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Abstract Title: How Students' Understanding of Normalization Changes After Taking Quantum Mechanics
Abstract: Normalization is a particularly important concept within quantum mechanics due to the probabilistic nature of quantum systems. However, students' understanding of normalization has not been well studied in the past. In this poster, I will share insights from analyzing physics students' understanding of normalization through the use of a framework for students' understanding of mathematical norms and normalization of vectors. More specifically, I will compare and contrast students' understandings of normalization before and after taking an introductory quantum mechanics course. Through the results, I will demonstrate that a majority of physics students enter quantum mechanics with a narrow or incomplete understanding of normalization, but through learning quantum mechanics content and introduction of new notational systems (i.e., Dirac notation), these students can leave quantum mechanics with a more complete understanding of normalization and its importance to physics.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session II
Poster Number: B91

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Kevin Watson
Virginia Tech
4210 Christie Lane
Christiansburg, VA 24073
Phone: 8013720105

Contributed Poster

Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster