Model of student understanding of probability in modern physics Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/cc08hj225

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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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