Summer School 2010.9: Quantum Physics

We conclude the 2010 summer school session with lesson nine, dealing with spin. You will also find more content after the break.

Once again, I’d like to thank the proofreaders who have been checking and rechecking these lessons since March: Gord Haverland, Maurice Hilarius, Bonnie Hogg, Claire MacDonald, Rob MacDonald, Neil Pritchard and Anthony Stauffer. Their input helped make this series a lot stronger than I’d have made it on my own, and for that I thank them. Also, I’d like to thank artist Stacey Keeler for that truly awesome Summer School category icon you see here. I’d also like to thank the readers who provided feedback each week. The suggestions for change went into the “all in one” document you see at the end here, which is the version that will be maintained in the long term.

For reference, here are quick links to all lessons:

Join us next year for Bureau 42 Summer School 2011: Assessment.

12 replies on “Summer School 2010.9: Quantum Physics”

  1. ChronosWS says:

    Thanks for this series. I had a kind of general idea of quantum mechanics, but this filled in a lot of the details I was missing. Makes me want to study it more. Very fascinating!

  2. pythor says:

    Is angular momentum (on the macroscopic level) really that weird? Isn’t it just the sum of all the linear momentums of the parts involved? Radially, the hand that is closer to the center has to travel much faster to achieve the same linear distance as the hand that is further out. Isn’t it just that simple?

    • To first and second order, yes. To third order, other oddball effects start to kick in.

      • pythor says:

        Interesting… Where would I find out more about third order effects?

        • I learned about them from a textbook that appears to either be out of print or not carried by Amazon.com. (It was $130 Can when I bought it in 1997, anyway.) I’ll try to put a tidbit together on it. Most higher order effects are a side effect of the fact that we’re on a rotating and revolving planet, but not all of them were.

  3. Don says:

    Excellent series. I hope you do have the time to do another one of these lessons.

    • Next year’s course (assessment) is written and with the proofreaders now. Articles are post-dated, so I could get hit by a truck tomorrow and it’ll still run on schedule (not that I plan to play a human game of Frogger any time soon.)

      The 2012 course on relativity (special and general) is already started. While there will be a mathless version of that, readers will also have the option to download a version which includes all of the requisite mathematics, so you can have your cake and eat it to. The mathless version will be written in its entirety first to ensure that it’s complete.

      • Don says:

        It is funny what time does with one’s math skills. I graduated with a BS in math and computer science. (Un)fortunately, I took a job that never really required the Math, and now all the cool stuff I used to know is now forgotten.

        Though I have been toying with retaking courses in college to refresh my memory, especially when my kids start hitting high school algebra/trig/calc.

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