240 pages | 65 B/W Illus.
Quantum mechanics is one of the most challenging subjects to learn. It is challenging because quantum phenomenon is counterintuitive, and the mathematics used to explain such a phenomenon is very abstract, and difficult to grasp. This textbook is an attempt to overcome these challenges. Every chapter presents quantum ideas step- by- step in a structured way with a comparison between quantum and classical concepts. It provides a clear distinction between classical and quantum logic. Conceptual questions are provided after every important section so that the reader can test their understanding at every step. Such an approach aids in preventing misconceptions. Problem solving is not restricted to solving differential equations and integration. But it requires to systematically and creatively analyze a problem, to apply the new and powerful concepts for finding a solution and to understand the physical meaning of the solution. The tutorials on special topics are an effort to teach problem solving by actively engaging the reader in a thinking process, to apply the concepts and to understand the physical meaning of the solution. The simulations are provided for some of the topics. The simulations aid in the visualization of the quantum phenomenon, and for meaningful understanding of the mathematics. This approach may lead to development of "quantum mechanical intuition "as well as learning mathematical techniques for problem solving. Most importantly, the book is not flooded with numerous topics that makes the reader confused and distracted, rather the most important topics are discussed at a deeper level. The understanding of quantum mechanics is incomplete without understanding the early ideas and experiments that lead to the development of the quantum theory. Thus, the first two chapters of the book are dedicated to such topics.
The key features of this book are:
Electromagnetic radiation behaving as particle. Blackbody Radiation. The Photoelectric effect. X-Rays. Particles behaving as wave: concept of matter waves. De Broglie’s matter waves. Double-slit Experiment. Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. Measurement and Observation. Wave Mechanics: Schrodinger’s wave equation of a particle. The Schrodinger equation. Stationary states. Expectation values, Uncertainties and operators. Particle-Wave propagation (wavepacket, phase and group velocities). Differences between quantum mechanics and classical mechanics. Wave Mechanics: Schrodinger’s wave equation of a particle- II. Particle in a box-The infinite square well. The finite square well. The free-particle. The potential step. The potential barrier and tunneling. Matrix Mechanics: Formalism. Matrix Algebra. Transformation theory. Matrix theory of the harmonic oscillator. Equation of motion using matrix mechanics. Differences between matrix mechanics and wave equation approaches. Quantum Mechanics in Three Dimensions and the Hydrogen Atom. The Schrodinger Equation in Three Dimensions. The 3D Infinite well. Energy Quantization and Spectral Lines in Hydrogen Atom. The Schrodinger Equation for a Central Force. Quantum Mechanics in three dimensions – II. Applications of Quantum Mechanics