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PERC 2022 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Graduate student understanding of quantum mechanical spin
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Abstract: A framework of cyclic observation and triangulation was applied over a period of 4 years to graduate student difficulties related to quantum spin, in which numerous in-class observations and interviews were used to identify common, persistent difficulties. Written items were iteratively developed over two years to add a quantitative component. Items were administered to graduate students at two collaborating institutions, over three years. We find that students generally obtained scores or correct proportions ranging from 30%-70% on the written items, and answering patterns were similar across all institutions. All items were identified by the course instructors as being relevant to instructional goals of the course. We report on a number of graduate student difficulties with spin, including orthogonality of spin-1/2 states, projections of spin states, spin addition, and exchange symmetry. We briefly discuss possible theoretical frameworks through which to interpret these results.
Session Time: Poster Session 1
Poster Number: I-21
Contributed Paper Record: Contributed Paper Information
Contributed Paper Download: Download Contributed Paper

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Christopher D Porter
Department of Physics, The Ohio State University
Bexley, OH 43209
Phone: 6149005554
and Co-Presenter(s)
Andrew F. Heckler (he/him/his), Department of Physics, The Ohio State University

Contributed Poster

Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster