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Quantum Physics For Dummies, Revised Edition

ISBN: 978-1-118-46082-5
336 pages
January 2013
Quantum Physics For Dummies, Revised Edition (1118460820) cover image

Quantum Physics For Dummies, Revised Edition helps make quantum physics understandable and accessible. From what quantum physics can do for the world to understanding hydrogen atoms, readers will get complete coverage of the subject, along with numerous examples to help them tackle the tough equations. Compatible with classroom text books and courses, Quantum Physics For Dummies, Revised Edition lets students study at their own paces and helps them prepare for graduate or professional exams. Coverage includes:

  • The Schrodinger Equation and its Applications
  • The Foundations of Quantum Physics
  • Vector Notation
  • Spin
  • Scattering Theory, Angular Momentum, and more

Your plain-English guide to understanding and working with the micro world

Quantum physics — also called quantum mechanics or quantum field theory — can be daunting for even the most dedicated student or enthusiast of science, math, or physics. This friendly, concise guide makes this challenging subject understandable and accessible, from atoms to particles to gases and beyond. Plus, it's packed with fully explained examples to help you tackle the tricky equations like a pro!

  • Compatible with any classroom course — study at your own pace and prepare for graduate or professional exams
  • Your journey begins here — understand what quantum physics is and what kinds of problems it can solve
  • Know the basic math — from state vectors to quantum matrix manipulations, get the foundation you need to proceed
  • Put quantum physics to work — make sense of Schrödinger's equation and handle particles bound in square wells and harmonic oscillators
  • Solve problems in three dimensions — use the full operators to handle wave functions and eigenvectors to find the natural wave functions of a system
  • Discover the latest research — learn the cutting-edge quantum physics theories that aim to explain the universe itself
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Introduction 1

Part I: Small World, Huh? Essential Quantum Physics 7

Chapter 1: Discoveries and Essential Quantum Physics 9

Chapter 2: Entering the Matrix: Welcome to State Vectors 23

Part II: Bound and Undetermined: Handling Particles in Bound States 55

Chapter 3: Getting Stuck in Energy Wells 57

Chapter 4: Back and Forth with Harmonic Oscillators 91

Part III: Turning to Angular Momentum and Spin 125

Chapter 5: Working with Angular Momentum on the Quantum Level 127

Chapter 6: Getting Dizzy with Spin 157

Part IV: Multiple Dimensions: Going 3D with Quantum Physics 167

Chapter 7: Rectangular Coordinates: Solving Problems in Three Dimensions 169

Chapter 8: Solving Problems in Three Dimensions: Spherical Coordinates 189

Chapter 9: Understanding Hydrogen Atoms 205

Chapter 10: Handling Many Identical Particles 231

Part V: Group Dynamics: Introducing Multiple Particles 253

Chapter 11: Giving Systems a Push: Perturbation Theory 255

Chapter 12: Wham-Blam! Scattering Theory 275

Part VI: The Part of Tens 293

Chapter 13: Ten Quantum Physics Tutorials 295

Chapter 14: Ten Quantum Physics Triumphs 299

Glossary 303

Index 309

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