Improving student understanding of quantum mechanics

Chandralekha Singh

University of Pittsburgh

March 27, 2009, 1:30 PM
Room 385 Serin (East)

Quantum mechanics is a technically challenging and abstract subject. A major component of my research investigates the difficulties that upper-level students have in learning quantum mechanics. Surprisingly, students share a number of common difficulties with quantum mechanics that are independent of the instructor, textbook or institution.  To help improve student understanding of quantum concepts, we are developing research-based quantum interactive learning tutorials (QuILTs) and tools for peer-instruction. These QuILTs explicitly target the most common difficulties that student have with quantum mechanics. Many of the QuILTs employ computer simulations to help students visualize and develop better intuition about quantum phenomena. Preliminary assessments indicate that QuILTs can help bridge the gap between quantitative and conceptual aspects of quantum mechanics and help students develop a solid grasp of quantum concepts.

[1] C. Singh, M. Belloni, W. Christian, Physics today, Improving student's understanding of quantum mechanics, 8, 43-49, August (2006).g

Last modified: Thu Mar 19 14:14:11 2009