How to learn quantum mechanics in 2024

H Hannan

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Quantum mechanics is a fascinating and complex field that has revolutionized our understanding of the universe at the smallest scales. Learning quantum mechanics can be challenging, but fortunately, there are many excellent free resources available online that can help you grasp the fundamental concepts and principles. In this article, we will explore ten of the best ways to learn quantum mechanics, including specific courses and textbooks.

  1. MIT OpenCourseWare – Quantum Physics I
    MIT OpenCourseWare offers a comprehensive introduction to quantum mechanics through its “Quantum Physics I” course. Taught by Professor Barton Zwiebach, this course covers the basic principles of quantum mechanics, including wave-particle duality, the Schrödinger equation, and the uncertainty principle. The course includes video lectures, problem sets, and exams, making it an excellent resource for self-study.
  2. edX – Quantum Mechanics for Everyone
    The “Quantum Mechanics for Everyone” course on edX, offered by Georgetown University, is designed to make quantum mechanics accessible to a broad audience. Taught by Professor James Freericks, this course introduces the fundamental concepts of quantum mechanics, such as superposition, entanglement, and quantum measurement. The course includes video lectures, quizzes, and interactive simulations.
  3. Coursera – Quantum Mechanics for Scientists and Engineers
    The “Quantum Mechanics for Scientists and Engineers” course on Coursera, offered by Stanford University, provides a rigorous introduction to quantum mechanics. Taught by Professor David Miller, this course covers topics such as the Schrödinger equation, the hydrogen atom, and angular momentum. The course includes video lectures, quizzes, and programming assignments using Python.
  4. OpenStax – Quantum Mechanics (textbook)
    OpenStax offers a free, open-source textbook on quantum mechanics, written by Dr. Brant Carlson. This textbook covers the essential topics in quantum mechanics, including wave functions, operators, and the Schrödinger equation. The book also includes numerous examples and practice problems to reinforce learning.
  5. The Feynman Lectures on Physics, Volume III
    The Feynman Lectures on Physics, Volume III, is a classic resource for learning quantum mechanics. Written by the renowned physicist Richard Feynman, this book provides a clear and engaging introduction to the subject. While the book itself is not free, the California Institute of Technology offers free online access to the lectures.
  6. Khan Academy – Quantum Mechanics
    Khan Academy offers a series of free, online lessons on quantum mechanics. These lessons cover topics such as wave functions, the Schrödinger equation, and quantum tunnelling. The lessons include video explanations, interactive simulations, and practice problems.
  7. University of Colorado Boulder – PhET Simulations
    The University of Colorado Boulder offers a collection of free, interactive simulations called PhET (Physics Education Technology). These simulations cover various topics in quantum mechanics, such as the double-slit experiment, the Stern-Gerlach experiment, and quantum tunnelling. The simulations allow users to explore quantum phenomena in a hands-on, interactive way.
  8. MIT OpenCourseWare – Quantum Physics II
    For those who have completed the “Quantum Physics I” course on MIT OpenCourseWare, the “Quantum Physics II” course is an excellent next step. Taught by Professor Barton Zwiebach, this course delves deeper into quantum mechanics, covering topics such as angular momentum, spin, and perturbation theory. The course includes video lectures, problem sets, and exams.
  9. – Quantum Mechanics Papers is a free, online repository of scientific papers, including many on quantum mechanics. While some of the papers may be quite advanced, browsing through the titles and abstracts can give you a sense of the current research in the field. Additionally, some papers may be more accessible to beginners, providing valuable insights into quantum mechanics.
  10. Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum (textbook)
    “Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum” is a book by Leonard Susskind and Art Friedman that provides a concise introduction to quantum mechanics. While the book itself is not free, Susskind has made a series of video lectures available online that cover the material in the book. These lectures are an excellent companion to the book and can help reinforce the concepts.
    Link to video lectures:

Learning quantum mechanics can be a challenging but rewarding endeavour. By utilizing the free resources outlined in this article, including online courses, textbooks, simulations, and scientific papers, you can gain a solid foundation in the principles and concepts of quantum mechanics. Whether you are a student, a researcher, or simply a curious learner, these resources can help you unlock the mysteries of the quantum world.

Remember, learning quantum mechanics is a journey, and it takes time and dedication to master the subject. Don’t be discouraged if you find some concepts difficult at first; with persistence and practice, you will gradually develop a deeper understanding of this fascinating field. As you progress in your studies, you may also want to seek out additional resources, such as online forums, study groups, or mentors, to further support your learning.

By embracing the free resources available and committing to a consistent study routine, you can embark on an exciting journey into the world of quantum mechanics. Who knows where this journey may lead you? Perhaps you will contribute to the next groundbreaking discovery in the field, or perhaps you will simply gain a greater appreciation for the beauty and complexity of the universe at its smallest scales. Whatever your goals may be, the free resources outlined in this article provide an excellent starting point for your exploration of quantum mechanics.

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