CCSE seminar series: Dr. Carrie Weidner: Using a flow-based quantum visualization tool to enhance student learning: does it really work?

The ScienceAtHome group at Aarhus University has developed a number of games and tools for quantum-physics-based citizen science and education. One of these tools, Quantum Composer, allows students and researchers to explore quantum mechanics in one dimension.

Professor Matthew Berland

Dr. Carrie Weidner


The user can extract eigenvalues and eigenstates of the system as well as observe how the system evolves in time. We have used Composer in a number of courses at AU ranging from the first-year Bachelor’s level through to the Master’s level. The open question remains: does Composer really help students visualize and learn quantum mechanics?

In order to answer this question, we introduced Composer to nano-engineering students taking an introductory quantum physics course. Over the course of the semester, students worked on in-class exercises framed in Composer. After their final exams, some of the students participated in think-aloud interviews designed to evaluate how they use Composer to understand quantum mechanics.

This talk will introduce Quantum Composer, describe the project, and present preliminary findings.


Dr. Carrie Weidner is a postdoctoral research assistant at the Institute for Physics and Astronomy at Aarhus University, working with Prof. Jacob Sherson (founder and leader of the ScienceAtHome project). She obtained her PhD in experimental cold atom physics in JILA at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Since coming to Aarhus in 2018, she has been involved in experimental and theoretical projects in cold atom physics, but her work also involves physics education research. In particular, Carrie is interested in using computer-based tools to improve quantum physics education at the Bachelor’s and postgraduate level.

Published Jan. 17, 2020 3:51 PM - Last modified Mar. 4, 2020 5:33 PM