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Abstract Title: Investigating students’ fluency with quantum ideas in the context of interaction-free experiments
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Abstract: This research analyzes the effectiveness of two massive open online courses (MOOCs) offered by Georgetown University via edX, Quantum Mechanics (QM) and Quantum Mechanics for Everyone (QME). The QM course was designed for undergraduate physics majors and teaches quantum mechanics using operators in a representation-independent formalism. QME was created for those without a physics background and focuses primarily on conceptual understanding.
Here, we focus on student responses to an open-ended question within both courses that targets students' understanding of "quantum seeing in the dark" (interaction-free measurements) in the context of the Stern-Gerlach experiment. We present our preliminary findings around students' conceptions of how atoms interact with the analyzers, paying particular attention to their scientific language fluency when presenting their ideas. We also present a comparison of student responses between the two courses and discuss the impact of increased formalism on student conceptions.
Session Time: Poster Session 2
Poster Number: II-73

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Cecilia E. Ochoa
Physics Department, Georgetown University
and Co-Presenter(s)
Justyna P. Zwolak (she/her), National Institute of Standards and Technology & Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science, University of Maryland

James Freericks (he/him), Department of Physics, Georgetown University

Leanne Doughty(she/her), Department of Physics, Georgetown University