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Abstract Title: Student use of Quantum Notations – Dirac Notation as a Template
Abstract: Quantum mechanics (QM) utilizes several notations to represent quantum systems, such as Dirac notation, matrices, and wave functions. Previous work by Gire and Price found evidence of students using Dirac notation as a template for working with other notations. We expand on this work to see if and how students use Dirac notation as a template to guide their work in several different contexts. We analyzed written data from upper-division QM about normalization, probabilities, and expectation values on various assessments. Use of Dirac notation as a template varied depending on the notation the state was written in and/or which procedure was being asked. It is possible that students are fluent in the three different notations, and that normalization and calculating probabilities are procedures for which students do not require a template. We plan to investigate this possibility and students' representational fluency in QM in the future.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session III
Poster Number: C53

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Anthony Arruda
California State University, Fullerton
800 N State College Blvd
Fullerton, CA 92831
Phone: 5624577563
and Co-Presenter(s)
Gina Passante
California State University, Fullerton