Exploring Quantum Physics Through Hands-On Projects

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-02-07
  • Publisher: Wiley

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This book allows readers to gain an intuitive understanding of the principles behind Quantum Mechanics through hands-on construction and replication of the original experiments that led to the current view of the quantum world. All of the experimental equipment can be built out of relatively inexpensive materials that are readily available. The math used in this book, simple and with clear explanations and analogies, is accessible to anyone with a knowledge of high school algebra and basic trigonometry.

Author Biography

David Prutchi, PhD, is Vice President of Engineering at Impulse Dynamics. An adept do-it-yourselfer, he is dedicated to bringing cutting-edge experimental physics within the grasp of fellow science buffs. In addition to being the lead author of Design and Development of Medical Electronic Instrumentation (Wiley), he has published over 30 scientific publications and holds over 70 patents. Shanni R. Prutchi is a high-school junior at Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. An avid science and engineering enthusiast, she conducts research with her father in the areas of radio astronomy and quantum physics.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. xi
Prologuep. xv
Important Disclaimer and Warningsp. xix
Acknowledgmentsp. xxiii
About the Authorsp. xxv
Light as a Wavep. 1
Newton's View: Light Consists of Particlesp. 1
Young's Interference of Lightp. 3
Automatic Scanning of Interference Patternsp. 6
The Final Nail in the Coffin for Newton's Theory of Lightp. 8
Light as an Electromagnetic Wavep. 9
Polarizationp. 11
Optics with 3-cm Wavelength "Light"p. 11
Real-World Behaviorsp. 16
Double-Slit Interference with Microwavesp. 17
The Doppler Effectp. 18
Experiments and Questionsp. 20
Light as Particlesp. 23
The Seed of Quantum Physics: Planck's Formulap. 27
The Photoelectric Effectp. 28
Can we Detect Individual Photons?p. 36
Low-Cost PMT Power Suppliesp. 38
Listening to Individual Photonsp. 41
Where does this Leave Us?p. 45
Experiments and Questionsp. 45
Atoms and Radioactivityp. 49
The Need for Vacuump. 49
The Mechanical Vacuum Pumpp. 51
The Vacuum Gaugep. 53
A Very-High-Voltage Power Supplyp. 56
A Vacuum Tube Lego® Setp. 56
Phosphor Screensp. 59
The Electron Gunp. 60
The Discovery of the Electronp. 61
Cathode-Ray Tubesp. 63
Thomson's First 1897 Experiment-Negative Charge and Rays are Joined Togetherp. 65
Thomson's Second Experiment-Electrostatic Deflection of Cathode Raysp. 67
Thomson and the Modern CRTp. 69
Thomson's Third Experiment-Mass-to-Charge Ratio of the Electronp. 72
Measuring e/m with our CRTp. 74
A Magical Measurement of e/mp. 77
Thomson's "Plum Pudding" Model of the Atomp. 79
Geiger-Müller Counterp. 80
¿, ß, and ¿p. 89
The Nature of Beta Radiationp. 92
The Ionizing Power of Alphap. 92
What are Alpha Particles?p. 95
Rutherford's Alpha-Scattering Experimentp. 96
Rutherford's Planetary Model of the Atomp. 102
Experiments and Questionsp. 103
The Principle of Quantum Physicsp. 107
Emission Spectroscopyp. 107
Bohr's Spark of Geniusp. 113
Orbitals and Not Orbitsp. 115
Quantization-The Core of Quantum Physicsp. 117
Experiments and Questionsp. 118
Wave-Particle Dualityp. 121
Gamma-Ray Spectrum Analysisp. 122
What is the Nature of Light?p. 126
Two-Slit Interference with Single Photonsp. 128
Imaging Single Photonsp. 133
The Answer: Complementarityp. 135
Matter Wavesp. 137
Matter Waves and the Bohr Atomp. 137
Experimental Confirmation of De Broglie's Matter Wavesp. 138
Two-Slit Interference with Single Electronsp. 142
A Simple TEMp. 144
Blurring the Line Between Quantum and Classical 148 Particle-Wave Duality in the Macroscopic World 148 Experiments and Questionsp. 149
The Uncertainty Principlep. 151
Wavefunctionsp. 151
The Uncertainty Principlep. 153
Experimental Demonstration of the Uncertainty Principlep. 155
Time-Energy Uncertaintyp. 159
Fourier Analysisp. 159
Bye, Bye Clockwork Universep. 163
Experiments and Questionsp. 165
SchröDinger (And his Zombie Cat)p. 167
Real-World Particle in a Boxp. 171
Quantum Tunnelingp. 174
Quantum Tunneling Timep. 178
Many-Worlds Interpretationp. 183
Schrödinger's Cat in the Labp. 184
Beam Splittersp. 186
Who Rolls the Dice?p. 190
The Mach-Zehnder Interferometerp. 192
"Which-Way" Experimentsp. 197
The Quantum Eraserp. 199
Experiments and Questionsp. 200
Entanglementp. 203
Bell's Inequalitiesp. 205
An Entangled-Photon Sourcep. 211
Detecting Entangled Photonsp. 214
High-Purity Single-Photon Sourcep. 219
Testing Bell's Inequalityp. 220
Closing the Loopholesp. 225
The Age of Quantum Informationp. 226
A Quantum Random-Number Generatorp. 228
Quantum Informationp. 229
Quantum Teleportationp. 230
Faster-Than-Light Communicationp. 236
Quantum Cryptographyp. 237
Quantum Computing and Technologies for the Futurep. 240
Experiments and Questionsp. 242
Referencesp. 245
Sources For Materials And Componentsp. 249
Abbreviationsp. 255
Indexp. 257
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