This innovative new text approaches Quantum Mechanics in a manner more closely aligned with the methods used in real modern physics research. Most texts start with a bit of history and then move directly to wave-particle problems with the incumbent heavy mathematical analysis; McIntyre, Manogue, and Tate aim to ground the student s knowledge in experimental phenomena and use a more approachable, less intimidating, more powerful mathematical matrix model.
Beginning with the Stern-Gerlach experiments and the discussion of spin measurements, and using bra-ket notation, Quantum Mechanics introduces students to an important notational system that is used throughout quantum mechanics. This non-traditional presentation is designed to enhance students understanding and strengthen their intuitive grasp of the subject, and has been class tested extensively. The text takes advantage of the versatile SPINS software, which allows the student to simulate Stern-Gerlach measurements in succession. This interaction gets to the heart of Quantum Mechanics, and introduces the student to the mathematics they will be using throughout the course. A solid alternative to the classical texts currently available, it is designed for junior- to senior-level Quantum Mechanics courses taken by physics majors.
A more moderate transition to the essential mathematics is characterized by the authors new approach, which focuses on modern research (quantum computing, etc), along with coverage of bra-ket notation and matrix mechanics. Students who are able to take advantage of the strengths of matrices and bra-ket will likely find the complex mathematics less daunting than in a standard quantum text.
The focus on modern experimental quantum mechanics makes the material more engaging, and allows the student to stay connected with current research trends.
A wide range of online activities are used to integrate and expand upon the features in the physical text. The activities on the website are organized both by topic, as well as by learning objective, allowing instructors to develop their course around topical knowledge or work on a specific learning objective.
Online activities are organized in a wiki environment so that users can share their reflections on their use/adaptation of any one activity. Some activities take advantage of various pieces of software, such as SPINS, which is a cross-platform java program used to simulate Stern-Gerlach experiments. The online activities section, in the author s words, is a living, growing thing, and the number of activities will grow as the website expands.
The Web page as a whole serves not only as a resource for this Quantum book, which constitutes two pages within the wiki, but also for other courses in the Paradigms of Physics curriculum. In the physical text there is a concentration on making the mathematics of quantum mechanics easier to digest. Working with modern experimental quantum mechanics makes the material more engaging, and allows the student to stay connected with current research trends.
Table of Contents
1. Stern-Gerlach Experiments
2. Operators And Measurement
3. Schr dinger Time Evolution
4. Quantum Spookiness
5. Quantized Energies: Particle in a Box
6. Unbound States
7. Angular Momentum
8. Hydrogen Atom
9. Harmonic Oscillator
10. Perturbation Theory
11. Hyperfine Structure and the Addition of Angular Momentum
12. Perturbation of Hydrogen
13. Identical Particles
14. Time dependent perturbation theory
15. Periodic Systems
16. Modern Applications
About The Author
David H. McIntyre received a B.S. degree in physics from the University of Arizona and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in physics from Stanford University. He has been on the physics faculty at Oregon State University since 1989 and is one of the original developers of the Paradigms in Physics program. His other teaching interests include computational physics, computer interfacing, and optical physics. His laboratory research interests are in laser spectroscopy and optical physics.
Corinne A. Manogue received an A.B. degree in mathematics and physics from Mount Holyoke Collegeand a Ph.D. degree in physics from the University of Texas at Austin. She has been on the physics faculty at Oregon State University since 1988 and is the Director and one of the original developers of the Paradigms in Physics program. She is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and was awarded the Excellence in Undergraduate Physics Teaching Award from the American Association of Physics Teachers in 2008. She is coauthoring a textbook on The Geometry of Vector Calculus. Her theoretical research interests use the octonions to parameterize higher dimensional theories of particle physics.
Janet Tate received a B.Sc. degree in physics and chemistry from the University of Natal and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in physics from Stanford University. She has been on the physics faculty at Oregon State University since 1989 and is one of the original developers of the Paradigms in Physics program. She is particularly interested in helping students to improve their critical thinking skills, especially through experimental work and writing. Her laboratory research interests are in experimental condensed matter physics.