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Investigating student understanding of the stationary state wavefunction for a system of identical particles
written by Christof Keebaugh, Emily Marshman, and Chandralekha Singh
We discuss an investigation of student difficulties with concepts related to the many-particle stationary state wavefunction for a system of non-interacting fermions or bosons in cases in which the many-particle stationary state wavefunction can be written as the product of the spatial and spin parts. The investigation was carried out in advanced quantum mechanics courses by administering free-response and multiple-choice questions and conducting individual interviews with students. We find that students share many common difficulties related to these concepts. Many students struggled to write a many-particle stationary state wavefunction consistent with the symmetrization requirements for the system, i.e., a completely antisymmetric wavefunction for a system of fermions or a completely symmetric wavefunction for a system of bosons. We discuss the common difficulties pertaining to these concepts that can be used as a guide to develop research-validated learning tools.
Physics Education Research Conference 2020
Part of the PER Conference series
Virtual Conference: July 22-23, 2020
Pages 266-271
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Basic Research
- Alternative Conceptions
Quantum Physics
- Multi-particle Systems
= Fermions and Bosons
- Spin and Finite Dimensional Systems
- Upper Undergraduate
- Graduate/Professional
- Reference Material
= Research study
PER-Central Type Intended Users Ratings
- PER Literature
- Researchers
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Format:
application/pdf
Mirror:
https://doi.org/10.1119/perc.2020…
Access Rights:
Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the published article's author(s), title, proceedings citation, and DOI.
Rights Holder:
American Association of Physics Teachers
DOI:
10.1119/perc.2020.pr.Keebaugh
NSF Number:
1806691
Keyword:
PERC 2020
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created August 27, 2020 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
August 31, 2020 by Bruce Mason
Last Update
when Cataloged:
September 1, 2020
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Record Link
AIP Format
C. Keebaugh, E. Marshman, and C. Singh, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2020, Virtual Conference, 2020, WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15494&DocID=5342).
AJP/PRST-PER
C. Keebaugh, E. Marshman, and C. Singh, Investigating student understanding of the stationary state wavefunction for a system of identical particles, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2020, Virtual Conference, 2020, <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15494&DocID=5342>.
APA Format
Keebaugh, C., Marshman, E., & Singh, C. (2020, July 22-23). Investigating student understanding of the stationary state wavefunction for a system of identical particles. Paper presented at Physics Education Research Conference 2020, Virtual Conference. Retrieved March 1, 2021, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15494&DocID=5342
Chicago Format
Keebaugh, C, E. Marshman, and C. Singh. "Investigating student understanding of the stationary state wavefunction for a system of identical particles." Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2020, Virtual Conference, July 22-23, 2020. https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15494&DocID=5342 (accessed 1 March 2021).
MLA Format
Keebaugh, Christof, Emily Marshman, and Chandralekha Singh. "Investigating student understanding of the stationary state wavefunction for a system of identical particles." Physics Education Research Conference 2020. Virtual Conference: 2020. 266-271 of PER Conference. 1 Mar. 2021 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15494&DocID=5342>.
BibTeX Export Format
@inproceedings{ Author = "Christof Keebaugh and Emily Marshman and Chandralekha Singh", Title = {Investigating student understanding of the stationary state wavefunction for a system of identical particles}, BookTitle = {Physics Education Research Conference 2020}, Pages = {266-271}, Address = {Virtual Conference}, Series = {PER Conference}, Month = {July 22-23}, Year = {2020} }
Refer Export Format

%A Christof Keebaugh
%A Emily Marshman
%A Chandralekha Singh
%T Investigating student understanding of the stationary state wavefunction for a system of identical particles
%S PER Conference
%D July 22-23 2020
%P 266-271
%C Virtual Conference
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15494&DocID=5342
%O Physics Education Research Conference 2020
%O July 22-23
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Conference Proceedings
%A Keebaugh, Christof
%A Marshman, Emily
%A Singh, Chandralekha
%D July 22-23 2020
%T Investigating student understanding of the stationary state wavefunction for a system of identical particles
%B Physics Education Research Conference 2020
%C Virtual Conference
%P 266-271
%S PER Conference
%8 July 22-23
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=15494&DocID=5342


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