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Quantum Physics

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by stuPeas, Oct 3, 2007.

  1. stuPeas

    stuPeas Megabyte Poster

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    I'm was just wondering if anyone had a recommendation for a beginners guide to quantum physics. This is something I'd really like to learn more about but always end up confused with the explanations of light behaving as a wave AND a particle. I think it stems from me not actually knowing what a wave IS. I understand waves when related to a particle, i.e energy being transfered from one to another, but in space how does a wave exist??

    Any suggestions appreciated and remember I'm not THAT hot on traditional physics. :D

    Stu.
     
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  2. reiss

    reiss New Member

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    Hi stuPeas,
    Not a definitive guide but it is cheap and relatively short;

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Quantum-The...5345236?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1191425841&sr=8-1

    Cheers,
    Reiss
     
  3. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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  4. stuPeas

    stuPeas Megabyte Poster

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    Yeah, I looked at this stuff years ago, along with Heisenberg's uncertainty principle and similar stuff.
    A really good film is
    "What the $%^& do we know: Down the rabbit hole" but it goes on way to long.

    My interest is in what implications quantum theory has on the nature of reality as a whole (effecting humans). This stems from principles such as "Entanglement". However,until I fully understand the underlying principles I will get nowhere.
     
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  5. WMSheep

    WMSheep Bit Poster

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    The main thing to remember about ANYTHING quantum, is that there are lots of 0`s in any numbers quoted (the problem being, of course, trying to figure which side of the decimal point things go).
     
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  6. Mathematix

    Mathematix Megabyte Poster

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    There are two routes you can take when learning about quantum mechanics:

    1. Popular Science: This will allow you to skim over the subject enough to be confident enough when talking about the subject in general terms.

    2. Academic: Taking the knowledge further with applicable mathematical theory.

    A site theat no-one should be without is ScienceWorld. I would suggest that you visit your local book shop and take it from the popular science route if you have no former traing in physics and maths at least to A-level.
     
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  7. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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  8. stuPeas

    stuPeas Megabyte Poster

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    Cheers Guys, some really good links there. Now all I have to do is talk someone into buying them for me!! :D
     
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  9. Tinus1959

    Tinus1959 Gigabyte Poster

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    Maybe I can answer your question. Light can be seen in two different ways, as a wave and as a partikel. There are facts that point to one form or to the other form. In the double slit experiment for instance you have one lightsource that shines on a small slit in a screen. Behind that screen you would see a even spread of light.
    If you add a second slit in the screen, you will notice that there are dark bands and light bands. There seem to be some places where the two beams passing thrue the slits cancel each other out and other places where they add up. This is a typical property of a wave.
    But, if light hits a photo sensitive plate, it make a small darl spot (think of a photo as a collection of dark spots and light spots). This is typical for a partical.
    To explain both results they just say light is both. In space there is no 'medium' to support a wave. Well, there it is a partical.

    Maybe you could start with "dancing of the wu li masters". It starts of easy going deeper gradualy.
     
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  10. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

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    ahh.... Wave Particle Duality .....

    my bsc was in physics..... quantum physics, optics..... applied mathematics..... I remember those days well.
    some of them anyway :)

    I'm afraid I can't recommend any reading - unless its degree/phd level - sorry :rolleyes:
     
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  11. Stoney

    Stoney Megabyte Poster

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    You could try reading Stephen Hawkings' 'A brief history of time'. He does a very good job of explaining quantum physics without getting too bogged down in all the technical detail.

    It may be a nice starter for you?
     
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  12. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Yeah, I was a physics minor, and the only physics books I'd know to recommend are the ones I used for my classes... not sure that makes for light reading. :D
     
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  13. Mathematix

    Mathematix Megabyte Poster

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    I gather you read theoretical physics? The head of my section at work was a student of Stephen Hawking at Cambridge, maybe I should hook you guys up! :D
     
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  14. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

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    And I bet he'd wipe the floor with me as well :D

    I think at that level most of it is theoretical and less physical.
     
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  15. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

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    <derkit thinking in career mode.... hmmm, another contact within the industry - and a head of section also.....>

    :twisted:
     
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  16. feely

    feely Bit Poster

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    I would (and did) start with "In Search of Schrodinger's Cat". Is is based on a thought experiment done by Edwin Schrodinger...It goes into the weird stuff, like how a particle can be in a superposition - meaing (if I have it right) that it can be in a number of states at one time, and it is only through the act of observing that the superposition breaks down.

    Also, there is "The Elegant Universe" which goes into string theory and stuff, but it involves alot of quantum physics.

    Hope that helps a bit :)

    I will be starting the quantum physics stuff soon in my course...cannot wait :)

    Sean
     
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  17. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

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    Just reading a couple of paragraphs of that has fried mty brain :D
     
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  18. Mathematix

    Mathematix Megabyte Poster

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    As you would with Hawking himself, right? :biggrin
     
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  19. Mathematix

    Mathematix Megabyte Poster

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    Not IT though... video games industry. :)
     
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  20. feely

    feely Bit Poster

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    Oh crap, didn't realise someone already posted about Schrodinger's Cat....sorry :blink
     
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