A Conversation for Quantum Mechanics
Rag Doll. Started conversation Nov 6, 2003
do you have to be a genius to study qm at a professional level? I'm currently reading "In search of schrodinger's cat" and finding it absolutely fascinating... it is very tempting at this stage of my life to go off and delve further into the mysteries surrounding this expansive topic, however I am aware of the intellectual capacities needed for this. Should I remain well away?
U195408 Posted Nov 7, 2003
The short answer is no. Are you interested in studying for your own illumination, or as a possible career? If for your own benefit or hobby, you have to be willing to learn at least calculus. That's the first step. Once you have that, you can get into QM pretty heavily. If you throw in some linear algebra, you're really ready to cook.
For a career, you get the long answer, which involves some follow up questions. QM, nowadays, is a broad subject. I guess you could say there are two basic subdivisions - people who use QM to solve other problems, and people who try to expand our understanding of QM. You don't need to be a genius for either, but you need to be willing & able to learn different things for each. For the practical quantum mechanic, you need some math, but you're also going to be doing some combination of programming & running experiments/building devices. Could be all of one or the other, but probably some combination of both.
For the more theoretically bent, you need to be hard hitting in the maths department. Basically, it would be essential to be able to understand physics at the undergrad level, and then build upon that.
Well I hope this helps. What are your plans? I'd be happy to help as much as I can.
Key: Complain about this post