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Foundations Of Quantum Mechanics (Lecture Notes...



Certainly it would be useful to have had a previous course on quantummechanics, though this may not be essential. It would also be useful to knowsomething about (classical) information theory, (classical)coding theory, and (classical) complexity theory, since a central goal ofthe course will be generalize these topics to apply to quantum information.But we will review this material when we get to it, so you don't need to worryif you haven't seen it before. In the discussion of quantum coding, we will usesome rudimentary group theory.




Foundations of Quantum Mechanics (Lecture Notes...



This book is the most complete collection of John S Bell's research papers, review articles and lecture notes on the foundations of quantum mechanics. Some of this material has hitherto been difficult to access. The book also appears in a paperback edition, aimed at students and young researchers.


The demonstrations of von Neumann and others, that quantum mechanics does not permit a hidden variable interpretation, are reconsidered. It is shown that their essential axioms are unreasonable. It is urged that in further examination of this problem an interesting axiom would be that mutually distant systems are independent of one another.


The following sections are included: Motivation The absence of dispersion-free states in various formalisms derived from quantum mechanics A simple example A difficulty REFERENCES


The Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen correlations are very like many ordinary occurrences of everyday life. So it is a little difficult for the man in the street to understand immediately why there has been so much fuss about them. It must be recalled that the founding fathers of quantum mechanics had convinced themselves that it was necessary to abandon the idea of an objective reality at the microphysical level. But the correlations in question, together with the idea of local causality, were a formidable argument for such a reality. The founding fathers offered counter-arguments (neither very clear nor very convincing in my opinion) and each side held to its position. Since then it has been possible to push the analysis a little further, considering especially situation just a little different from those considered before. Then correlations appear, according to quantum mechanics, which are not at all like those of everyday life. As a result it is not now easy to believe, with Einstein, that quantum mechanical predictions are reconcilable with the notion of a Lorentz invariant objectively real microphysical world.


The following sections are included: Why bother? Why not look it up in a good book? Against 'measurement' The role of experiment The quantum mechanics of Landau and Lifshitz The quantum mechanics of K Gottfried The quantum mechanics of N G van Kampen Towards a precise quantum mechanics Further reading


The following sections are included: Introduction What can not go faster than light? Local beables No signals faster than light Local commutativity Who couId ask for anything more? Principle of local causality Ordinary quantum mechanics is not locally causal Locally explicable correlations Quantum mechanics can not be embedded in a locally causal theory But still, we can not signal faster than light Conclusion Appendix: History References


Classical physics, the collection of theories that existed before the advent of quantum mechanics, describes many aspects of nature at an ordinary (macroscopic) scale, but is not sufficient for describing them at small (atomic and subatomic) scales. Most theories in classical physics can be derived from quantum mechanics as an approximation valid at large (macroscopic) scale.[3]


Quantum mechanics arose gradually from theories to explain observations that could not be reconciled with classical physics, such as Max Planck's solution in 1900 to the black-body radiation problem, and the correspondence between energy and frequency in Albert Einstein's 1905 paper, which explained the photoelectric effect. These early attempts to understand microscopic phenomena, now known as the "old quantum theory", led to the full development of quantum mechanics in the mid-1920s by Niels Bohr, Erwin Schrödinger, Werner Heisenberg, Max Born, Paul Dirac and others. The modern theory is formulated in various specially developed mathematical formalisms. In one of them, a mathematical entity called the wave function provides information, in the form of probability amplitudes, about what measurements of a particle's energy, momentum, and other physical properties may yield.


Quantum mechanics allows the calculation of properties and behaviour of physical systems. It is typically applied to microscopic systems: molecules, atoms and sub-atomic particles. It has been demonstrated to hold for complex molecules with thousands of atoms,[4] but its application to human beings raises philosophical problems, such as Wigner's friend, and its application to the universe as a whole remains speculative.[5] Predictions of quantum mechanics have been verified experimentally to an extremely high degree of accuracy.[note 1]


One consequence of the mathematical rules of quantum mechanics is a tradeoff in predictability between different measurable quantities. The most famous form of this uncertainty principle says that no matter how a quantum particle is prepared or how carefully experiments upon it are arranged, it is impossible to have a precise prediction for a measurement of its position and also at the same time for a measurement of its momentum.


Another counter-intuitive phenomenon predicted by quantum mechanics is quantum tunnelling: a particle that goes up against a potential barrier can cross it, even if its kinetic energy is smaller than the maximum of the potential.[9] In classical mechanics this particle would be trapped. Quantum tunnelling has several important consequences, enabling radioactive decay, nuclear fusion in stars, and applications such as scanning tunnelling microscopy and the tunnel diode.[10]


When quantum systems interact, the result can be the creation of quantum entanglement: their properties become so intertwined that a description of the whole solely in terms of the individual parts is no longer possible. Erwin Schrödinger called entanglement "...the characteristic trait of quantum mechanics, the one that enforces its entire departure from classical lines of thought".[11] Quantum entanglement enables the counter-intuitive properties of quantum pseudo-telepathy, and can be a valuable resource in communication protocols, such as quantum key distribution and superdense coding.[12] Contrary to popular misconception, entanglement does not allow sending signals faster than light, as demonstrated by the no-communication theorem.[12]


It is not possible to present these concepts in more than a superficial way without introducing the actual mathematics involved; understanding quantum mechanics requires not only manipulating complex numbers, but also linear algebra, differential equations, group theory, and other more advanced subjects.[note 2] Accordingly, this article will present a mathematical formulation of quantum mechanics and survey its application to some useful and oft-studied examples.


Some wave functions produce probability distributions that are independent of time, such as eigenstates of the Hamiltonian. Many systems that are treated dynamically in classical mechanics are described by such "static" wave functions. For example, a single electron in an unexcited atom is pictured classically as a particle moving in a circular trajectory around the atomic nucleus, whereas in quantum mechanics, it is described by a static wave function surrounding the nucleus. For example, the electron wave function for an unexcited hydrogen atom is a spherically symmetric function known as an s orbital (Fig. 1).


However, there are techniques for finding approximate solutions. One method, called perturbation theory, uses the analytic result for a simple quantum mechanical model to create a result for a related but more complicated model by (for example) the addition of a weak potential energy. Another method is called "semi-classical equation of motion", which applies to systems for which quantum mechanics produces only small deviations from classical behavior. These deviations can then be computed based on the classical motion. This approach is particularly important in the field of quantum chaos.


Quantum mechanics has had enormous success in explaining many of the features of our universe, with regards to small-scale and discrete quantities and interactions which cannot be explained by classical methods.[note 4] Quantum mechanics is often the only theory that can reveal the individual behaviors of the subatomic particles that make up all forms of matter (electrons, protons, neutrons, photons, and others). Solid-state physics and materials science are dependent upon quantum mechanics.[31]


When quantum mechanics was originally formulated, it was applied to models whose correspondence limit was non-relativistic classical mechanics. For instance, the well-known model of the quantum harmonic oscillator uses an explicitly non-relativistic expression for the kinetic energy of the oscillator, and is thus a quantum version of the classical harmonic oscillator.


Many macroscopic properties of a classical system are a direct consequence of the quantum behavior of its parts. For example, the stability of bulk matter (consisting of atoms and molecules which would quickly collapse under electric forces alone), the rigidity of solids, and the mechanical, thermal, chemical, optical and magnetic properties of matter are all results of the interaction of electric charges under the rules of quantum mechanics.[34] 041b061a72


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