Quantum Mechanics

A Gentle Introduction


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An (almost) self-contained introduction to the basic ideas of quantum mechanics. The theory and important experimental results will be discussed.

Quantum mechanics is one of the two paradigm-changing physical theories of the early twentieth century (the other being special and general relativity). Suddenly, one of the most fundamental physical theories was no longer deterministic: Measurement is a probabilistic process in quantum mechanics. This caused a controversy on how to interpret this and whether quantum mechanics is a complete theory that continues until today.

This talk tries to counter a trend: Most people know the fundamentals of special relativity, while few know quantum mechanics beyond the Bohr model of hydrogen. On reason is that the presentation of quantum mechanics in schoolbooks is often dated, inaccurate and incomplete, and, as a consequence, quantum mechanical concepts are often used as a magical component in fringe science and esoteric theories.

The talk will shortly discuss some of the experimental results that have lead to the formulation of quantum mechanics and then formulate the theory. The parts of quantum mechanics that often show up in quack theories will be examined and dissected.

Allergy advice: This talk may contain mathematics. Some prior knowledge of linear algebra will help to understand this talk.


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