Publication Type:

Contributed Talk


AAPT Summer 2022, Grand Rapids, MI (2022)


<p>Quantum mechanics is increasingly being taught “spins-first”: using systems with spin as examples before systems with wave functions. It is important for spins-first instructors to understand how students apply knowledge from spin systems to understand the continuous quantum systems that they study later. We are studying the ideas that students have about discrete bases, continuous bases, and the connections between them. We interviewed six students who were enrolled in a spins-first quantum mechanics course and asked them to participate in a card-sorting task where they organized twenty cards with a variety of quantum mechanics content and representations including braket notation, matrix notation, function notation, and code snippets. In this talk, we will discuss the reasoning participants used to organize cards into “discrete” and “continuous” categories as well as how students described the different types of representations as communicating “discreteness”.</p>

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