How diverse are physics instructors’ attitudes and approaches to teaching undergraduate level quantum mechanics?

  title={How diverse are physics instructors’ attitudes and approaches to teaching undergraduate level quantum mechanics?},
  author={Shabnam Siddiqui and Chandralekha Singh},
  journal={European Journal of Physics},
Understanding instructors’ attitudes and approaches to teaching undergraduate-level quantum mechanics can be helpful in developing effective instructional tools to help students learn quantum mechanics. Here we discuss the findings from a survey in which 12 university faculty members reflected on various issues related to undergraduate-level quantum mechanics teaching and learning. Topics included faculty members’ thoughts on the goals of a college quantum mechanics course, general challenges… 
Undergraduate quantum mechanics: lost opportunities for engaging motivated students?
Quantum mechanics is widely recognised as an important and difficult subject, and many studies have been published focusing on students’ conceptual difficulties. However, the sociocultural aspects of
Helping Students Learn Quantum Mechanics using Research-Validated Learning Tools
The development and implementation of research-validated instructional tools has shown promise in improving student learning in not only introductory physics courses, but also upper level quantum
Quantum interactive learning tutorial on the double-slit experiment to improve student understanding of quantum physics
The development and evaluation of a research-validated Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorial (QuILT) which makes use of an interactive simulation to improve student understanding of the double-slit experiment and strives to help students develop a good grasp of foundational issues in quantum mechanics.
Investigating and Improving Student Understanding of Quantum Mechanics in the Context of Single Photon Interference.
The QuILT strives to help students learn the basics of quantum mechanics in the context of single photon experiment, develop the ability to apply fundamental quantum principles to experimental situations in quantum optics, and explore the differences between classical and quantum ideas in a concrete context.
Learning Difficulties in Theoretical Physics and Teaching Reform Strategies
Theoretical physics is an important subject in physics. The major goal of theoretical physics courses is to help students learn to think like a physicist. The theoretical physics curriculum mainly
Student understanding of Fermi energy, the Fermi–Dirac distribution and total electronic energy of a free electron gas
It is found that advanced students had many common difficulties with these concepts after traditional lecture-based instruction, and engaging with a sequence of clicker questions improved student performance, but there remains room for improvement in their understanding of these challenging concepts.
Validation and administration of a conceptual survey on the formalism and postulates of quantum mechanics
This work developed and validated a conceptual survey that focuses on the formalism and postulates of quantum mechanics covered in upper-level undergraduate quantum mechanics courses and found that undergraduate students who engaged with research-validated learning tools performed better than students who did not on the QMFPS after the first semester of a junior/senior level quantum mechanics course.
Investigating and improving student understanding of the expectation values of observables in quantum mechanics
The expectation value of an observable is an important concept in quantum mechanics since measurement outcomes are, in general, probabilistic and we only have information about the probability
Development and validation of a university students’ progression in learning quantum mechanics through exploratory factor analysis and Rasch analysis
ABSTRACT We report an empirical study on the development and validation of a learning progression (LP) in quantum mechanics (QM) at university level. Drawing on research results about students’
Physics postgraduate teaching assistants’ grading approaches: conflicting goals and practices
Grading can shape students’ learning and encourage use of effective problem solving practices. Teaching assistants (TAs) are often responsible for grading student solutions and providing feedback,


Surveying Instructors' Attitudes and Approaches to Teaching Quantum Mechanics
Understanding instructors’ attitudes and approaches to teaching quantum mechanics can be helpful in developing research‐based learning tools. Here we discuss the findings from a survey in which 13
Assessing and improving student understanding of quantum mechanics
It is found that students share universal difficulties about fundamental quantum mechanics concepts and Instructional strategies that focus on improving student understanding of these concepts should take into account these difficulties.
Transfer of Learning in Quantum Mechanics
We investigate the difficulties that undergraduate students in quantum mechanics courses have in transferring learning from previous courses or within the same course from one context to another by
A Review of Student Difficulties in Upper-Level Quantum Mechanics
Learning advanced physics, in general, is challenging not only due to the increased mathematical sophistication but also because one must continue to build on all of the prior knowledge acquired at
Surveying students’ understanding of quantum mechanics in one spatial dimension
We explore the difficulties that advanced undergraduate and graduate students have with non-relativistic quantum mechanics of a single particle in one spatial dimension. To investigate these
A new introductory quantum mechanics curriculum
The Institute of Physics New Quantum Curriculum consists of freely available online learning and teaching materials ( for a first course in university quantum mechanics
Categorization of quantum mechanics problems by professors and students
We discuss the categorization of 20 quantum mechanics problems by physics professors and undergraduate students from two honours-level quantum mechanics courses. Professors and students were asked to
A Framework for Understanding the Patterns of Student Reasoning Difficulties in Quantum Mechanics
A framework for understanding the patterns of student reasoning difficulties and how students develop expertise in quantum mechanics is described and contemplating the parallels between the difficulties in these two knowledge domains can enable researchers to leverage the extensive literature for introductory physics education research to guide the design of teaching and learning tools.
Helping Students Learn Quantum Mechanics for Quantum Computing
Quantum information science and technology is a rapidly growing interdisciplinary field drawing researchers from science and engineering fields. Traditional instruction in quantum mechanics is
Student understanding of quantum mechanics
We investigate the difficulties of advanced undergraduate students toward the end of a full year upper-level quantum mechanics course with concepts related to quantum measurements and time