Quantum mechanics, also known as quantum physics or quantum theory, is a branch of physics providing a
Quantum Mechanics | |
---|---|
Category |
Branch of Physics |
Major Theories |
Uncertainty Principle,M-Theory, String Theory , |
Key People |
Stephen Hawking , Albert Einstein , Erwin Schrodinger , Richard Feynman , Satyendra Nath Bose |
Dates Back |
1838 |
First Founded When |
Michael Faraday Founded Cathode Rays |
The mathematical formulations of quantum mechanics are abstract. A mathematical function called the wavefunction provides information about the probability amplitude of position, momentum, and other physical properties of a particle. Mathematical manipulations of the wavefunction usually involve the bra-ket notation, which requires an understanding of complex numbers and linear functionals. The wavefunction treats the object as a quantum harmonic oscillator and the mathematics is akin to that of acoustic resonance. Many of the results of quantum mechanics are not easily visualized in terms of classical mechanics; for instance, the ground state in the quantum mechanical model is a non-zero energy state that is the lowest permitted energy state of a system, rather than a more traditional system that is thought of as simply being at rest with zero kinetic energy. The earliest versions of quantum mechanics were formulated in the first decade of the 20th century. At around the same time, the atomic theory and the corpuscular theory of light (as updated by Einstein) first came to be widely accepted as scientific fact; these latter theories can be viewed as quantum theories of matter and electromagnetic radiation. The early quantum theory was significantly reformulated in the mid-1920s by Werner Heisenberg, Max Born, Wolfgang Pauli and their associates, and the Copenhagen interpretation of Niels Bohr became widely accepted. By 1930, quantum mechanics had been further unified and formalized by the work of Paul Dirac and John von Neumann, with a greater emphasis placed on measurement in quantum mechanics, the statistical nature of our knowledge of reality and philosophical speculation about the role of the observer. Quantum mechanics has since branched out into almost every aspect of 20th century physics and other disciplines such as quantum chemistry, quantum electronics, quantum optics and quantum information science. Much 19th century physics has been re-evaluated as the classical limit of quantum mechanics, and its more advanced developments in terms of quantum field theory, string theory, and speculative quantum gravity theories.