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What is quantum physics?

  1. Sep 10, 2008 #1
    I know that quantum physics is the physics of subatomic particals and that it has lots of "wierd" topics but what is the proof behind it and where sould i start to learn quantum physics? I've taken physics and studyed mechanics, therodynamics, viberations and waves, magnetism, optics and einstein's theorys of relitivity so a have at least a basic knolege of high school physics and i'm currently a high school senior. my school dosen't offer a 2'nt year of physics so i desided that i wanted to teach myslef quantum physics but i don't know where to start.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 10, 2008 #2
  4. Sep 11, 2008 #3


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    To really start to get "into" quantum mechanics, you need calculus.

    Many years ago when I was in high school, I got my introduction to atomic, nuclear and quantum physics by reading popular-level books like George Gamow's Thirty Years that Shook Physics. I think it's still a good starting place for the history and concepts, although it obviously doesn't discuss things like the Large Hadron Collider. :rolleyes:

    You might also try Gamow's "Mr. Tompkins" stories.
  5. Sep 11, 2008 #4
    I know calculus..... Well I got a 4 on the AB test I'm curently studying 3D calculus and Diffy Q's.
  6. Sep 11, 2008 #5
    well if you know diff eq. you should only learn the Hamilton formulation of physics. then you can go quantum ;)
  7. Sep 11, 2008 #6
    what is the main reason behind making the LHC? at my school some people who know nothing about physics and black holes were freaking out becouse they thought that the LHC was trying to make a black hole and they thought they were going to die. I know that even if the LHC actually makes a black hole it would be so small that hawlking radation would make it evaporate really fast and i also know that there trying to make a Huqes busim. i probley spelled it wrong but what is that?
  8. Sep 11, 2008 #7


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    You should read the Black Holes in the LHC thread and, if after reading that you wish to discuss it, please post in that thread.

    P.S. You mean the Higgs Boson.
  9. Sep 11, 2008 #8
    what is a good book for the hamilton formalation?
  10. Sep 11, 2008 #9


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    The standard book is Goldstein, Classical Mechanics (though it's probably a little old now, and not the best for a beginner). Here is a link to some lecture notes on the topic, which seem pretty useful. There was a very good set of lecture notes online on Lagrangian and Hamiltonian Mechanics, but I can't remember where. Perhaps someone else will be able to give some references.
  11. Sep 11, 2008 #10
    what's the difference between Lagrangian and Hamiltonian Mechanics?
  12. Sep 11, 2008 #11


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    I liked Feynman's introduction to quantum stuff - third volume of his lectures. Just read the first bit and that's a good taste. No calculus, if I recall. And much easier than anything in the first two volumes.
  13. Sep 11, 2008 #12
    its just 2 different formulation of newtons law. You need a well understanding of this and waves, especially the differential wave equation before you go quantum.

    I think you should read quantum physics and atomic physics before you go into particle physics
  14. Sep 11, 2008 #13
    Here are some lecture notes from Harvard by Howard Georgi: http://www.courses.fas.harvard.edu/~phys16/lectures/

    It's not as advanced as Goldstein or Tong but lo6.pdf and lo7.pdf treat the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formalism.

    EDIT: I got the link from 't Hooft's webpage http://www.phys.uu.nl/~thooft/theorist.html ,it also has some other links to Classical Mechanics and Quantum Mechanics lectures.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2008
  15. Sep 11, 2008 #14
    thanks that should get me started and keep me busy for a while
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