Analysis of Undergraduate Physics Student’s Perception of Angular Momentum in Quantum Mechanics at the University of Zambia

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Fungamwango Hashel Mwansa
Phillippe Kabwita
Jack George Jumbe

Abstract

This study aimed at investigating the problems students face in understanding the concepts of angular momentum in classical and quantum mechanics, finding an effective way of improving understanding and learning the concepts of angular momentum in quantum mechanics, lastly document the challenges investigated and suggest some solutions to help students understand angular momentum in both classical and quantum mechanics. This study summarizes a series of investigations into how undergraduate Physics students perceive angular momentum in quantum mechanics at the University of Zambia. We investigated undergraduate physics student's perception of angular momentum in quantum mechanics by administering written questions (open-ended) to two different groups of classes. Out of these investigations we developed a Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorials (Qu I L Ts) and peer instruction tools to assist the students build up a considerable knowledge structure of quantum mechanics in general and angular momentum in specific, through a guided approach technique [1]. Eleven questions were administered to a group of N = 15 students, statistics for answered questions are as follows; question one 4 out of 15  representing a percentage of 26.67%, question two only 6 out of 15 student representing 40%, question three 11 out of 15 representing a percentage of 73.33%, for question four only 1 out of 15 representing a percentage of 6.67%, question five none of the students answered, question six only 1 out of 15 students representing a percentage of 6.67% managed to answer, question seven 1 out of 15 representing a percentage of 6.67% managed to answer, question eight 11 out of 15 representing a percentage of 73.33 % got the correct answer, question nine 6 out of 15 representing a percentage 40% got the right answer, question ten only three students making a percentage of 20% answered correctly, question eleven no student managed to get it right. Preliminary results show that the undergraduate physics students perception of quantum mechanics is improved after using the research-based learning tools in the lower class level quantum mechanics courses [1]. We also build up a common conceptual survey that can help lecturers better investigate undergraduate physics students understand the concept of angular momentum in particular and quantum mechanics courses in general.

Keywords:
Quantum mechanics, classical mechanics, angular momentum.

Article Details

How to Cite
Mwansa, F., Kabwita, P., & Jumbe, J. (2018). Analysis of Undergraduate Physics Student’s Perception of Angular Momentum in Quantum Mechanics at the University of Zambia. Journal of Education, Society and Behavioural Science, 25(4), 1-17. https://doi.org/10.9734/JESBS/2018/40980
Section
Original Research Article