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Quantum Theory

The Feynman Lectures on Physics, Vol. III: The New by Richard P. Feynman

By Richard P. Feynman

“The complete factor was once primarily an experiment,” Richard Feynman acknowledged past due in his profession, on reflection at the origins of his lectures. The test became out to be highly winning, spawning courses that experience remained definitive and introductory to physics for many years. starting from the elemental ideas of Newtonian physics via such ambitious theories as normal relativity and quantum mechanics, Feynman’s lectures stand as a monument of transparent exposition and deep insight.

undying and collectible, the lectures are crucial examining, not only for college students of physics yet for a person looking an advent to the sector from the inimitable Feynman.

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Additional resources for The Feynman Lectures on Physics, Vol. III: The New Millennium Edition: Quantum Mechanics

Example text

2-1), and the wavelength ∆x Fig. 2-1. A wave packet of length ∆x. 2-2 (the distance between nodes of the waves in the train) of that wave train is what corresponds to the particle momentum. Here we encounter a strange thing about waves; a very simple thing which has nothing to do with quantum mechanics strictly. It is something that anybody who works with waves, even if he knows no quantum mechanics, knows: namely, we cannot define a unique wavelength for a short wave train. Such a wave train does not have a definite wavelength; there is an indefiniteness in the wave number that is related to the finite length of the train, and thus there is an indefiniteness in the momentum.

If we want to disturb the electrons only slightly we should not have lowered the intensity of the light, we should have lowered its frequency (the same as increasing its wavelength). Let us use light of a redder color. We could even use infrared light, or radiowaves (like radar), and “see” where the electron went with the help of some equipment that can “see” light of these longer wavelengths. If we use “gentler” light perhaps we can avoid disturbing the electrons so much. Let us try the experiment with longer waves.

Click-click . . click . . . . click . . click-click . . . click . . , just as you have, no doubt, heard a geiger counter operating. If we count the clicks which arrive in a sufficiently long time—say for many minutes—and then count again for another equal period, we find that the two numbers are very 1-7 nearly the same. So we can speak of the average rate at which the clicks are heard (so-and-so-many clicks per minute on the average). As we move the detector around, the rate at which the clicks appear is faster or slower, but the size (loudness) of each click is always the same.

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