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The programme shows that many of the basic mathematical concepts of quantum mechanics can be modelled by a simple two dimensional real vector space.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: SM351, Quantum theory and atomic structure
Item code: SM351; 07
First transmission date: 15-07-1974
Published: 1974
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:24
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Producer: Andrew Millington
Contributors: Paul Clark; Allan Krass
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Animated film; Linear vector spaces; Potassium beam; Quantum mechanics; Stern Gerlach apparatus; Vector projections; Wave function
Footage description: Paul Clark introduces the programme with a brief survey of some past scientific breakthroughs which required the invention of new branches of mathematics including linear vector spaces for quantum mechanics. Clark, using a diagram, describes the set up for an experiment which demonstrates that a simple quantum mechanical system can be described by a two dimensional vector space. Allan Krass with the Stern Gerlach experiment apparatus. He points out the various parts and explains how the experiment works. Krass runs through the experiment and discusses the results. A computer animation is used to sum up the experiment. Commentary by Allan Krass. Krass explains that in order to construct an idealised mathematical model, a particle in a pure state is required. He postulates a filter which screens out ground state particles. Allan Krass and Paul Clark work out an idealisation of the experiment in terms of vectors in a real two dimensional space. They mirror the complex space by a real space in order to give insight into the mathematical structure of quantum mechanics. Several diagrams are used. Paul Clark and Allan Krass summarize the mathematics developed so far. An animated film with commentary by Allan Krass shows how the state vector behaves as a particle passes from an oven through a succession of Stern Gerlach magnets. The film shows, at the same time, how a particle of pure state can be introduced to the experiment. Paul Clark sums up.
Master spool number: 6HT/71399
Production number: 00525_1144
Videofinder number: 1047
Available to public: no