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Studying How to learn Quantum Physics?

  1. Sep 14, 2016 #1
    Hello,
    I am very interested in learning Quantum Physics however I want to know what the prerequisite knowledge is, what math and physics i require before taking up Quantum Physics.

    I would really appreciate it if someone could make a list or something of that sort so I could know where to begin.

    Thanks
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 14, 2016 #2

    micromass

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    Maybe it would be useful to tell us what you already know so that we can tell you what you need to know more.

    I think the bare minimum is a calculus course, some knowledge of differential equations, linear algebra, classical mechanics and electricity and magnetism.

    I think it would be even better if you also had knowledge of theoretical linear algebra such as vector spaces, inner product spaces, dual spaces, ... and if you knew Lagrangians and Hamiltonians from mechanics.
     
  4. Sep 14, 2016 #3
    I believe I know the basics in physics and maths, i have studied IGCSE Physics code:0625 and IGCSE maths code: 0580. (If you like you could just type the code and the syllabus will be the one of the links). Please advise what is best for me.

    Thanks for responding so quickly, and i just want to have a strong foundation before i begin something as complicated as quantum physics.
     
  5. Sep 14, 2016 #4
    (For reference, it looks like IGCSE Physics 0625 is some sort of physics for non-majors, or in best case a physics I-II-III smattering?)

    For IGCSE math, the syllabus consists of "number (??), algebra and graphs, geometry, mensuration, coordinate geometry, trigonometry, matrices and transformations, probability and statistics".

    Like Onimorf said, you're going to want some calculus. I'm not sure that classical mechanics and E&M beyond what is covered in your IGCSE Physics 0625 course is necessary for a start in QM, but definitely calculus and linear algebra (beyond what I assume is a couple of weeks in "matrices and transformations") is necessary.
     
  6. Sep 14, 2016 #5

    micromass

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    I'm sorry, but this means nothing to me. Please just type out the topics you know.
     
  7. Sep 14, 2016 #6
    Micromass and Dishsoap, could you please check these links(copy paste 'em), i dont mean to be rude but if you read the syllabus yourself you will have a much better idea of what i know rather than me typing(you may mistake me for knowing something i do not) It will only take about 20 mins max:

    http://www.cie.org.uk/images/167041-2016-2018-syllabus.pdf
    http://www.cie.org.uk/images/203911-2017-2018-syllabus.pdf

    If you really need me to type it out I will.

    Also dishsoap i have learnt matrices and transformations, if you read the syllabus you will know to what depth i know these topics(or if i type it out) and i think you are right by saying this is a non-major physics.
     
  8. Sep 14, 2016 #7

    Vanadium 50

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    ...my time is so much more valuable than yours that I am not going to wade through 80 pages of documents to answer you when you can do it yourselves.
     
  9. Sep 14, 2016 #8

    micromass

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    Nope, I'm not going to put in 20 minutes. It's your question, so you need to make sure you include all relevant information. If you don't do so, then that's your problem, not mine.
     
  10. Sep 14, 2016 #9
    I did look up the syllabus and posted a summary above:

    (For reference, it looks like IGCSE Physics 0625 is some sort of physics for non-majors, or in best case a physics I-II-III smattering?)

    For IGCSE math, the syllabus consists of "number (??), algebra and graphs, geometry, mensuration, coordinate geometry, trigonometry, matrices and transformations, probability and statistics".
     
  11. Sep 14, 2016 #10
    I know. This could mean anything from "you know how to multiply matrices" to "you have an in-depth knowledge of vector spaces and bases", and seeing as it's only one with ~10 other unrelated topics, I'm leaning more towards the former.
     
  12. Sep 14, 2016 #11
    Please this is not what i implied, if i type it out as micromass requested i will just type topic names. I dont want micromass or dishsoap to think i know something i do not. I mean for example i have studied electromagnetism but if i just say that micromass will not know to what depth. On the syllabus links i sent it is given very well, to what depth i know the topic. Even if i type it out here its gonna be a lot to read.

    Im sorry it came out that way, really, i probably didnt type it right.
     
  13. Sep 14, 2016 #12
    Im sorry dishsoap but i dont understand what you mean by this, could you tell it to me in another way?
     
  14. Sep 14, 2016 #13

    f95toli

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    IGCSE is an "international" version of the GCSE exams all kids do here in England when they are 16 years old. GCSEs are the last exams you do as part of your secondary education (=the last part of the compulsory education) before you do your A-levels (my step-son will be doing his GCSE math exams in the spring).
    Some GCSE math is actually quite advanced, but it will obviously not cover e.g. calculus at the level you would e.g. find in a first university course in the same subject.
     
  15. Sep 14, 2016 #14

    Vanadium 50

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    So is it reasonable to conclude Onimorf has the experience of a typical entering college freshman?
     
  16. Sep 14, 2016 #15
    If you do not understand what I said, then you need more background in linear algebra. You understand only how to do things with matrices, but you do not understand the theory or concepts behind what matrices and vectors represent, which is the very foundation of quantum mechanics (and prerequisite knowledge).

    I'm going to repeat what the others said, but without the condescension. You need to take calculus and linear algebra before you can begin to study quantum mechanics efficiently.
     
  17. Sep 14, 2016 #16
    Exactly f95toli. I have not done the A-Levels however, in my case we had up to grade 13(which is A-levels) but i have done up to grade 11. 12th grade is AS levels. I have finished 11th grade, i answered my 11th grade board exams, IGCSE board exams in 2016 may/june batch.
     
  18. Sep 14, 2016 #17
    Okay, thanks a lot dishsoap.
     
  19. Sep 14, 2016 #18

    Vanadium 50

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    You need the full calculus sequence, differential equations, some linear algebra, the full elementary physics series at the level of Halliday, and ideally a little on periodic motion, at the level of French's "Waves". Then you will be ready for QM at the level of Eisberg and Resnick.
     
  20. Sep 14, 2016 #19

    ZapperZ

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    Here's something that you may not be aware of. You cannot learn physics in bits and pieces. You cannot JUST learn QM without learning other parts of physics such as classical mechanics and classical E&M.

    For example, when you want to set up the Schrodinger equation for a central potential, such as for a hydrogen atom, how would you know what kind of a central potential to write without knowing classical E&M? Or if you want to do a quantum harmonic oscillator problem, how would you know what the potential field should be without already understanding simple harmonic problem?

    This is why college courses in QM have clear prerequisites that you must satisfy BEFORE enrolling in such classes. Otherwise, things will appear out of nowhere and you won't understand why.

    Zz.
     
  21. Sep 14, 2016 #20
    I agree with Zz, however many undergrad QM courses (such as the one at my undergrad university) are taught before E&M and Classical Mechanics, and only the material learned in the general physics courses is considered to be prerequisite knowledge. It seems as though you did do a speed-run of general physics, so once you review this material and take linear algebra/calculus, you might be ready for QM at the Griffiths level.
     
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