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Getting Started

  1. Aug 17, 2011 #1
    Forgive my extreme ignorance and lackof; but recently while doing some reading certain questions regarding topics of Quantum Mechanics were brought up and quite honestly, although I do not understand their reasoning fully, I am captivated nonetheless.

    I would like, if anyone has time, to just give me some foundation reading, for someone interested in learning the basics of Quantum Mechanics(moreover trying to begin to understand such things)

    I understand that one does not just 'start' here, in this subject; but I ask you all, where would I start?

    Books, research topics, theories, keywords etc

    Thanks for Any Input
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 17, 2011 #2

    Drakkith

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    Staff: Mentor

    I'm currently reading "The Amazing Story Of Quantum Mechanics" by James Kakalios. It's a pretty good read. I also recommend "An Illustrated Guide to Quantum Mechanics". I don't know the author, as I don't have it on me at the time. It's really small, like half the length/width of a normal book, but a really good read.
     
  4. Aug 18, 2011 #3
    You'd have to say a lot more about your background and what level you are interested in learning to. Answers would vary a lot - you might be a high-school student or graduate with no physics background, a college physics major looking to get a head start, a college graduate or graduate student in a science that does not cover or care about quantum mechanics, etc. You might for example just look at the Wikipedia article on QM and see how much you understand.
     
  5. Aug 18, 2011 #4
    Well, that makes sense. I've graduated high school, years back. I will be attending college again..someday, but I've been out of the school system for several years now.

    After reading the Wiki article, I will not play like I understand everything. I feel like I have the ability to grasp the larger concepts and the math isn't much of an issue at this point.

    I understand there are several answers to my query, as it is quite broad, but nevertheless I am still looking for a place 'to start'

    Assume I know nothing and I am looking at this for the first time. That is probably most accurate, while some laws/formulae will be familiar to me, as a whole I will still be as lost as anyone with little to knowledge.

    Thank You
     
  6. Aug 18, 2011 #5

    Drakkith

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    Staff: Mentor

    Go to the wiki article on Physics and start from there. As good a place as any in my opinion.
     
  7. Aug 18, 2011 #6
    Well, I understand physics and all fundamental science is obviously foundation thinking for this type of logic, but I guess I should get more specific now with what I am aiming for:

    Schrödinger's cat came up, I'm sure you're familiar with this theory, if you will.

    What I am looking for is a means towards understanding the concept of multiple universes, as well the effect of consciousness on the outcome of any given situation. Conscious awareness.

    I speak of these things with an extreme lack of intelligence on the matters, so forgive me. As I said before, I understand physics, many fields of fundamental science and further down the road quantum mechanics will aid in my understanding of such theories as Schrödinger's; but are there pieces to this puzzle I am missing?

    Thank You
     
  8. Aug 18, 2011 #7

    Drakkith

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    I don't think either of those are really "mainstream" science. And I think the latter is a misconception about QM.

    If you get the two books I mentioned above they would be a good place to start.
     
  9. Aug 18, 2011 #8
    I understand they aren't mainstream by any means, just incredibly interesting. To me at least. And I'd like to know more about their fundamentals to further understand.

    I'll take a look at the books you recommended, I appreciate the suggestions.

    Would you elaborate on the misconception?

    Thanks Drak
     
  10. Aug 18, 2011 #9

    Drakkith

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    The problem is that IF it is a misconception, then you end up learning all the wrong info unless you are careful. To the best of my (limited) knowledge on the subject, multiverses are a concept that are exaggerated in the extreme by almost everyone. Note that something like string theory having 11 dimensions is NOT the same as multiple universes.

    As for consciousness affecting an outcome, other than the obvious where I choose to do something, there is no effect. QM experiments operate exactly the same whether you have a computer performing the experiment or a person. This is based on multiple threads here on PF that I have seen that argue one side or the other. The idea that certain effects happen or don't happen based on someone knowing the information or not is, to my knowledge, an interpretation of the results. I am definitely not an expert on QM so don't consider my posts to be 100% accurate.
     
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