UConn Physics Colloquium
Teaching Quantum Mechanics in the 21st Century: Recent Advances
Associate Professor of Physics
The teaching of quantum mechanics has remained relatively stagnant since its inception, despite recent work assessing and improving the conceptual understanding of students and despite availability of computer simulations. Students, therefore, often see quantum mechanics in terms of misleading or incomplete visualizations, as one dimensional and time independent, and devoid of almost any connection with classical physics. To address this situation, we have produced and class-tested interactive Physlet- and Open Source Physics-based curricular material in support of introductory, intermediate, and advanced courses in quantum mechanics. These exercises address both quantitative and conceptual difficulties encountered by many students in such topics as wave function shape, momentum space, time evolution, and classical/quantum correlations. The materials are adaptable and can be used at a variety of levels with a variety of pedagogies. Examples of the curricular materials, the results of our preliminary assessment, and future directions of this project will be discussed.
Physlets and Open Source Physics are generously supported by the National Science Foundation (DUE-0442581).
Friday, February 2, 2007
Gant Science Complex
(We will meet for refreshments prior to the talk at 3:30 p.m., in the Gant Science Complex, Physics Library, Room P-103.)