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The Quantum Revolution by Roy McWeeny in pdf


Download this PDF book: Basic Books in Science Book 11 The Quantum Revolution by Roy McWeeny

This book is devoted to the second great scientific revolution of the last century, the development of Quantum Mechanics as the necessary replacement of Newtonian dynamics in dealing with the motion of the ultimate constituents of matter - particles like electrons and protons, which may carry electric charges and interact with each other through the fields they produce.

In a world increasingly driven by information technology no educational experiment can hope to make a significant impact without effective bridges to the ‘user community’ – the students and their teachers. 

In the case of “Basic Books in Science” (for brevity, “the Series”), these bridges have been provided as a result of the enthusiasm and good will of Dr. David Peat (The Pari Center for New Learning), who first offered to host the Series on his website, and of Dr. Jan Visser (The Learning Development Institute), who set up a parallel channel for further development of the project. 

The credit for setting up and maintaining the bridgeheads, and for promoting the project in general, must go entirely to them. Education is a global enterprise with no boundaries and, as such, is sure to meet linguistic difficulties: these will be reduced by providing translations into some of the world’s most widely used languages. 

Dr. Angel S. Sanz (Madrid) is preparing Spanish versions of the books and his initiative is most warmly appreciated. We appreciate the interest shown by universities in Sub-Saharan Africa (e.g. University of the Western Cape and Kenyatta University), where trainee teachers are making use of the Series; and that shown by the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) where material from the Series is being used in teaching groups of refugee children from many parts of the world. 

All who have contributed to the Series in any way are warmly thanked: they have given freely of their time and energy ‘for the love of Science’.


Chapter 1 Observation and measurement 

1.1 Starting from nothing 

1.2 Putting it into pictures 

1.3 Operators and expectation values 

1.4 Properties of the spin operators 

Chapter 2 How to generalize the basic ideas 

2.1 From 2 dimensions to n dimensions 

2.2 Some other spin systems 

2.3 Vector spaces with a Hermitian metric 

2.4 What can you do with all that mathematics? 

Chapter 3 And now to Schr¨odinger! 

3.1 Five years on – 

3.2 Pictorial representation: the wave function 

3.3 The definition of uncertainty 

3.4 Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle 

3.5 Schr¨odinger’s Wave Mechanics 

3.6 Going into 3-space! 

Chapter 4 Energy eigenstates of a single particle 

4.1 Setting up the equations 

4.2 Particle in a box 

4.3 Particle in a parabolic potential field 

4.4 The 3-dimensional oscillator 

4.5 The hydrogen atom ground state 

4.6 Back to the free particle 

4.7 Some general properties of eigenstates 

4.8 But what happens to a state as time passes? 

Chapter 5 The ‘bridge’ between ‘classical’ and ‘quantum’ physics 

5.1 How can we bring in the time? 

5.2 The Gaussian wave packet 

5.3 Schr¨odinger’s equation including the time 

5.4 What makes a wave packet move? 

5.5 Commutators and ‘constants of the motion’. Angular momentum 

Chapter 6 Hydrogen: the simplest atom of all 

6.1 An electron in the central field of a nucleus 

6.2 The energy levels of a 1-electron atom 

6.3 Eigenfunctions with angle dependence 

Chapter 7 More on Symmetry 

7.1 Operators and matrix representations 

7.2 What makes the central field so special? 

7.3 A first glimpse of the theory og groups 

Chapter 8 The three-dimensional rotation group 

8.1 Representations in spin-space 

8.2 The standard representations 

8.3 The infinitesimal operators 

8.4 The connection with Physics 

Chapter 9 Finishing touches – the Dirac formalism 

9.1 The bra-ket notation 

9.2 Heisenberg’s ‘matrix mechanics’ 

9.3 Generalizations. Observables with continuous values 

9.4 The p-representation: momentum space 

About the book:

by Roy McWeeny

Publisher: Learning Development Institute 2011

Number of pages: 157

FIle : PDF, 6MB


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