Chapter

Basic Quantum Mechanics

Stephen C. Rand

in Lectures on Light

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780199574872
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722219 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199574872.003.0002
Basic Quantum Mechanics

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Chapter 2 begins with a discussion of the de Broglie wave concept that is the foundation of quantum mechanics. The idea that particles can exhibit wave‐like behavior is an important part of the explanation of why atoms have discrete energy levels and make transitions in which electromagnetic radiation is absorbed or emitted at specific frequencies. Important aspects of how quantum systems may be observed and how they develop in time are presented. The Schrödinger equation is introduced and the importance of the wavefunction covered. Mathematical simplifications that arise from considering symmetry are covered. Several examples of simple quantum systems are presented in which the calculation of electronic energy structure based on boundary conditions is illustrated.

Keywords: wave–particle duality; eigenfunctions; eigenfrequencies; observables; symmetry; particle‐in‐a‐box examples

Chapter.  13267 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics

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