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Lecture# Quantum Physics IV: From Double Slit to Path Integrals

Description

This lecture covers the transition from the double slit experiment to path integrals in Quantum Physics IV. Starting with the Copenhagen interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, it delves into the state evolution, observables, and collapse after measurement. The path integral formulation of Quantum Mechanics is explored, highlighting its equivalence to traditional methods and its advantages. The lecture also discusses the implications of the double slit experiment, such as the nature of electrons and interference patterns. It concludes with a detailed explanation of the Schrödinger approach leading to path integrals, emphasizing the mathematical and conceptual foundations of this key concept.

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In course

PHYS-426: Quantum physics IV

Introduction to the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics. Derivation of the perturbation expansion of Green's functions in terms of Feynman diagrams. Several applications will be presented,

Related concepts (175)

Double-slit experiment

In modern physics, the double-slit experiment demonstrates that light and matter can satisfy the seemingly-incongruous classical definitions for both waves and particles, which is considered evidence for the fundamentally probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics. This type of experiment was first performed by Thomas Young in 1801, as a demonstration of the wave behavior of visible light. At that time it was thought that light consisted of either waves or particles.

Interpretations of quantum mechanics

An interpretation of quantum mechanics is an attempt to explain how the mathematical theory of quantum mechanics might correspond to experienced reality. Although quantum mechanics has held up to rigorous and extremely precise tests in an extraordinarily broad range of experiments, there exist a number of contending schools of thought over their interpretation. These views on interpretation differ on such fundamental questions as whether quantum mechanics is deterministic or stochastic, local or non-local, which elements of quantum mechanics can be considered real, and what the nature of measurement is, among other matters.

Diffraction

Diffraction is the interference or bending of waves around the corners of an obstacle or through an aperture into the region of geometrical shadow of the obstacle/aperture. The diffracting object or aperture effectively becomes a secondary source of the propagating wave. Italian scientist Francesco Maria Grimaldi coined the word diffraction and was the first to record accurate observations of the phenomenon in 1660.

Line integral

In mathematics, a line integral is an integral where the function to be integrated is evaluated along a curve. The terms path integral, curve integral, and curvilinear integral are also used; contour integral is used as well, although that is typically reserved for line integrals in the complex plane. The function to be integrated may be a scalar field or a vector field. The value of the line integral is the sum of values of the field at all points on the curve, weighted by some scalar function on the curve (commonly arc length or, for a vector field, the scalar product of the vector field with a differential vector in the curve).

Copenhagen interpretation

The Copenhagen interpretation is a collection of views about the meaning of quantum mechanics, stemming from the work of Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Max Born, and others. The term "Copenhagen interpretation" was apparently coined by Heisenberg during the 1950s to refer to ideas developed in the 1925–1927 period, glossing over his disagreements with Bohr. Consequently, there is no definitive historical statement of what the interpretation entails.

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