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delsaber8

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Thanks for any help in advance.

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- Thread starter delsaber8
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In summary: One of the few redeeming features of pop-sci crap is that is DOES whet some folks appetite for real science, so if you can keep in mind that they will oversimple some stuff and just get some stuff plain WRONG, then you don't need to avoid pop-sci versions. Just don't take it too seriously and if something doesn't pass any kind of smell test, come here and ask questions.

- #1

delsaber8

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Thanks for any help in advance.

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Also, are you interested in some pop-sci explanation of QM or the actual real thing?

- #3

delsaber8

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micromass said:

Also, are you interested in some pop-sci explanation of QM or the actual real thing?

I'm in grade 12 right now, and we have just started calculus so I know very basic differentiation, but other than that my knowledge is very little. My school only has physics in the second semester which means I have yet to do much with electricity and magnetism, but I do have some basic knowledge of the subject. As for the Quantum mechanics I am interested in learning, it would definitely be the real stuff, I want to stay as far away as I can from any sort of pop-sci QM.

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delsaber8 said:I'm in grade 12 right now, and we have just started calculus so I know very basic differentiation, but other than that my knowledge is very little. My school only has physics in the second semester which means I have yet to do much with electricity and magnetism, but I do have some basic knowledge of the subject. As for the Quantum mechanics I am interested in learning, it would definitely be the real stuff, I want to stay as far away as I can from any sort of pop-sci QM.

Well, then I'm afraid you're going to have to study the prerequisites first. The following book by Susskind should help you very much: https://www.amazon.com/dp/046502811X/?tag=pfamazon01-20 Other than that, there are the usual books on calculus, linear algebra and classical mechanics. QM isn't going to make much sense to you without these prereqs.

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delsaber8

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micromass said:Well, then I'm afraid you're going to have to study the prerequisites first. The following book by Susskind should help you very much: https://www.amazon.com/dp/046502811X/?tag=pfamazon01-20 Other than that, there are the usual books on calculus, linear algebra and classical mechanics. QM isn't going to make much sense to you without these prereqs.

Ok, that is actually kind of what I expected. As for linear algebra would that cover 3 dimensional graphing or just the 2-D kinda stuff? I've done most high school level classical mechanics except for circular motion, unless of course classical mechanics covers more than what I think it does. Anyway I suppose I would need more of a foundation to build on, and tackle the smaller stuff first.

Thanks for your help, and I will check out the book you mentioned

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delsaber8 said:Ok, that is actually kind of what I expected. As for linear algebra would that cover 3 dimensional graphing or just the 2-D kinda stuff?

Well, to be honest, you need the infinite dimensional case, which most linear algebra texts don't cover. Then again, most physicists starting QM don't know this, so don't consider this a necessary prereq. I would say you need to be very familiar with things like vector spaces, inner product spaces, spectral theorem, hermitian matrices, etc.

I've done most high school level classical mechanics except for circular motion, unless of course classical mechanics covers more than what I think it does. Anyway I suppose I would need more of a foundation to build on, and tackle the smaller stuff first.

I'd say you need to be comfortable with hamiltonian mechanics before being able to tackle QM.

- #7

delsaber8

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micromass said:Well, to be honest, you need the infinite dimensional case, which most linear algebra texts don't cover. Then again, most physicists starting QM don't know this, so don't consider this a necessary prereq. I would say you need to be very familiar with things like vector spaces, inner product spaces, spectral theorem, hermitian matrices, etc.

I'd say you need to be comfortable with hamiltonian mechanics before being able to tackle QM.

Considering I have never heard of the majority of the things you just listed I would have to agree.

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delsaber8 said:Considering I have never heard of the majority of the things you just listed I would have to agree.

One of the few redeeming features of pop-sci crap is that is DOES whet some folks appetite for real science, so if you can keep in mind that they will oversimple some stuff and just get some stuff plain WRONG, then you don't need to avoid pop-sci versions. Just don't take it too seriously and if something doesn't pass any kind of smell test, come here and ask questions.

Good luck with your studies

- #9

jtbell

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micromass said:Well, to be honest, you need the infinite dimensional case, which most linear algebra texts don't cover. Then again, most physicists starting QM don't know this, so don't consider this a necessary prereq. I would say you need to be very familiar with things like vector spaces, inner product spaces, spectral theorem, hermitian matrices, etc.

I'd say you need to be comfortable with hamiltonian mechanics before being able to tackle QM.

I don't know what it's like in other countries, but in the US, many students get their first exposure to QM in a second year college/university "intro modern physics" course which pre-supposes only calculus at the level needed for the typical first year introductory classical mechanics + E&M course. Typical textbooks include these:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0534493394/?tag=pfamazon01-20

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1118061144/?tag=pfamazon01-20

https://www.amazon.com/dp/142925078X/?tag=pfamazon01-20

(after that, students move on to a full-on QM course using something like Griffiths)

Even these books assume the student knows some integral calculus in addition to derivatives, so they might still be beyond the OP's reach.

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- #10

bhobba

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At your level I recommend the four book sequence:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0471827223/?tag=pfamazon01-20

https://www.amazon.com/dp/046502811X/?tag=pfamazon01-20

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0465036678/?tag=pfamazon01-20

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0071765638/?tag=pfamazon01-20

That will take you pretty far for a HS student - at the level of second year college students in the US and first year in countries like the UK and Australia that have calculus as standard at HS.

Eventually though you want a book that develops it from first principles in a complete way, including the difficult interpretive issues. That would be Ballentine:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/9810241054/?tag=pfamazon01-20

Thanks

Bill

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0471827223/?tag=pfamazon01-20

https://www.amazon.com/dp/046502811X/?tag=pfamazon01-20

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0465036678/?tag=pfamazon01-20

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0071765638/?tag=pfamazon01-20

That will take you pretty far for a HS student - at the level of second year college students in the US and first year in countries like the UK and Australia that have calculus as standard at HS.

Eventually though you want a book that develops it from first principles in a complete way, including the difficult interpretive issues. That would be Ballentine:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/9810241054/?tag=pfamazon01-20

Thanks

Bill

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- #11

WannabeNewton

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delsaber8 said:I've done most high school level classical mechanics except for circular motion, unless of course classical mechanics covers more than what I think it does.

You need to learn a lot more mechanics and electromagnetism before even venturing into QM. I'm curious though, because there was another thread not just a few days ago about another high schooler interested in learning QM, why exactly do you have this early interest in QM? When I was in the 12th grade the last thing I wanted to learn was QM

Keep in mind that the popular things you may have seen about QM in TV shows and books are a far cry from what textbook QM is actually like. Textbook QM can be very dry and computational, at least in my opinion (once you start calculating Clebsch-Gordan coefficients you'll be wishing you were back to the pretty, geometrical EM problems). Take your time with mechanics and electromagnetism-you might even have much more fun with them than you will with QM (I sure did) not to mention they are absolutely fundamental if you want to get a deep understanding of any physical theory.

- #12

bhobba

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WannabeNewton said:When I was in the 12th grade the last thing I wanted to learn was QM

Perhaps he (and the other poster) has thought about the hand-wavey stuff taught in grade 12 and HS in general about QM.

It sucked me in. I went out to work, did a degree part time, but it was always there - what exactly is the wave particle duality, what is an observer, what is an observation.

Then I read In Search of Schodinger's Cat which reported on Bell and the experiments of Aspect etc and I was totally hooked.

I studied on my own with Dirac and Von Nuemann, and after what in hindsight was too long an interlude investigating tricky mathematical issues such as Rigged Hilbert Spaces, eventually discovered Ballentine. It was a revelation.

Hopefully some of these bright HS students can be inspired towards the deeper understanding that will answer these questions.

Of course they will be replaced by others of a much deeper nature such as why complex numbers - which has an answer of course - but again it raises others - its never ending.

Thanks

Bill

- #13

delsaber8

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As for what interests me in QM, I'd have to say it is the ambiguity of the subject upon first glance. QM, at least to me seems so... out there and I mean I can google what is happening, but I want to know why it is happening. So in short, the mystery associated with QM is what interests me in it.

- #14

serllus reuel

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Quantum mechanics is a branch of physics that studies the behavior of particles at a microscopic level, such as atoms and subatomic particles. It explains how these particles interact and how they can exist in multiple states at the same time.

Quantum mechanics is the basis for our understanding of many fundamental principles in physics, including the behavior of light, the structure of atoms, and the development of technologies such as transistors and lasers. It also allows us to better understand the behavior of matter and energy at a fundamental level.

Quantum mechanics can be challenging to grasp at first due to its abstract concepts and mathematical complexity. However, with patience and practice, it can be understood by beginners with a basic understanding of mathematics and physics.

Some key concepts in quantum mechanics include superposition, where particles can exist in multiple states simultaneously, and entanglement, where particles can become connected and share information instantaneously regardless of distance. Other important concepts include wave-particle duality, uncertainty principle, and quantum tunneling.

Quantum mechanics has many practical applications in modern technology, including in medical imaging, computer and information technology, cryptography, and energy production. Understanding the principles of quantum mechanics can also lead to groundbreaking discoveries and advancements in various fields of science.

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