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Where do I start with quantum physics?

  1. Feb 1, 2017 #1
    I'm really interested in quantum physics and want to my own learning on it,but what does it contain, generally? And where should I start with it?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 1, 2017 #2
    Please tell us the following:
    1) What math do you know?
    2) What physics do you know?
    3) Why do you want to study QM?
    4) What do you think QM is about?
  4. Feb 1, 2017 #3
    I'm not saying I want to study QM at a university or something, its just something I want to do in my spare time, out of interest.
  5. Feb 1, 2017 #4
    I don't get why you ignore the very specific questions I asked you? Are you that busy?
  6. Feb 1, 2017 #5
    1. Well, everything based upto Core 1 maths, and some S1 and C2.
    2. Mechanics (SIVAT, projectiles, momentum, moments, components of forces), Electricity (Most equations, total resistance in series and parallel circuits, and some theory (we are still doing electricity right now)), Materials (Stokes' law, Hooke's law, pressure, stress/strain, density, viscosity), Waves (Types of waves, parts of a wave, phases, harmonics, some wave equations (we are working through this), wave-particle duality and the dual slit experiment (we will do this, this year but I already know about it know), and I also know about quarks and other fundamental particles, and some exotic atoms. (If it helps, I do A level Chemistry and am on Year 1)
    3. I just find it really interesting to be honest, and I want to know what its about, out of interest.
    4. Well, I know it has something with light being a particle and wave. The photon effect (or something like that), and maybe stuff with atoms and exotic atoms.
  7. Feb 1, 2017 #6
    You're in high school right?
  8. Feb 1, 2017 #7


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    I don't know if anybody will know what that means. Have you taken calculus and differential equations?
  9. Feb 1, 2017 #8
    Sort of, we call it secondary school here, and I'm Year 12 (12th grade) but I don't know how physics, maths and chemistry differs between here and the US.
  10. Feb 1, 2017 #9
    Not sure about calculus, over here, it is literally called GCSE Mathematics in Year 11, and in Year 12/13 you have Core 1, Core 2, Stats1, Core 3, Core 4, Stats 2.

    In Core 1 we did differentiation, integration, sum and series, coordinate geometry, indices, inequalities and simultaneous equations (I think that's it).
    In Core 2 we have done geometric series, equations of a circle w/ coordinate geometry and polynomials. We will do Binomial theorem next.
  11. Feb 1, 2017 #10
    Just to let you know, you can see pastpapers here: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/math...mathematics-6360/past-papers-and-mark-schemes
    For me, only look at Pure Core 1-4, and Statistics 1 & 2. The rest we don't do. I have only completed Pur Core 1, and done some of Stats 1 and Pure Core 2.
    All Phsyics oast papers here: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/as-and-a-level/physics-a-2450/past-papers-and-mark-schemes
    Only look at Unit 02, which is Year 1, Unit 01 has Year 1 electricity too, but it is limited, so avoid it.
  12. Feb 1, 2017 #11
    A level maths isnt enough.
  13. Feb 1, 2017 #12
    I kinda thought that, but I just want to read about QM.
  14. Feb 1, 2017 #13


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    Maybe start with a simplified YouTube video?

    (EDIT -- please excuse the title of the video, I mean nothing bad by it).
  15. Feb 1, 2017 #14
    Most of that I already knew.
  16. Feb 1, 2017 #15


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    Staff: Mentor

    Well, that's a good start.

    Since you will need a basic understanding of Differential Equations in order to get very far with QM (in my opinion), can you do a little reading about DEs and see if that makes sense too? :smile:
  17. Feb 1, 2017 #16
    OK, good. So here's the thing. You're missing a lot of background. So I see three options for you:

    1) You want to read something about QM now. Then you'll have to read some popular science texts.
    2) You read the little bit of QM that can be found in introductory physics books like in Halliday.
    3) You work hard to get a solid background so you can read about real QM and the way it's really done.

    The choice is yours. But only the third option will give actual understanding. But it might take a long time before you get to do anything close to QM.
  18. Feb 1, 2017 #17
    Grab a physical chemistry book.
    It will have QM basic.
  19. Feb 3, 2017 #18


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    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  20. Feb 3, 2017 #19
    I recommend Susskind video's, but not exactly sure in what order you should watch them. They are on youtube.

    I also feel I must say you might be disappointed by QM. You will learn that for a very basic system, we can do calculations. But for everything more complex than the most basic systems, stuff gets so complicated, it has to be numerically approximated, and 'purity' is lost.

    Having seen the basic maths and having passed some QM courses, I don't really feel I know that more right now than when I only knew the math-less popular science version of QM.

    In some ways, it was fun and interesting. But it never gave me some special revelation nor did it ever feel very satisfying.
  21. Feb 3, 2017 #20


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