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Independent study for lab work

  1. Mar 24, 2016 #1
    Hi everybody,

    I'm a second semester physics major who was fortunate enough to get a position in a research group at my school. What I want to do is get a head start on learning the physics that this lab studies. Currently, I'm in the honors section of basic E & M and I do well in class, not really having any issues. What the lab I'm in studies is the fractional quantum hall effect in 2D electron gases. I've learned all about the "normal" hall effect in class and I'm SO curious about the quantum hall effect that we're measuring. My question is this: Is there a reasonable way for me to start learning about the basics of quantum mechanics to give me an understanding of the fractional quantum hall effect? I understand that I have a LONG way to go before I'm there, but I'm so curious that I can barely stand it. If there is a way, could somebody point me in the right direction of where to start studying? I'm getting into reading papers that other universities publish about the same research, but I always get lost once things get quantum. Any help?

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 24, 2016 #2
    You may just want to figure out which book the quantum course there uses, buy it, and then look through the necessary chapters when you come across something you don't know.
  4. Mar 25, 2016 #3
    Normally, one devotes at least a year to quantum mechanics starting from the level of Griffiths to that of Sakurai. In your case, I would suggest to go through the papers you wish to understand, identify the portions which require the knowledge of quantum mechanics and try to get that knowledge from the textbooks. It is hard and unconventional, but you may have to start doing it at some point.
    Also you can get much oriented advice from the members of your group who have been doing the research in that field. Find a graduate student or a postdoc who is patient enough and willing enough to explain the relevant concepts.
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