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A First Introduction to Quantum Physics

Author(s):
Publisher:

Springer

Pages: 243
Further Actions:

Recommend to library

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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

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Pieter Kok is a Reader in Quantum Information Theory at the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom. His research interests include quantum information theory and quantum precision measurements. He studied physics at Utrecht University in the Netherlands and received his PhD in quantum teleportation from the University of Wales in 2001. He has contributed to practical architectures for quantum computing, and Heisenberg-limited quantum metrology and imaging.

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Pieter Kok is a Reader in Quantum Information Theory at the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom. His research interests include quantum information theory and quantum precision measurements. He studied physics at Utrecht University in the Netherlands and received his PhD in quantum teleportation from the University of Wales in 2001. He has contributed to practical architectures for quantum computing, and Heisenberg-limited quantum metrology and imaging.

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