No Access Submitted: 15 September 2007 Accepted: 06 January 2008 Published Online: 12 March 2008
American Journal of Physics 76, 400 (2008);
more...View Affiliations
We discuss the development and evaluation of quantum interactive learning tutorials (QuILTs), which are suitable for undergraduate courses in quantum mechanics. QuILTs are based on the investigation of student difficulties in learning quantum physics. They exploit computer-based visualization tools and help students build links between the formal and conceptual aspects of quantum physics without compromising the technical content. They can be used both as supplements to lectures or as self-study tools.
The author is very grateful to Mario Belloni and Wolfgang Christian for their help in developing and adapting their open source physics simulations for QuILTs. The author also thanks Albert Huber for the Mach–Zehnder interferometer simulation and to Klaus Muthsam for the double slit simulation. The author thanks all the faculty who have administered different versions of QuILTs in their classrooms. We thank Y. Beck for help in developing some of the tutorials. This work is supported in part by the National Science Foundation awards NSF-PHY-055434 and NSF-PHY-0653129.
  1. 1. D. J. Griffiths, Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 1995), preface. Google Scholar
  2. 2. E. J. Galvez, C. H. Holbrow, M. J. Pysher, J. W. Martin, N. Courtemanche, L. Heilig, and J. Spencer, “Interference with correlated photons: Five quantum mechanics experiments for undergraduates,” Am. J. Phys. 73, 127–140 (2005). Google ScholarScitation, ISI
  3. 3. P. Jolly, D. Zollman, S. Rebello, and A. Dimitrova, “Visualizing potential energy diagrams,” Am. J. Phys. 66(1), 57–63 (1998). Google ScholarScitation, ISI
  4. 4. D. Styer, “Common misconceptions regarding quantum mechanics,” Am. J. Phys. 64, 31–34 (1996). Google ScholarScitation, ISI
  5. 5.Research on teaching and learning of quantum mechanics,” Papers presented at the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, ⟨⟩ (1999). Google Scholar
  6. 6. See for example, the theme issue of Am. J. Phys. 70(3) (2002) published in conjunction with the Gordon conference on teaching and research in quantum mechanics. Google Scholar
  7. 7. C. Singh, “Student understanding of quantum mechanics,” Am. J. Phys. 69(8), 885–896 (2001). Google ScholarScitation, ISI
  8. 8. C. Singh, M. Belloni, and W. Christian, “Improving student’s understanding of quantum mechanics,” Phys. Today 59(8), 43–49 (2006). Google ScholarCrossref
  9. 9. C. Singh, “Transfer of learning in quantum mechanics,” AIP Conf. Proc. 790, 23–26 (2005). Google ScholarCrossref
  10. 10. C. Singh, “Improving student understanding of quantum mechanics,” AIP Conf. Proc. 818, 69–72 (2006). Google ScholarCrossref
  11. 11. C. Singh, “Student difficulties with quantum mechanics formalism,” AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 185–188 (2007). Google ScholarCrossref
  12. 12. C. Singh, “Helping students learn quantum mechanics for quantum computing,” AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 42–45 (2007). Google ScholarCrossref
  13. 13. H. Fischler and M. Lichtfeldt, “Modern physics and students’ conceptions,” Int. J. Sci. Educ. 14(2), 181–190 (1992). Google ScholarCrossref
  14. 14. See for example, ⟨⟩ and M. Belloni, W. Christian, and A. Cox, Physlet Quantum Physics (Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2006). Google Scholar
  15. 15. M. Belloni and W. Christian, “Physlets for quantum mechanics,” Comput. Sci. Eng. 5, 90–96 (2003); Google ScholarCrossref
    M. Belloni, W. Christian, and A. Cox, Physlet Quantum Physics (Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2006). , Google Scholar
  16. 16. The Mach–Zehnder simulation was adapted from ⟨⟩. The double-slit simulation was developed by Klaus Muthsam. Google Scholar
  17. 17. The original Spins program was written by Daniel Schroeder and Thomas Moore for the Macintosh and was ported to Java by David McIntyre of Oregon State University and used as part of the Paradigms project. Both of these versions are open source. See ⟨⟩. Google Scholar
  18. 18. For example, see ⟨⟩. Google Scholar
  19. 19. For example, see ⟨ cycle⟩. Google Scholar
  20. 20. J. Hiller, I. Johnston, and D. Styer, Quantum Mechanics Simulations (Wiley, New York, 1995). Google Scholar
  21. 21. L. McDermott and P. Shaffer, and the Physics Education Group, University of Washington, Tutorials in Introductory Physics (Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2002). Google Scholar
  22. 22. Modern physics tutorials are available at ⟨⟩. Google Scholar
  23. 23. M. T. H. Chi, “Thinking Aloud,” in The Think Aloud Method, edited by M. W. van Someren, Y. F. Barnard, and J. A. C. Sandberg (Academic Press, London, 1994), Chap. 1. Google Scholar
  24. 24. The complete tutorial is available at ⟨⟩. Google Scholar
  1. © 2008 American Association of Physics Teachers.