Quantum interpretations in modern physics instruction

Charles Baily, Noah D. Finkelstein

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Just as expert physicists vary in their personal stances on interpretation in quantum mechanics, instructors hold different views on teaching interpretations of quantum phenomena in introductory modern physics courses. There has been relatively little research in the physics education community on the variation in instructional approaches with respect to quantum interpretation, and how instructional choices impact student thinking. We compare two modern physics courses taught at the University of Colorado with similar learning environments, but where the instructors held different views on how to teach students about interpretations of quantum processes. We find significant differences in how students from these two courses responded to a survey on their beliefs about quantum mechanics; findings also suggest that instructors who choose to address student ontologies should do so across a range of topics.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2009 Physics Education Research Conference
EditorsMel Sabella, Charles Henderson, Chandralekha Singh
Place of PublicationMelville, NY, USA
PublisherAmerican Institute of Physics
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)978-0-7354-0720-6
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventPhysics Education Research Conference 2009 - Ann Arbor, Michigann, United States
Duration: 29 Jul 200930 Jul 2009

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
PublisherAmerican Institute of Physics
ISSN (Print)0094-243X


ConferencePhysics Education Research Conference 2009
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAnn Arbor, Michigann


  • Physics education research
  • quantum mechanics
  • modern physics
  • PhET simulations


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