There was a time when the newspapers said that only twelve men understood the theory of relativity. I do not believe that there ever was such a time. There might have been a time when only one man did, because he was the only guy who caught on, before he wrote his paper. But after people read the paper a lot of people understood the theory of relativity in some way or other, certainly more than twelve. On the other hand, I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.
Richard Feynman, BBC Publications, 1965, p. 129.
Feynman's remark notwithstanding, the course will follow Professor Townsend's text A Modern Approach to Quantum Mechanics, which begins with Dirac bra-ket notation for quantum states and explores the fundamental particle-wave duality of matter beginning with several versions of the Stern-Gerlach experiment. Over the semester we shall endeavor to cover the material in the text through perturbation theory, with the exception of path integrals in chapter 8. In addition, I recommend Richard Feynman's QED to provide a broad and nonmathematical background for the ideas expressed more abstractly and mathematically in Townsend's text.
© 2004-5 Peter N. Saeta • saeta (at) hmc (dot)
Last modified 2006-03-26 14:54