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2011 AAPT Summer Meeting
July 30-August 3, 2011
Omaha, Nebraska

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High School Students Formalize the Quantum Concepts
  Location: HC 3028
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.2
  Time: 1:15 PM -1:45 PM
  Author: Alberto Stefanel, University of Udine
++39 432 5582 28,
  Co-Author(s): Marisa Michelini , Lorenzo Santi
  Abstract: Almost a century after its formulation, whether and how to teach quantum mechanics in high schools is still open. Focusing on the construction of theoretical thinking, we built an educational proposal following a Dirac approach. The polarized light phenomenology is the context for the foundation of the superposition principle and its main consequences. Extensive literature shows that the main learning knots are just these basic concepts and the probabilistic interpretation of its formal representation. Several studies have been conducted on students' learning processes during research-based experimentations in 14 classes with 340 high school students. A case study, carried out by means of tutorials, audio-recordings, tests, and data acquisition, aimed at analyzing students' approach to the formalism. We individuated three ways to consider formalism: physical, when it acquired meaning through a link to physical processes; geometrical, when a geometrical lecture is given; and conceptual/descriptive, when it is translated in words/sentences.
  Footnotes: I'm a member of AAPT My sponsor is: Dr. Genaro Zavala EnrĂ­quez
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