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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.


QC173.98 K86 2012


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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