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Teaching Quantum Mechanics with Mathematica

Richard Gass
Organization: University of Cincinnati
Department: Department of Physics

2006 Wolfram Technology Conference
Conference location

Champaign IL

Students often struggle when first introduced to quantum mechanics. They find the subject both mathematically difficult and counterintuitive. Since we live in a universe in which ℏ is small, it is very difficult to develop a quantum intuition. Mathematica is an excellent tool for addressing both of these issues. I will discuss the use of Mathematica in introductory quantum mechanics at the University of Cincinnati. I will focus on one-dimensional quantum mechanics and give examples of using Mathematica as a tool for both computation and visualization. Using Mathematica students can relatively easily simulate problems of current experimental interest.

I will also give several examples of using the new features in Mathematica 6.0 to build custom interfaces for doing one-dimensional quantum mechanics.

Much of this material has been developed under the auspices of an NSF Cyber-Infrastructure grant and I will briefly discuss how this work fits into a broader statewide effort to develop new course materials in computational science.

*Education > College
*Science > Physics > Quantum Physics

quantum mechanics, quantum scattering, Schroedinger equation, wave packets

Quantum.zip (2 MB) - ZIP archive [for Mathematica 6.0]