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PERC 2019 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Improving Students' Understanding of the Wave Function for a System of Identical Particles
Abstract: We discuss an investigation of student difficulties with concepts related to the many-particle stationary state wave function for a system of non-interacting fermions or bosons in cases in which the many-particle stationary state wave function 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 wave function consistent with the symmetrization requirements for the system (a completely antisymmetric wave function for a system of fermions or bosons).
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session III
Poster Number: C44

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Christof Keebaugh
Franklin and Marshall College
and Co-Presenter(s)
Emily Marshman, University of Pittsburgh
Chandralekha Singh, University of Pittsburgh