9 comments

  1. Double slit is cool, but I think the Stern-Gehrlach experiment is a better way to start quantum. The weirdness of quantum mechanics is more explicit.

  2. You have a point that opening with spin is the way to go if the kids are physics majors.
    The background of my students is a little different, more applied, and this particular course contains segments of several traditional physics courses (QM, atomic, solid state) as the students start from zero and are supposed to end the semester with a good understanding of the electronic structure of crystalline solids (metals, insulators, semiconductors). Coming in, they know a fair bit about electromagnetic fields and waves from other courses. So we start this course with the concept of photon (photoeffect, black body radiation, pressure of light). Once they are reasonably convinced that electromagnetic waves can be thought of as waves or as beams of particles, then we say — well, it turns out you can do it the other way as well, small objects that you think of as particles actually have wave behavior. Cue Dr Quantum.

  3. Fair enough.

    What book do you use? I really like Kroemer, but it may be a little advanced for undergrads who aren’t physics majors.

  4. Ah, the text… That’s a really tough one. These guys are sophomores, so we use “Modern Physics” by Tippler and Llewellyn’s (the dude with the most L’s in a name evah) plus copious lecture notes…

  5. Ah, sophomores. For some reason I thought they were more advanced. Like, at the level of device physics or something.

    Of course, when I was a sophomore we used Eisberg and Resnick. Class was held next to the campus’s mastodon parking lot.

    I’ll check out that book at some point.

  6. let’s go back to essential…the observer… how it change the result when it’s been watch…?

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