”From the cat’s point of view”: Upper secondary physics students’ reflections on Schrödinger’s thought experiment
Journal article, Peer reviewed
MetadataShow full item record
Original versionPhysics Education. 2016, 51:055009 (5), . 10.1088/0031-9120/51/5/055009
The thought experiment 'Schrödinger's cat' exposes fundamental dilemmas in how we interpret quantum physics, and has a potential for deepening students' understanding of this part of modern physics, including its philosophical consequences. In this paper we report results from the project ReleQuant on how Norwegian physics students in upper secondary schools interpret the thought experiment. The analysis resulted in nine categories, and we discuss how these relate to interpretations made by physicists, in particular the concept of superposition. Even if students' responses in many cases can be related to interpretations that make sense in physics, we conclude that lack of knowledge about the purpose and the historical context of the thought experiment limits students understanding of the physics content. Exploring the thought experiment from a historical perspective might deepen student understanding of key concepts in quantum physics as well as of how physics develops.