National Meeting Program Schedule

2010 Summer Meeting

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

Sign In

Sessions and Events w/Abstracts

Date: Monday, August 01


Total Number of Records Found: 8


Add Items View Itinerary New Search Clear Form


Methods to Improve Conceptual Learning in Quantum Mechanics II
  Location: HC 3028
  Date: Monday, Aug.01
  Time: 6:30PM - 7:40PM
  Presider: Mario Belloni,
  Co-Presiders(s): None
  Equipment: N/A
Select Item


Operators and Measurements in Paradigms in Physics, Part 1
  Location: HC 3028
  Date: Monday, Aug.01
  Time: 6:30PM - 6:40PM
  Author: Corinne A. Manogue, Oregon State University
  Co-Author(s): Elizabeth Gire, David McIntyre, Janet Tate, Dedra Demaree
  Abstract: Operators have a central role in the formalism of quantum mechanics. However, many students have trouble using operators in computations related to quantum measurements. Many students erroneously believe that, for operators representing observables, the linear transformation of the quantum state vector corresponds to the process of making a measurement on the system. The upper level quantum mechanics curriculum at Oregon State University takes a "spins first" approach that emphasizes quantum measurements. Within this curriculum, we have developed a variety of activities to help address this common student difficulty.
  Footnotes: None
Select Item


Operators and Measurements in Paradigms in Physics, Part 2
  Location: HC 3028
  Date: Monday, Aug.01
  Time: 6:40PM - 6:50PM
  Author: Elizabeth A. Gire, University of Memphis
  Co-Author(s): Corinne A. Manogue, David McIntyre, Janet Tate, Dedra Demaree
  Abstract: The Paradigms team at Oregon State University has developed a series of activities that emphasize quantum measurements. Some of these activities specifically target students' conceptual understanding of the role of operators in computations related to measurements. We will discuss evidence of how these activities help students develop productive conceptual understandings of operators. This evidence is gathered from classroom video of students working through the activities in small group, whole class discussions, and clinical interviews, as well as students' homework and exams.
  Footnotes: None
Select Item


A Hands-On Introduction to Quantum Mechanics for Sophomores
  Location: HC 3028
  Date: Monday, Aug.01
  Time: 6:50PM - 7:00PM
  Author: David P. Jackson, Dickinson College
  Co-Author(s): Brett J. Pearson
  Abstract: The Physics Department at Dickinson College has re-designed its curriculum for physics majors to take advantage of recently developed single-photon experiments in quantum mechanics.* The ultimate goal is to bring students face to face with some of the fascinating and subtle features of quantum mechanics in a hands-on setting. This is mainly accomplished in a sophomore-level course titled "Introduction to Relativistic and Quantum Physics." Experiments include the behavior of a photon at a beam splitter--it "must" go one way or the other--and the behavior of a photon at a Mach-Zehnder Interferometer--it "must" go both ways. This talk will describe our curriculum changes and discuss some of the successes and difficulties we have experienced.
  Footnotes: *This work was supported by NSF grant DUE-0737230.
Select Item


Illustrating Quantum Non-Locality with the Two-Slit Interferometer
  Location: HC 3028
  Date: Monday, Aug.01
  Time: 7:00PM - 7:10PM
  Author: Scott C. Johnson, Intel
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: The classic demonstration of interference is the two-slit interferometer, so students are generally comfortable with this system and the calculations that go with it. This familiarity makes it a good system for illustrating new concepts, such as the non-local correlations seen in quantum entanglement. These can be illustrated with a modified interferometer that uses two sets of slits, one on each side of a source of momentum-entangled photons. (This actual system has not yet been realized, but a similar Mach-Zehnder interferometer has been constructed.) This system shows interference-like correlations between photons detected on opposite sides of the source, which can be very far away from each other. These correlations change with the spacing of both sets of slits, illustrating Einstein’s “spooky action at a distance.”
  Footnotes: None
Select Item


A New Multimedia Resource for Teaching Quantum Mechanics Concepts
  Location: HC 3028
  Date: Monday, Aug.01
  Time: 7:10PM - 7:20PM
  Author: Antje Kohnle, University of St Andrews
0044 1334 463195,
  Co-Author(s): Donatella Cassettari, Tom Edwards, Callum Ferguson, Alastair Gillies
  Abstract: Since 2009, we have been developing and evaluating visualizations and animations for the teaching of quantum mechanics concepts [Kohnle et al., Eur J Phys, 31 6 (2010) 1441]. This new resource builds on existing education research as well as our lecturing experience, and aims to specifically target student misconceptions and areas of difficulty in quantum mechanics. Each animation includes a step-by-step exploration that explains key points in detail. Animations and instructor resources are freely available at, and can be played or downloaded from this site. Animations have been used and evaluated in several quantum mechanics courses. Recent work includes extending the range of topics and levels of the animations, and a study of students' interactions with a previously unseen animation, aiming to test whether interface and content make sense, and whether the animations encourage interaction and exploration. Results of this work will be used to optimize the animations.
  Footnotes: Further authors: Christopher Hooley, Natalia Korolkova, Joseph Llama and Bruce Sinclair, University of St Andrews
Select Item


Assessment of Student Understanding in Modern Physics
  Location: HC 3028
  Date: Monday, Aug.01
  Time: 7:20PM - 7:30PM
  Author: Jessica L. Uscinski, American University
  Co-Author(s): Teresa L. Larkin
  Abstract: A number of tools are widely available to assess student understanding of key concepts in introductory physics, but less so for modern physics and quantum mechanics. The Modern Physics course at American University presents an ideal opportunity for conceptual assessment given its somewhat atypical student composition. In this study, student understanding of the photoelectric effect is probed using a variety of measures. A quantitative assessment was first performed using the Quantum Physics Conceptual Survey (QPCS)*. A series of both qualitative and quantitative exam questions were then developed and given as additional assessment measures of the photoelectric effect. In this presentation we summarize the pre-/post-gains of the assessments and correlate them with academic background and performance. The preliminary results from these assessment methods will be discussed in the larger context of how assessment measures can be maximized to enhance student understanding in a modern physics course.
  Footnotes: *Wuttiprom, S., Sharma, M. D., Johnston, I. D., Chitaree, R., & Soankwan, C. (2009). Development and use of a conceptual survey in introductory quantum physics. International Journal of Science Education, 31(5), 631-654.
Select Item


Educational Proposal for Teaching QED
  Location: HC 3028
  Date: Monday, Aug.01
  Time: 7:30PM - 7:40PM
  Author: George E. Kontokostas
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: The session will focus on mentoring and induction programs for new physics teachers. Students need and desire to know the latest scientific knowledge. Quantum is introduced in order to give students an understandable qualitative view of the origin of Feynman diagrams as representations of particle interactions. Elementary diagrams are combined in a simple way in order to understand the standard Model. In this presentation we examine how an alternative way of teaching can help students to design, predict interactions, and understand how the diagrams work. Using special pedagogical methods and with the help of technology, we note that most students were able to design the three interactions and to predict the formation of some particles. Without using much math, the students were allowed to develop an understanding of QED. Some misconceptions were dealt with successfully.
Select Item

© 2017 American Association of Physics Teachers
Have questions about this site? Email the webmaster.
2011 AAPT Winter Meeting Past Meeting Info Help Sign In