non-interpretative. The division of conceptual questions into interpretive and non-interpretive needs further exploration. (less)

Subject:
Physics
Education
Material Type:
Reference
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Chernchok Soankwan
Ian D. Johnston
Manjula Devi Sharma
Ratchapak Chitaree
Sura Wuttiprom
Quantum Physics Online: Wave Mechanics
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Quantum Physics Online: Wave Mechanics

This is a set of interactive Java applets illustrating the wave nature ... (more)

This is a set of interactive Java applets illustrating the wave nature of quantum physics. Animations are used to illustrate propagation of wave packets, and scattering from potentials. There is also a simple illustration of a scanning tunneling microscope. These applets are part of an extensive collection of animations and simulations illustrating a large range of quantum topics, and an ongoing effort for developing a fully interactive quantum-physics class. Both French and English versions are available. (less)

Subject:
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Instructional Material
Interactive
Reference
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Manuel Joffre
Interpretive Themes in Quantum Physics: Curriculum Development and Outcomes
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Interpretive Themes in Quantum Physics: Curriculum Development and Outcomes

A common learning goal for modern physics instructors is for students to ... (more)

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 prior work has shown that student perspectives on the physical interpretation of quantum mechanics can be characterized, and are differentially influenced by the myriad ways instructors approach interpretive themes in their introductory courses. We report how a transformed modern physics curriculum (recently implemented at the University of Colorado) has positively impacted student perspectives on quantum physics, by making questions of classical and quantum reality a central theme of the course, but also by making the beliefs of students (and not just those of scientists) an explicit topic of discussion. (less)

Subject:
Physics
Education
Material Type:
Reference
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Charles Baily
Noah D. Finkelstein
Quantum Physics Online: Spin 1/2
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Quantum Physics Online: Spin 1/2

This is a set of interactive Java applets illustrating the properties of ... (more)

This is a set of interactive Java applets illustrating the properties of quantum spin. Shown is a representation of states as an arrow in the average spin direction, as well as the expansion of the states in eigenstates of Sz. Simulations show the dynamics of spin states in static, rotating, and pulsed magnetic fields. These applets are part of an extensive collection of animations and simulations illustrating a large range of quantum topics, and an ongoing effort for developing a fully interactive quantum-physics class. Both French and English versions are available. (less)

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Instructional Material
Interactive
Reference
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Manuel Joffre
Quantum Physics I, Spring 2003
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Quantum Physics I, Spring 2003

Experimental basis of quantum physics: photoelectric effect, Compton scattering, photons, Franck-Hertz experiment, ... (more)

Experimental basis of quantum physics: photoelectric effect, Compton scattering, photons, Franck-Hertz experiment, the Bohr atom, electron diffraction, deBroglie waves, and wave-particle duality of matter and light. Introduction to wave mechanics: Schroedinger's equation, wave functions, wave packets, probability amplitudes, stationary states, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle and zero-point energies. Solutions to Schroedinger's equation in one dimension: transmission and reflection at a barrier, barrier penetration, potential wells, the simple harmonic oscillator. Schroedinger's equation in three dimensions: central potentials, and introduction to hydrogenic systems. (less)

Subject:
Science and Technology
Material Type:
Assessments
Full Course
Homework and Assignments
Syllabi
Provider:
M.I.T.
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Young S. Lee
Student Perspectives in Quantum Physics
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Student Perspectives in Quantum Physics

Introductory courses in classical physics are promoting in students a realist perspective, ... (more)

Introductory courses in classical physics are promoting in students a realist perspective, made up in part by the belief that all physical properties of a system can be simultaneously specified, and thus determined at all future times. Such a perspective can be problematic for introductory quantum physics students, who must develop new framings of epistemic and ontological resources in order to properly interpret what it means to have knowledge of quantum systems. We document this evolution in student thinking in part through pre/post instruction evaluations using the CLASS attitude survey. We further characterize variations in student epistemic and ontological commitments by examining responses to an essay question, coupled with responses to supplemental quantum attitude statements. We find that, after instruction in modern physics, many students are still exhibiting a realist perspective in contexts where a quantum perspective is needed. We also find that this effect can be significantly influenced by instruction, where we observe variations for courses with differing learning goals. (less)

Subject:
Mathematics
Chemistry
Computing and Information
Engineering
Life Science
Physics
Technology
Education
Material Type:
Reference
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Charles Baily
Noah D. Finkelstein
Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology
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Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology

The web page of the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing at Swinburne ... (more)

The web page of the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing at Swinburne University of Technology of Melbourne, Australia provides links to news articles and information on research programs and educational programs for university students and the general public. There is also information on the Centre's education and outreach programs, including Swinburne Astronomy Online (SAO), which concentrates on fundamental concepts and key issues in contemporary astronomy for amateur astronomers, educators and communicators, people working in related fields, and the general public. Other materials include Cosmos, an online astronomy encyclopedia for general audiences; information on AstroTours, 3D virtual tours of astronomical objects and phenomena; and information on SpaceWorks, the Centre's commercial arm for combining projection and visualization technology with educational content. (less)

Subject:
Physics
Space Science
Technology
Material Type:
Images and Illustrations
Instructional Material
Lecture Notes
Reference
Simulations
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Space Sciences Gateways and Resources
Quantum Physics Online: Quantum superposition in two dimensions
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Quantum Physics Online: Quantum superposition in two dimensions

This is a set of interactive Java applets illustrating two-dimensional quantum states. ... (more)

This is a set of interactive Java applets illustrating two-dimensional quantum states. Eigenstates are shown for both the 2D square well and the 2D harmonic oscillators. Simulations are used to illustrate the time dependence of wavepackets moving in these two potentials as well. These applets are part of an extensive collection of animations and simulations illustrating a large range of quantum topics, and an ongoing effort for developing a fully interactive quantum-physics class. Both French and English versions are available. (less)

Subject:
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Instructional Material
Interactive
Reference
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Manuel Joffre
Quantum Physics Online: Quantum superposition in one dimension
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Quantum Physics Online: Quantum superposition in one dimension

This is a set of interactive Java applets illustrating time dependence and ... (more)

This is a set of interactive Java applets illustrating time dependence and superposition in one-dimensional quantum states. Simulations are used to illustrate the time dependence (real and imaginary parts) of eigenstates states, and superposition of eigenstates. There is an application of these ideas to a two-level model of an ammonia molecule. There is also an illustration of a harmonic oscillator with multiple states occupied, and coherent states. These applets are part of an extensive collection of animations and simulations illustrating a large range of quantum topics, and an ongoing effort for developing a fully interactive quantum-physics class. Both French and English versions are available. (less)

Subject:
Mathematics
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Instructional Material
Interactive
Reference
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Manuel Joffre
Quantum Physics Online: Quantization in one dimension
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Quantum Physics Online: Quantization in one dimension

This is a set of interactive Java applets illustrating one-dimensional quantum states. ... (more)

This is a set of interactive Java applets illustrating one-dimensional quantum states. Simulations are used to illustrate both free and bound states, and the formation of eigenstates in one-dimensional potential wells. There are also illustrations of expanding states in a basis of harmonic oscillator states. These applets are part of an extensive collection of animations and simulations illustrating a large range of quantum topics, and an ongoing effort for developing a fully interactive quantum-physics class. Both French and English versions are available. (less)

Subject:
Mathematics
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Instructional Material
Interactive
Reference
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Manuel Joffre
Quantum Physics Online: Quantization in three dimensions
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Quantum Physics Online: Quantization in three dimensions

This is a pair of interactive Java applets illustrating three-dimensional quantum states. ... (more)

This is a pair of interactive Java applets illustrating three-dimensional quantum states. Spherical harmonics are shown projected on a unit sphere. Both the magnitude of Y(L,m) + Y(L,-m), and the complex states with color-coded phase can be viewed. In the other simulation, the states of a Carbon 60 molecule are simulated using a Huckel model. The 60x60 matrix is diagonalized to show the energy levels and electronic states of the molecule. These applets are part of an extensive collection of animations and simulations illustrating a large range of quantum topics, and an ongoing effort for developing a fully interactive quantum-physics class. Both French and English versions are available. (less)

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Instructional Material
Interactive
Reference
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Manuel Joffre
Perspectives in Quantum Physics: Epistemological, Ontological and Pedagogical
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Perspectives in Quantum Physics: Epistemological, Ontological and Pedagogical

A common learning goal for modern physics instructors is for students to ... (more)

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. (less)

Subject:
Chemistry
Physics
Education
Material Type:
Reference
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Charles Baily
Intuitive Quantum Physics
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Intuitive Quantum Physics

This web site provides small-group learning materials for teaching wave physics and ... (more)

This web site provides small-group learning materials for teaching wave physics and modern physics to non-science-majors. To match student skills, observation, qualitative analysis, and graphical representations are used to introduce interference, discuss energy and probability, and develop an understanding of bound states, spectroscopy, modeling of molecules, and tunneling. (less)

Subject:
Mathematics
Engineering
Physics
Education
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Instructional Material
Lesson Plans
Unit of Study
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Jeffrey T. Morgan
Michael C. Wittmann
Students’ Conceptual Understanding of Quantum Physics in College Level Classroom Environments
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Students’ Conceptual Understanding of Quantum Physics in College Level Classroom Environments

The purposes of the current study were to study the potential solutions ... (more)

The purposes of the current study were to study the potential solutions of the common learning difficulties, insufficient teaching techniques and other significant instructional or conceptual problems encountered while teaching and learning an important branch of physical science, quantum physics (QP), at the senior or junior college year. Both quantitative and qualitative methodologies were utilized in this study. The participants included five physics faculty members with different levels of teaching experience who were teaching one of the quantum physics courses (e.g. Modern Physics, Quantum Physics, and Quantum Mechanics) and 43 senior or junior undergraduate students enrolled in their courses during fall and spring terms of 2006. The findings of this study revealed that students struggle in QP classes mainly because of (1) complex mathematical tools in QP, (2) abstract concepts and non-parallel construction of QP, (3) QP has a bad reputation that negatively affects students prior to taking it, and (4) the pace in curriculum of quantum physics courses is too fast for the students. In order to increase students' conceptualization of QP concepts, the faculty members who participated in this study suggested that: (1) more time on solving more abstract conceptual questions should be spent, (2) recitation hours for solving more numerical problems need to be dedicated, and (3) revision of curriculum is necessary. (less)

Subject:
Physics
Education
Material Type:
Reference
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Bayram Akarsu
Open Source and Open Access Resources for Quantum Physics Education
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Open Source and Open Access Resources for Quantum Physics Education

Quantum mechanics is both a topic of great importance to modern science, ... (more)

Quantum mechanics is both a topic of great importance to modern science, engineering, and technology, and a topic with many inherent barriers to learning and understanding. Computational resources are vital tools for developing deep conceptual understanding of quantum systems for students new to the subject. This article outlines two projects that are taking an open source/open access approach to create and share teaching and learning resources for quantum physics. The Open Source Physics project provides program libraries, programming tools, example simulations, and pedagogical resources for instructors wishing to give a rich experience to their students. These simulations and student activities are, in turn, being integrated into a world?wide collection of teaching and learning resources available through the Quantum Exchange, a part of the ComPADRE Portal to the National Science Digital Library. Both of these projects use technologies that encourage community development and collaboration. Using these tools, faculty can create learning experiences, share and discuss their content with others, and combine resources in new ways. Examples of the available content and tools are given, along with an introduction to accessing and using these resources. (less)

Subject:
Computing and Information
Physics
Technology
Education
Material Type:
Reference
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Bruce Mason
Mario Belloni
Wolfgang Christian
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