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GEB2001 Exploration of the Quantum World: Home

Course Description

Quantum theory has revolutionized our world through the inventions and applications of lasers, LED, microprocessors based on transistors, MRI, electron microscopy and so on. This course is designed to broaden students' perspectives on the frontier science and technology in physics. It introduces students to the fundamental concepts, principles, discoveries and methods of quantum theory without emphasizing on complicated mathematics. Students will learn concepts of quantization, wave-particle duality, entanglement, teleportation, and the applications of quantum theory in the real world.

Recommended Books

Quantum Theory: A Very Short Introduction

This volume on Quantum Theory starts with old quantum theory, the first hints of the wave/particle duality of light discovered by Max Planck, Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr and other great physicists in the early twentieth century. It then moves to the discoveries in 1920s, including Hiesenberg’s uncertainty principle, the probabilistic nature of quantum theory and super position. Polkinghorne reveals the controversies and confusions these discoveries wrought and the ongoing conundrums still unresolved today. Polkinghorne intends to reach the general readers with this book, and thus he presents central ideas entirely without mathematics. Nevertheless, if you are interested in the technical details, you can find them I the appendices.

量子理论:爱因斯坦与玻尔关于世界本质的伟大论战

QC173.98 K86 2012

本书回顾了爱因斯坦与玻尔关于量子理论的论战。1927年海森堡提出了不确定性原则,指出不可能同时知道一个粒子的位置和它的速度。玻尔接受了这一主张,并深入发展。爱因斯坦则深信,物理学规律是关于存在的规律,不可能只是一些可能性。因而自1927年关于“电子和光子”的第五次索尔韦会议开始,爱因斯坦与玻尔便展开了终其一生的论战。在本书中,你不仅可以看到物理学的理论之争,也可以看到伟大的物理学家们的人性之光。

The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics

This book on quantum physics and relativity is good for people who have no mathematical or scientific background. Zukav learned the term Wu Li from his Taiwanese friend, meaning patterns of organic energy, and he employed metaphors from Eastern spiritual movements, such as the Huayan school of Buddhism, which endows this book with a strong Eastern philosophical flavor. This book begins with a description of the circumstances in which Zukav was inspired to write this book as well as the debates of physics in the twentieth century. It continues with the various explanations of optical phenomena and quantum physics and heated discussions of relativity and particle physics.

Exploring Quantum Physics Through Hands-On Projects

This book intends to build an intuitive understanding of the principles behind quantum mechanics through hands-on projects and replication of the original experiments that have shaped our view of the quantum world. Basic understanding of algebra, trigonometry and calculus is required. There are eight chapters in this book, presenting experiments such as the classical understanding of light’s nature in the nineteenth century, those that produced data against the theoretical explanations of classical physics, atomic physics and radioactivity, quantization, light and material objects, Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, Dr. Schrödinger and his cat, the existence of entanglement. This book also provides insight into historical and conceptual background of each subject.

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