Friday, 25 January 2013

Online Resources for Quantum Mechanics

Below are a collection of links to useful texts and videos on various Quantum Mechanics topics, which I tracked down on the internet. This is an ongoing project, so do check back.


Broad areas of quantum mechanics are green
Particular topics are yellow
Online resources are blue for video and red for text
Everything else in-between is white or pink

Wave Mechanics

Energy levels

First Maps of Quantum Mechanics

Below are maps of Chapter 1 of 'Wave Mechanics', the first book in the Open University course SM358, The Quantum World.

Map 1

A map of my entire course!

This first map lays out what I'm going to learn. As we can see, Book 1 focuses on wave mechanics, Book 2, quantum mechanics and its interpretation, and Book 3, quantum mechanics of matter.
I thought it would be a great idea to collect links to texts and videos online, relevant to the above topics. Please visit my Online Resources for Quantum Mechanics page by clicking this LINK

Map 2

Chapter 1 of Book 1

This is a map to see what's ahead of me in the next month or so. The idea is that I don't have to turn any pages, and that, the map can be added to- or at the very least, (as I don't think there's enough space on this one), I can add references to pages in other areas of my mind-map books.

Map 3

Chapter 1 of Book 1

This is an excerpt of my map of the introduction to chapter 1. In retrospect, I think I could have conveyed graphically, more of a connection between topics. It would be fun to experiment with different shaped boxes, which could explain more concisely the nature of a topic than words could. On this map we learn that there is a unique signature called the spectrum. Every element has a spectrum, which is formed by spectral lines, which are arranged in a way that is unique to that element. The question that I really like here is, how do atoms produce spectral lines? 

Map 4

Chapter 1 of Book 1

Contents of this map: Introduction to energy levels. Bohr's discovery that the energy levels of atoms have a discrete nature. When the energy level of an atom drops down a level, a photon is emitted. Photons are packets of electromagnetic radiation. The atom jumps discretely to lower and lower energy levels, until it reaches a state of lowest energy. The state of lowest energy is called the 'ground state'. In part 2 of the map, I have highlighted what a photon is again, and part 3 features the equation for the change in energy of an atom. We see that the change in energy of an atom is directly proportional to Planck's constant.

Map 5

Chapter 1 of Book 1

Map 6

Chapter 1 of Book 1

Map 7

Chapter 1 of Book 1

Map 8

Chapter 1 of Book 1

Map 9

Chapter 1 of Book 1

Map 10

Chapter 1 of Book 1

Map 11

Chapter 1 of Book 1

Map 12

Chapter 1 of Book 1

Map 13

Chapter 1 of Book 1

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

A first attempt at mapping out the shape of ideas...

Welcome to my Physics log: which is intended mostly to be a record of my experience of learning Quantum Mechanics, but will sometimes feature revision of basic techniques! I hope that, not only will it be helpful for me, but also a good read for you. Some of the articles may be a short summary of a topic I've recently learnt, which I will build on as I go along, whilst other articles will record latest ideas I've had for study strategies- such as the development of mind-mapping as a method for taking notes, absorbing concepts and revision, or whether I found a particular video or text helpful.

Key topics as
stems... and related concepts as petals flowing from them...

I often find that words get in the way of understanding concepts in Physics...

I embarked on an OU level 2 Physics module back in 2010, with no prior background in science. This is no exaggeration. I dropped out of both science and maths at school. So I was plunging into the deep end, and that was exciting. But there was so much to read, and differentiating the important stuff from the nattering in-between was one of the biggest challenges of all. 

It was a struggle, but I somehow miraculously acquired a pass...

Quantum Mechanics will be my challenge for the new year. So, obviously, I'm wondering... what is the best way to go about absorbing all those concepts? What shape do they take? To work this out, I've been drawing some mind maps of Newton's three laws of motion... each one evolving differently from the other.

Here are a few samples of my attempts to shape the laws of motion...


Trying to capture the way that equations flow into different concepts

A portrait of Newton's second law