in a coordinate free way and makes it straightforward to move to the chosen

In a coordinate free way and makes it straightforward

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in a coordinate-free way, and makes it straightforward to move to the chosen coordinate system once that has been identified. Moreover, Dirac’s notation brings into sharp focus the still mysterious concept of a probability ampli- tude. Hence, it is important to introduce Dirac’s notation from the outset, and to use it for an extensive discussion of probability amplitudes and why they lead to qualitatively new phenomena.
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x Preface In the winter of 2008/9 the book was used as the basis for the second- year introductory quantum-mechanics course in Oxford Physics. At the out- set there was a whiff of panic in the air, emanating from tutors as well as students. Gradually more and more participants grasped what was going on and appreciated the intellectual excitement of the subject. Although the final feedback covered the full gamut of opinion from “incomprehensible” to “the best course ever” there were clear indications that many students and some tutors had risen to the challenge and gained a deeper understanding of this difficult subject than was previously usual. Several changes to the text of this second edition were made in response to feedback from students and tutors. It was clear that students needed to be given more time to come to terms with quantum amplitudes and Dirac notation. To this end some work on spin-half systems and polarised light has been introduced to Chapter 1. The students found orbital angular momentum hard, and the way this is handled in what is now Chapter 7 has been changed. The major changes from the first edition are unconnected with our ex- perience with the 2008/9 course: principally Chapter 6 is now a new chapter on composite systems. It starts with material transferred from the end of Chapter 2 of the first edition, but quickly moves on to a discussion of en- tanglement, the Einstein–Podolski–Rosen experiment and Bell inequalities. Sections on quantum computing, density operators, thermodynamics and the measurement problem follow. It is most unusual for the sixth chapter of a second-year textbook to be able to take students to the frontier of human un- derstanding, as this chapter does. Moreover, the section on thermodynamics makes it possible to add thermodynamics to the applications of the adiabatic principle discussed in Chapter 11. More minor changes include the addition of a section on the Heisenberg picture to Chapter 4, and the correction of a widespread misunderstanding about the singlet-triplet splitting in helium. Problem solving is the key to learning physics and most chapters are followed by a long list of problems. These lists have been extensively revised since the first edition and printed solutions prepared. The solutions to starred problems, which are mostly more-challenging problems, are now available online 1 and solutions to other problems are available on request to colleagues who are teaching a course from the book.
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