How much Quantum for nanoelectronics as an EE

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In summary, the conversation discusses the importance of quantum mechanics in electrical engineering research, specifically in the field of nanoelectronics and optoelectronics. The person is wondering how much quantum mechanics they should include in their curriculum and if it is worth taking an extra course in mechanics. It is mentioned that many electrical engineers in this field also have a background in physics, and there is a debate over whether understanding the physics behind new nano-devices is necessary or if the focus should be on practical applications. The expert's recommendation is to take an introductory quantum course instead of the more advanced one, unless the mechanics course is required for their degree.
  • #1
Hi I was wondering how much quantum mechanics I should fit into my curriculum in order to to do research with nanoelectronics and optoelectronics in the future? At the moment I am an undergraduate working on both a BE and ME in Electrical Engineering at the same time (special scholars program) with that masters concentration in Photonics/Microelectronics. I do eventually plan on getting a PhD with research focused more in the nanoelectronics field. At the moment I can either only take an introductory quantum mechanics course or I can take that course along with the next level of quantum mechanics. The only problem with the later version is that I would need to take a prelim course in intro to mechanics which would be a completely extra class that wouldn't go towards either of my degrees. I was wondering if its worth going with the second choice even if it means the extra grad class (i take approx 20ish creds a semester and this would make it about 23). I will list the textbooks below that the two quantum classes use for a guideline to the material covered and the intro to mechanics course pretty much covers hamiltonians, lagrangians tensors etc.
Intro to quantum course: Introductory quantum mechanics, Liboff
Next level quantum course: Gottfried, Quantum Mechanics, Schiff, Quantum Mechanics

I guess the more general question I am getting at is just how involved are the electrical engineers researching in this field involved directly with the physics that have to do with these new nano-devices (quantum dots etc.) or is the role of the EE in this field researching ways for these new devices to actually be used so just understanding how they work will be enough?
  • #3
Is the mechanics course truly required for your degree? If not, my vote goes for taking an introductory quantum course instead.

Quantum mechanics, to my knowledge, is very important in modern electrical engineering research. In my school's EE department, a lot of people research in semiconductor/nanoelectronics, which involves great amount of quantum (a lot of professors in fact has physics background). There is even a professor who has a BS, MS, and a PhD in electrical engineering, but is widely renowned for his work in semiconductor physics and is labeled a physicist in his books, etc...

1. How does Quantum mechanics relate to nanoelectronics in the field of electrical engineering?

Quantum mechanics is the branch of physics that studies the behavior of matter and energy at a very small scale, such as atoms and subatomic particles. In nanoelectronics, which deals with extremely small electronic components, quantum mechanics is essential for understanding the behavior of electrons and their interactions with materials at the nanoscale. By applying quantum mechanics principles, engineers are able to design and develop more efficient and powerful nanoelectronic devices.

2. What are the key applications of Quantum mechanics in nanoelectronics?

Quantum mechanics plays a crucial role in several key applications in nanoelectronics, such as quantum computing, quantum sensors, quantum cryptography, and quantum communication. These applications utilize the unique properties of quantum mechanics, such as superposition and entanglement, to achieve unprecedented performance and capabilities in electronic devices.

3. How much knowledge of Quantum mechanics is necessary for an electrical engineer working in nanoelectronics?

An electrical engineer working in nanoelectronics should have a solid understanding of the basic principles of quantum mechanics, including concepts such as wave-particle duality, energy levels, and quantum tunneling. They should also be familiar with the mathematical tools used to describe quantum systems, such as the Schrödinger equation and matrix algebra.

4. What are the challenges of incorporating Quantum mechanics into nanoelectronic devices?

One of the main challenges of incorporating Quantum mechanics into nanoelectronic devices is the difficulty of controlling and manipulating individual quantum systems. At the nanoscale, the behavior of electrons becomes more unpredictable and sensitive to external factors, making it challenging to design and fabricate reliable devices. Additionally, the cost and complexity of building and maintaining quantum-based devices can also be a significant challenge.

5. How will the use of Quantum mechanics in nanoelectronics impact the future of electrical engineering?

The integration of Quantum mechanics into nanoelectronics has the potential to revolutionize the field of electrical engineering. It can lead to the development of more powerful and efficient devices, such as faster computers and more sensitive sensors. It can also open up new possibilities for emerging technologies, such as quantum computing and communication, which have the potential to greatly impact various industries and fields. Therefore, understanding and utilizing Quantum mechanics in nanoelectronics will play a vital role in shaping the future of electrical engineering.

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