• Support PF! Buy your school textbooks, materials and every day products Here!

The basics

  • Thread starter JDude13
  • Start date
  • #1
95
0

Main Question or Discussion Point

Okay... I've spent a week stumbling through this site, asking random questions, and generally annoying people. Here it is:

What are the basic maths and physics laws someone should know before tackling quantum mechanics?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
124
0
imho, one should know classical physics (Mechanics, Electromagnetism and Thermodynamics) to put things into perspective (that is, why does one need to know QM?) and the associated mathematical methods these branches require (Calculus, Vector Analysis, Linear Algebra, Differential Equations...). Most QM books teach the required mathematics as you move along.
 
  • #3
A. Neumaier
Science Advisor
Insights Author
2019 Award
7,262
3,144
Okay... I've spent a week stumbling through this site, asking random questions, and generally annoying people.
You'd annoy people less if you were less arrogant and accept the answers as a service done for you for which you'd be grateful even if you don't agree with them. Those answering you spend their time for _you_!

The way you currently answer doesn't make people inclined to give you further (and useful) answers.
 
  • #4
95
0
You'd annoy people less if you were less arrogant and accept the answers as a service done for you for which you'd be grateful even if you don't agree with them. Those answering you spend their time for _you_!

The way you currently answer doesn't make people inclined to give you further (and useful) answers.
C'mon, man... Gimme a break... I'm making an effort to better myself.
 
  • #5
A. Neumaier
Science Advisor
Insights Author
2019 Award
7,262
3,144
C'mon, man... Gimme a break... I'm making an effort to better myself.
Good!

What are the basic maths and physics laws someone should know before tackling quantum mechanics?
Most important are:

Math:
1. Linear algebra (thoroughly; most of quantum mechanics is essentially linear algebra in infinite-dimensional spaces)
2. Calculus (up to partial derivatives)
3. Probability theory (basics)

Physics:
Classical theoretical mechanics (Lagrange and Hamilton formulation)
Special relativity (basics)
Thermodynamics (but this can come a bit later)

Learn all that in parallel to trying to understand the topics that really interest you.

You can find relevant background information in chapters C4 (nontechnical, with links) and A1 (slightly more demanding) of my theoretical physics FAQ at http://www.mat.univie.ac.at/~neum/physfaq/physics-faq.html
Things you don't understand in A1 will show you where you need prior practice.
 
  • #6
95
0
Special relativity (basics)
purely out of curiosity:
according to brian greene, quantum mechanics and special relativity conflict each other... Will i get confused if i try to learn it alongside quantum mechanics?
(i have a very basic knowledge of special relativity... Tensors escape me...)
 
  • #7
A. Neumaier
Science Advisor
Insights Author
2019 Award
7,262
3,144
according to brian greene, quantum mechanics and special relativity conflict each other... Will i get confused if i try to learn it alongside quantum mechanics?
Only quantum mechanics and _general_ relativity seem to conflict. The marriage of quantum mechanics and special relativity is called relativistic quantum field theory and is mostly happy, with troubles about mathematical rigor in the 4D case kept in the underground.

You won't get confused by learning quantum mechanics and special relativity in parallel, if you wait with bringing the two together until you have a reasonable understanding of both separately.

You need some understanding of both in order to get what elementary particles are (namely irreducible unitary representations of the Poincare group).


(i have a very basic knowledge of special relativity... Tensors escape me...)
Do you understand matrices and their multiplication?
 

Related Threads on The basics

  • Last Post
Replies
16
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
7
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
2K
Replies
1
Views
505
Replies
4
Views
765
Replies
8
Views
886
Replies
18
Views
2K
Replies
6
Views
3K
Top