NotesFAQContact Us
Collection
Advanced
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1143407
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: EISSN-2469-9896
EISSN: N/A
Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorial on the Double-Slit Experiment to Improve Student Understanding of Quantum Mechanics
Sayer, Ryan; Maries, Alexandru; Singh, Chandralekha
Physical Review Physics Education Research, v13 n1 p010123-1-010123-23 Jan-Jun 2017
Learning quantum mechanics is challenging, even for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students. Research-validated interactive tutorials that build on students' prior knowledge can be useful tools to enhance student learning. We have been investigating student difficulties with quantum mechanics pertaining to the double-slit experiment in various situations that appear to be counterintuitive and contradict classical notions of particles and waves. For example, if we send single electrons through the slits, they may behave as a "wave" in part of the experiment and as a "particle" in another part of the "same" experiment. Here we discuss the development and evaluation of a research-validated Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorial (QuILT) which makes use of an interactive simulation to improve student understanding of the double-slit experiment and strives to help students develop a good grasp of foundational issues in quantum mechanics. We discuss common student difficulties identified during the development and evaluation of the QuILT and analyze the data from the pretest and post test administered to the upper-level undergraduate and first-year physics graduate students before and after they worked on the QuILT to assess its effectiveness. These data suggest that on average, the QuILT was effective in helping students develop a more robust understanding of foundational concepts in quantum mechanics that defy classical intuition using the context of the double-slit experiment. Moreover, upper-level undergraduates outperformed physics graduate students on the post test. One possible reason for this difference in performance may be the level of student engagement with the QuILT due to the grade incentive. In the undergraduate course, the post test was graded for correctness while in the graduate course, it was only graded for completeness.
American Physical Society. One Physics Ellipse 4th Floor, College Park, MD 20740-3844. Tel: 301-209-3200; Fax: 301-209-0865; e-mail: assocpub@aps.org; Web site: http://prst-per.aps.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: PHY1505460