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Visual Quantum

This is an online book that explains quantum field theory (QFT, an advanced version of quantum mechanics) at an introductory level. It uses lots of pictures and animations to show these otherwise-abstract concepts.

Some sections are written at a college sophomore level, and others at a first-year graduate level (see "How To Use This Book"). The book uses a "toy model" that allows pictures to be made of many of the most difficult ideas. Note that this teaching technique is unique, but that the concepts are well-established standard material that all physicists would benefit from knowing.

Table of Contents:

  1. How to use this book   Elementary/advanced sections and animations.
  2. Introduction   What a field is, classically and quantum mechanically.
  3. Two-particle quantum mechanics   Multi-particle Schrodinger equation, entanglement.
  4. 1D approximation   Discrete approximation to a field.
  5. 1D quantum field   Quantize high-dimensional system, normal modes.
  6. Particles and fields   Complmentary properties of a field.
  7. Special states   Wave packets, superpositions, squeezed states.
  8. Interacting fields   Classical and quantum model for two 1D fields with interaction.
  9. Bound states   How interaction can lead to bound states.
  10. Measurement   A specific interaction and its consequences.
  11. Decoherence   Solution to the Schrodinger's cat paradox, but all of quantum mysteries.

Scott Johnson,   2009