Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Quantum theory and electronic engineering

  1. May 23, 2014 #1
    I'm an electronics engineering student and I've only had a introductory one-semester course to quantum mechanics, so I don't really have much knowledge on quantum physics
    I'd like to get more information about the topic Quantum Information in electronics

    what is real use of quantum theory in electronics engineering field ?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 24, 2014 #2

    Simon Bridge

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    The field you want is "solid state physics".
    Quantum theory is used to build and model very small components.
  4. May 24, 2014 #3
    that means diode transistor are made with silicon atom
    so I read quantum theory for components
  5. May 24, 2014 #4

    Simon Bridge

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Not just silicone semiconductors ;)
    It is now possible to build crystals one layer of atoms at a time - so you get nanometer scale structures with novel properties.
  6. May 24, 2014 #5
    all component like resistor , capacitor , inductor transistor made with atom
    we can apply quantum theory to design component
  7. May 24, 2014 #6


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Transistors and diodes cannot be understood without quantum theory; you will make use of it when you take a solid state devices course.

    Resistors, capacitors, inductors and other linear devices don't require quantum theory to understand or design, though if you make them on the nanoscale the models must take quantum theory into account.

    In the future electronics may be based on spintronics; this only makes sense when viewed via quantum theory. New materials such as graphene (single or multiple layers) requires quantum theory; etc. When you take an advanced course in thermodynamics/heat transfer you will find that statistical mechanics depends upon quantum theory.

    But in an engineering curriculum they will only teach enough quantum theory so that you can understand what is going on; that is, you will understand it well enough to be able to make use of it in the design of devices or systems. Oftimes this requires only semi-classical quantum theory.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook