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Published by: api-26470372 on Mar 27, 2010
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The Quantum MechanicsA light approach to acomplex scientific theme
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The Quantum Mechanics
A short flashback
In 1900, German physicist Max Planck introduced the idea that energy isquantized, in order to derive a formula for the observed frequency dependency of the energy emitted by a black body.In 1905, Albert Einstein introduced his “March quantum paper”. He used theterm : When a light ray is spreading from a point, the energy is not distributedcontiniously over ever-increasing spaces, but consists of a finite number of 
energy quanta,
that are localized in points in space, move without dividing, andcan be absorbed or generated only as a whole.This statement has been called the most revolutionary sentence written by aphysicist of the twentieth century.
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 Werner Heisenberg formulated his uncertainty principle in 1927, Paul Diracstarted unifying quantum mechanics with special relativity, and ErwinSchrødinger invented wave mechanics. Other scientists took part in the furtherdeveloping , such as R.P. Feynman, F. Dyson, J. Swinger during the 1940’s.
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Max Planck Albert EinsteinWerner Heisenberg
 
Paul DiracErwin Schrõdinger Richard Feldman 
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Why quantum mechanics ?
Quantum mechanics is essential to understand the behaviour of systems at atomic lengthscale and smaller. For example, if classical mechanics governed the working of an atom,electrons would rapidly travel toward and collide with the nucleus, making stable atomsimpossible. However, in the natural world electrons remain in an uncertain, non-deterministic “smeared”, wave particle wave function, in an orbital path around orthrough the nucleus, defying classical electromagnetism.
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Classical physics is an imperfect theory, but is only so when dealing with very small ,atomic size field, where the quantum mechanics is used, or on the very fast, near thespeed of light, where the relativity takes over. For everyday things, which are muchlarger than atoms and much slower than the speed of light, classical physics does anexcellent job. Plus, it is much easier to use than either quantum mechanics or relativity,which require an extensive amount of mathematics.
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Heisenbergs uncertainty.
At the atomic scale of quantum mechanics, measurements become a very delicateprocess. Let’s say you want to find out where an electron is and where it is going. Howwould you do it? Get a super high powered magnifier and look for it? The very act of looking depends upon light, which is made of photons, and these photons could haveenough momentum that they hit the electron, and they would change its course!Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle completely flies in face of classical physics ! After all,the very foundation of science is the ability to measure things accurately, and nowquantum mechanics is saying that it’s impossible to get those measurements exact !But Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle is a fact of nature, impossible to get around it.
Ever heard about Schrõdinger’s equation ?
Every quantum particle ischaracterized by a wave function. In1925 Erwin Schrödinger developedthe differential equation whichdescribes the evolution of thosewave functions. By usingSchrödinger's equation scientists canfind the wave function which solves aparticular problem in quantummechanics. Unfortunately, it isusually impossible to find an exactsolution to the equation, so certainassumptions are used in order toobtain an approximate answer forthe particular problem.
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Take a loock at the equation, indeed some complicated forme, perhaps also for you ? Yes, let us forget the equation !
 
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