School of Physics & Astronomy

Quantum Mechanics

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Fine Structure Constant

If you want to break into a physics professor's briefcase, here is a hint. This is a simple number with large implications. It could even be used to communicate with aliens!

Presenters: Lawrence Eaves
Duration: 00:05:06

Planck's Constant

Planck's constant, h, is at the core of all that is quantum mechanics. It crops up everywhere when things get small, and makes the world discrete.

Duration: 00:06:16

Schrödinger's Cat

Schrödinger's Cat is the classic thought experiment. It was originally used to show how the very small can affect the very large - and to poke fun at it. However it quickly became very influential.

Duration: 00:07:57

Heisenberg's Microscope

Heisenberg's microscope starts from his uncertainty principle, and explores the idea that you can't simultaneously measure both the position and momentum of a particle. Is there any way round this?

Presenters: Michael Merrifield
Duration: 00:09:12

Do electrons move at Absolute Zero?

The Sixty Symbols team are asked a variety of questions, starting with absolute zero: does all movement stop? Also covered is the light from the Big Bang, and do scientists play sport?

Duration: 00:08:26

Wave Function

At the heart of quantum mechanics is the wave function. What is it, and how do we understand it? We also get an insight into the life of the physicist behind the wave function -- his rather unorthadox life.

Duration: 00:09:38

de Broglie Waves

Particles vs waves. de Broglie made a breakthrough in the understanding of waves and particles. It was an idea so outrageous that when he submitted it as his PhD thesis, no one quite knew what to make of it. In the end the examiner sent it to Einstein, who approved -- and indeed de Broglie went on to win a Nobel prize for the work!

Presenters: Roger Bowley
Duration: 00:06:56

Casimir Effect & Black Holes

Starting with Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, we find we can make anything we long as we don't want it for very long. So a vacuum isn't really empty, and we can actually be tested this claim with the Casimir effect. How does this extrapolate to black holes though? Enter Hawking radiation!

Presenters: Michael Merrifield
Duration: 00:10:40

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School of Physics and Astronomy

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Nottingham NG7 2RD

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