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Model of student understanding of probability in modern physics

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dc.contributor.advisor Krane, Kenneth S.
dc.creator Wattanakasiwich, Pornrat
dc.date.accessioned 2012-04-10T19:37:05Z
dc.date.available 2012-04-10T19:37:05Z
dc.date.copyright 2005-04-28
dc.date.issued 2005-04-28
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1957/28663
dc.description Graduation date: 2005 en_US
dc.description.abstract This study aimed to investigate students' models of probability in a modern physics context. The study was divided into three phases. The first phase explored student pre-knowledge about probability before modem physics instruction. The second phase investigated student understanding of concepts related to probability such as wave-particle behavior, the uncertainty principle, and localization. The third phase probed how students used the wave function to interpret probability in potential energy problems. The participants were students taking modem physics at Oregon State University. In the first phase, we developed a diagnostic test to probe mathematical probability misconceptions and probability in a classical physics content. For the mathematical probability misconceptions part, we found that students often used a randomly distributed expectancy resource to predict an outcome of a random event. For classical probability, we found that students often employed an object's speed to predict the probability of locating it in a certain region, which we call a classical probability reasoning resource. In the second and the third phases, we interviewed students in order to get more in-depth data. We also report the findings from Fall 03 preliminary interviews which indicated the need for a more detail theoretical framework to analyze student reasoning. Therefore, we employed the framework proposed by Redish (2003) to analyze the interview data into two perspectives - reasoning resources and epistemic resources. We found that most students used a classical probability resource to interpret the probability from the wave function. Additionally, we identified two associated patterns that students used to describe the traveling wave function in the potential step and barrier. Finally, we discuss some teaching implications and future research that the findings suggested. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Probabilities -- Study and teaching (Higher) en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Quantum theory -- Study and teaching (Higher) en_US
dc.title Model of student understanding of probability in modern physics en_US
dc.type Thesis/Dissertation en_US
dc.degree.name Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. D.) in Physics en_US
dc.degree.level Doctoral en_US
dc.degree.discipline Science en_US
dc.degree.grantor Oregon State University en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Jansen, Henri
dc.contributor.committeemember Manogue, Corine
dc.contributor.committeemember Flick, Larry
dc.contributor.committeemember Lee, John
dc.description.digitization File scanned at 300 ppi (Monochrome, 256 Grayscale) using Capture Perfect 3.0.82 on a Canon DR-9080C in PDF format. CVista PdfCompressor 4.0 was used for pdf compression and textual OCR. en_US
dc.description.peerreview no en_us

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