## A First Introduction to Quantum Physics

**Author(s):**

Pieter Kok

**Publisher:**

Springer

**Pages:**243

**Further Actions:**

**Categories:**

### AVAILABLE FORMATS

Paperback - 9783319922065

03 August 2018

* $54.99*

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Ebook - 9783319922072

26 July 2018

* $39.99*

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In this undergraduate textbook, the author develops the quantum theory from first principles based on very simple experiments: a photon travelling through beam splitters to detectors, an electron moving through a...

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In this undergraduate textbook, the author develops the quantum theory from first principles based on very simple experiments: a photon travelling through beam splitters to detectors, an electron moving through a Stern-Gerlach machine, and an atom emitting radiation. From the physical description of these experiments follows a natural mathematical description in terms of matrices and complex numbers. The first part of the book examines how experimental facts force us to let go of some deeply held preconceptions and develops this idea into a mathematical description of states, probabilities, observables, and time evolution using physical applications. The second part of the book explores more advanced topics, including the concept of entanglement, the process of decoherence, and extension of the quantum theory to the situation of a particle in a one-dimensional box. Here, the text makes contact with more traditional treatments of quantum mechanics. The remaining chapters delve deeply into the idea of uncertainty relations and explore what the quantum theory says about the nature of reality. The book is an ideal and accessible introduction to quantum physics, with modern examples and helpful end-of-chapter exercises.

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Explores key concepts in quantum theory using the simplest physical systems

Advances quantum theory with only simple mathematics that is developed as it is needed

Illustrates each key concept with modern examples such as gravitational wave detection, atomic clocks, magnetic resonance imaging, and the scanning tunneling microscope

Contains a complete set of end-of-chapter exercises

Chapter 1: Three simple experiments

The purpose of physical theories

A laser and a detector

A laser and a beam splitter

A Mach-Zehnder interferometer

The breakdown of classical concepts

Chapter 2: Photons and Interference

Photon paths and superpositions

The beam splitter as a matrix

The phase in an interferometer

How to calculate probabilities

Gravitational wave detection

Chapter 3: Electrons with Spin

The Stern-Gerlach experiment

The spin observable

The Bloch sphere

The uncertainty principle

Magnetic resonance imaging

Chapter 4: Atoms and Energy

The energy spectrum of atoms

Changes over time

The Hamiltonian

Interactions

Atomic clocks

Chapter 5: Operators

Eigenvalue problems

Observables

Evolution

The commutator

Projectors

Chapter 6: Entanglement

The state of two electrons

Entanglement

Quantum teleportation

Quantum computers

Chapter 7: Decoherence

Classical and quantum uncertainty

The density matrix

Interactions with the environment

Entropy and Landauer’s principle

Chapter 8: The Motion of Particles

A particle in a box

The momentum of a particle

The energy of a particle

The scanning tunneling microscope

Chemistry

Chapter 9: Uncertainty Relations

Quantum uncertainty revisited

Position-momentum uncertainty

The energy-time uncertainty relation

The quantum mechanical pendulum

Precision measurements

Chapter 10: The Nature of Reality

The emergent classical world

The quantum state revisited

Nonlocality

Contextuality

A compendium of interpretations