The Physics of Quantum Mechanics

This World Wide Web page written by Dan Styer, Oberlin College Department of Physics and Astronomy;;
last updated 29 October 2023.

Technical note: To access the links marked (PDF) you must first download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader or Open Standard software.

Welcome to the web site for the book The Physics of Quantum Mechanics.

The word "physics" originates from the Greek word for "nature". This book provides a balanced, interwoven treatment of concepts, mathematical formalism, and applications so that each thread reinforces the other, and so that all the threads illuminate nature.

Download the book for free: The Physics of Quantum Mechanics (PDF)

Author: Dan Styer


Video of single electron buildup of a two-slit interference pattern, by Akira Tonomura, Junji Endo, Tsuyoshi Matsuda, Takeshi Kawasaki, and Hiroshi Ezawa.

Recommended software:

InterferenceSimulator, a program demonstrating quantal two-slit Fresnel interference patterns with one, the other, or both slits open. A magnetic flux situated between the two slits allows demonstration of the Aharonov-Bohm effect. Simulations with short de Broglie wavelengths illustrate the classical limit of quantum mechanics. Documentation for InterferenceSimulator (PDF).

Gaussian wavepackets. An Excel spreadsheet finding Gaussian wavepackets in both position and momentum space.

Quantum mechanics simulations from PhET, particularly Quantum Tunneling and Wave Packets.

Physlet quantum mechanics. (In particular, the simulation of revivals. Particularly interesting if you click on "Start p0 = 40pi".)

Numerical solutions to the quantal energy eigenproblem for a finite symmetric square well. An Excel spreadsheet used to find energy eigenfunctions. Play around with this spreadsheet to get a better feel for the significance of energy eigenfunctions.