Nov 8, 2000
Mr. Feynman's Quantum Mechanics:
A Field Guide for Curious Characters
Steven M. Girvin, Indiana University
The great American physicist Richard Feynman invented a formulation of quantum
mechanics that can be readily understood through a set of simple pictures. In
this talk, Feynman's somewhat crazy sounding (but correct!) ideas will be
illustrated via some simple examples and demonstrations. By the end of this talk
you will understand how mirages work, what a lens does, and be able to drop the
phrase 'quantum interference' in casual conversation. Richard Feynman was no
ordinary genius. He was a magician who frequently pulled radically original
solutions to physics puzzles 'out of the hat.' He was also an expert safe
cracker, bongo player, technology visionary, and a generally curious character.
His best-selling autobiography, Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!, is fun
reading for people of all ages.
About the speaker:
Steven Girvin, Distinguished Professor of Physics at Indiana University,
received his BS from Bates College in 1971, MS from the University of Maine
(1973), and PhD from Princeton (1977). He is a Fellow of the American Physical
Society and during 1997-98 was Chair of the ITP Advisory Board.
He is interested in the collective 'emergent' properties which appear in large
groups of quantum particles such as the electrons in magnets, superconductors
and semiconductors. He is also interested in the engineering barriers standing
in the way of building practical quantum computers.
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