March 6, 2010

Quantum Mechanics Confuses Me


This is primarily comprised of bad jokes and quotes, as, unfortunately, I really, really didn't understand the material.

In case you were wondering, photons make atoms excited. I suppose this is because atoms are jumping up and down, kind of, but not really.

Quantum mechanics focuses on particles and waves. I just missed the "map of the next two lessons" because I was zoned out looking at the really cute Asian boy on my right. Oops. I think he's Chinese, cause his eyes have a similar folding thing to Gretchen's, but I'm always awful at telling. Quantum mechanics is also when things are really small, like Planck's constant, which is also really small, 6.6 * 10^-16 eVs, although I'm not sure how big an eVs is, so that doesn't mean much.

Electric charge is quantized in multiples of e, which is the charge on an electron, not (1+1/n)^n. Light is also quantized and corpuscular, which according to Julie means occurring at dawn or dusk, which makes no sense, so I suppose we'll just ignore it. Angular momentum of electrons is also quantized, and I feel like that may be indicative of the various orbitals, but I really don't know.

Particle spin describes behavior of particles in magnetic fields, and it has "spatial quantization," in which vector arrows associated with the particles only point in specific directions with respect to magnetic field. Bosons and fermions are the two classes of particles. Bosons are whole integer numbers of a constant, and fermions are half, so it's basically like taking our odd/even numeric system and dividing by two.

Now, imagine a magnet. They line up north to south because that is the lowest energy configuration. Likewise, when in uniform electric fields, particles like to go in particular directions. I'm still not precisely certain why this isn't exactly the same thing as charge. Also, imagine electrons are spherical, like cows.

Moving electric charges reduce magnetic phenomenon. I have no clue what that sentence means, but it sounds profound, and it was in my notes. Now, I'm not going to talk about this equation, so let's discuss it in depth. Ah, well, that's confusing, let's not write it down. Also, everything about the spherical electrons is a lie. Moving along.

De Broglie found that massive particles (i.e. having mass, not big) exhibit wave properties, as does anything with momentum, its just that the wave-like nature decreases as objects get larger. A wave is a disturbance.

Also, my back hurts, and I want to lie down and sleep, so this will be finished at a later date.

2 comments:

Julie said...

CORpuscular? I thought you meant CREpuscular. Corpuscular I think means occurring in particles, like blood cells are called corpuscles.

Apologies.

An eV is really small, so Planck's constant is REALLY small.

Gretchen said...

hmmm planck does sound vaguely familiar