TitleEmbodying Complex Numbers and Quantum States
Publication TypePresentation
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsHahn, Kelby T., and Gire Elizabeth
KeywordsARMS, Kinesthetic, Quantum Mechanics, Representations, Structural Features

The Paradigms @ OSU team has developed a series of activities that supports students in reasoning about complex numbers by having students act out those numbers with their arms. The Arms representation is versatile and can be expanded, by grouping students, to include complex-valued vectors. This expansion enables groups of students to represent quantum mechanical state vectors with their arms. The Arms Sequence1 of activities parallels the progression of OSU’s spins-first approach by starting with complex numbers, advancing through two- and three-state systems, considering time-dependence, and eventually extending to approximate wavefunctions. In this poster we will present Arms as a representation and discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of using Arms to teach quantum mechanics. We will discuss the development of mathematical and physics ideas, cognitive and pedagogical affordances, movement logistics, and the implicit elements of the representation. 

File Attach: