Investigating the influence of visualization on student understanding of quantum superposition
MetadataShow full item record
Visualizations in interactive computer simulations are a powerful tool to help students develop productive mental models, particularly in the case of quantum phenomena that have no classical analogue. The QuVis Quantum Mechanics Visualization Project develops research-based interactive simulations for the learning and teaching of quantum mechanics. We describe efforts to refine the visual representation of a single-photon superposition state in the QuVis simulations. We developed various depictions of a photon incident on a beam splitter, and investigated their influence on student thinking through individual interviews. Outcomes from this study led to the incorporation of a revised visualization in all QuVis single-photon simulations. In-class trials in 2013 and 2014 using the Interferometer Experiments simulation in an introductory quantum physics course were used for a comparative study of the initial and revised visualizations. The class that used the revised visualization showed a lower frequency of incorrect ideas about quantum superposition, such as the photon splitting into two half-energy components.
Kohnle , A , Baily , C & Ruby , S 2015 , Investigating the influence of visualization on student understanding of quantum superposition . in P V Engelhardt , A D Churukian & D L Jones (eds) , Physics Education Research Conference 2014 . PER Conference series , American Association of Physics Teachers , pp. 139-142 , Physics Education Research Conference 2014 , Minneapolis, MN , United States , 30/07/14 . DOI: 10.1119/perc.2014.pr.031conference
Physics Education Research Conference 2014
© 2014 American Association of Physics Teachers and the article authors. This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the published article's author(s), title, proceedings citation, and DOI.
Items in the St Andrews Research Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.