What is the course about?
Students will learn about the failure of classical mechanics (everyday laws of physics) to explain particle behaviour and the emergence of the quantum revolution. They will be introduced to some of the interpretations of the quantum world and how quantum physics is used in current technology and how it will be applied in the future.
What will we cover?
• Dispersion of light and Planck’s blackbody radiation
• Bohr’s model of the atom
• Wave-particle duality and the nature of the wavefunction
• Quantum entanglement and related experiments
• Pauli’s Exclusion Principle for electrons in atoms
• Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle – a fundamental law of nature
• The Copenhagen and Many-Worlds interpretations of the quantum world amongst others
• Current and future quantum technology in fields such as medicine, computing and encryption.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• explain the technique of spectroscopy
• describe the origin of Planck’s constant and the birth of quantum physics
• describe the Bohr model of the atom
• describe the dual nature of matter and light
• explain the following concepts: wavefunction, quantum entanglement, Pauli’s Exclusion Principle and Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle
• list some of the theories for the quantum world
• describe current and future applications of quantum technology.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
No previous knowledge is required. However an enthusiasm for learning and an open and critical mind will enhance your enjoyment and benefit from this course.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Lecture - all information will be supplied via Powerpoint slides which will be made available for download. Be prepared to contribute to class discussion and group work.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
There are no other costs but you will require a notepad and pen if you wish to take notes.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
HS003 Exploring the quantum world
HS168 The physics of life
HS181 The physics of time
HS212 Astrophysics day.