Foundations of Quantum Mechanics; Physics Education Research; History & Philosophy of Science
Wiess Instructor, Physics and Astronomy
2003 B.S. Brigham Young University
2005 M.S. Brigham Young University
2010 Ph.D. Oregon State University
The theory of quantum mechanics has brought several new ideas to science: quantization, uncertainty, complementarity, state superposition, information, entanglement, etc. However, it has also re-emphasized several long-standing epistemic and ontological issues in the history, philosophy, and pedagogy of science such as the role of metaphysical beliefs about the world, theory construction and selection, the independence of system from observer, the inescapable connection between formalism and interpretation, and the curious tension between conceptual understanding and computational ability to name just a few.
While these issues are increasingly studied by the community of physics eduation researchers, they can also be studied from the perspective of fundamental questions in physics, particularly quantum physics. I investigate and apply alternative interpretive schemes in quantum mechanics -- most notably the Bohmian trajectory formulation -- to understand these issues. This research develops theoretical, computational, and sociological skill and understanding while being simple and accessible yet perplexing and surprisingly practical.