Quantum Mechanics

This video is about the stunning and perplexing field of quantum mechanics.

For a short outline of the contents of this video, see the summary.

For a complete written record of the words in this video, see the transcript.

Learn More

In Chard Orzel’s amusing book How to Teach Quantum Physics to Your Dog, he explains quantum mechanics to his dog Emmy:
http://www.amazon.com/How-Teach-Quantum-Physics-Your/dp/1416572295

Because quantum mechanics is so fantastically bizarre, the book Alice in Quantumland by Robert Gilmore parodies the tale of Alice in Wonderland with a quantum twist:
http://www.amazon.com/Alice-Quantumland-Allegory-Quantum-Physics/dp/0387914951

Richard Feynman’s thought-provoking and approachable book QED introduces the counterintuitive ideas of light and matter in quantum electrodynamics:
http://www.amazon.com/QED-Strange-Theory-Light-Matter/dp/0691024170

A central idea of quantum mechanics is Werner Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle:
http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/uncer.html

This video with Brian Green explores the history and development of quantum mechanics, including some of its most paradoxical features:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STF0moww_zQ

 

Research Challenges

You can actually perform the double slit experiment at home to observe the wave nature of light! To see an interference effect, you’ll have to shine a light at some very fine slits. Why do the slits need to be so thin?

The idea of quantum entanglement leads to some strange conclusions. Learn more about the EPR paradox and its implications.

During the development of quantum mechanics, Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr disagreed about how to interpret quantum mechanics. The two physicists engaged in a famous series of debates to discuss the issue. What were their positions and who do you agree with?

One of the early demonstrations of the quantum nature of light was the photoelectric effect. What is the photoelectric effect and what role did it play in the theory of wave-particle duality?

Quantum mechanics predicts the existence of “virtual particles” permeating empty space. What experiments can be performed to test this idea?

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