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Abstract Title: Developing a concept inventory for statistical mechanics
Abstract: Student and teacher misconceptions about physics have been widely investigated. While the vast majority of these studies have been performed at the introductory level, a limited number of investigations into advanced undergraduate learning have been performed as well. Concept inventories have been developed in multiple upper division topics including mechanics, electricity and magnetism, thermodynamics, optics, and relativity, but there remains a dearth of research into statistical mechanics. Here, we begin to develop a concept inventory for statistical mechanics as part of our efforts to investigate student understanding of the topic. We started by gathering experts' opinions on which topics are central to undergraduate statistical mechanics. Now we are developing preliminary, open-ended questions about these topics for use in student interviews. These responses will then be used to create a multiple-choice concept inventory. Feedback is sought from those familiar with this content, either through teaching or by their own research.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session III
Poster Number: C42

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: William Lo
North Carolina State University