The programme briefly summarises the experimental background to Quantum Mechanics
|Module code and title:
|SM351, Quantum theory and atomic structure
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|John Richmond; Russell Stannard
|BBC Open University
|Experimental background; Gedanken 'thought' experiment; Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle; Quantum mechanics; Rethinking of classical mechanics; Theoretical formulation
|Russ Stannard introduces the programme. This takes the form of a simulated tutorial in which John Richmond plays the student and Stannard the tutor. Stannard and Richmond discuss the particle nature of electrons. An animated diagram of a cathode ray tube aids the discussion. Stannard and Richmond go on to discuss the wave nature of electrons and light and then the dual particle/wave nature of each. Some animated diagrams are used. Stannard explains why the question 'What is an electron? is meaningless outside the context of a specific measurement. He introduces the concept of the wave packet to explain the characteristics of some measurements. Several wave animations are shown. Richmond tries to devise a 'thought experiment' which would allow the precise and simultaneous measurement of position and momentum of an electron. Several animations are used. Stannard explains why the thought experiment failed and develops the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. Several animations are used. Stannard and Richmond sum up.
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