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WHO ? Today is the living Expert Scientist in Quantum Physics?


Mike Smith Cosmos
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In terms of being able to teach, any university that has a physics program has someone (several, actually) at that level of expertise. Quantum physics is a pretty wide-open description, and many areas of physics fall into the category.

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In terms of being able to teach, any university that has a physics program has someone (several, actually) at that level of expertise. Quantum physics is a pretty wide-open description, and many areas of physics fall into the category.

Yes, but surely one of these researchers or teachers is known for having more of a depth of complete understanding than others, and is skilled in explaining it, as I believe Feynman had at the time. I am the other side of the pond over here in Britain so am a little remote from what is going on over there. I try and listen in to a number of Public lectures from the various Universities, however I have not yet found the Feynman contemporary. Maybe you know of such a quantum Guru. Also I hope he/she has the ability and skill to deliver such comprehension , without having to plunge instantly into deep maths ! Even if deep math, underpins the principles, it should not stop an explanation in lucid terms .

 

Weineberg ? Goss ?

Edited by Mike Smith Cosmos
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Also I hope he/she has the ability and skill to deliver such comprehension , without having to plunge instantly into deep maths !

 

Feynman had a knack for being able to intuitively explain many complicated ideas, but not even he could do that with quantum mechanics. He approached QM from the "shut up and calculate" perspective. In The Feynman Lectures he explains multiple times why the reader should stop asking "but what does this mean(?)" or trying to understand it intuitively and simply learn the math. He was big on emphasizing that he could tell you how nature works, but he could not explain it in a way that you will understand because he didn't understand it either.

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Feynman had a knack for being able to intuitively explain many complicated ideas, but not even he could do that with quantum mechanics. He approached QM from the "shut up and calculate" perspective. In The Feynman Lectures he explains multiple times why the reader should stop asking "but what does this mean(?)" or trying to understand it intuitively and simply learn the math. He was big on emphasizing that he could tell you how nature works, but he could not explain it in a way that you will understand because he didn't understand it either.

 

Yes, I thank you and appreciate that about Richard Feynman, I was rather hoping things might have moved on quite a bit since then, to today, with all the money and effort having been put in. Maybe !

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There is a Lecturer in MIT ( Dutch or German) who teaches quantum physics for 1 st year undergraduates , Are there any living Quantum Experts in Stanford, Berkeley, Cornell, Princetown Universities

 

 

As already stated, any university with a physics department will have people who are able to teach quantum mechanics at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Quantum field theory, would depend more on the research profile of the department.

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With respect Mike, and gainsaying all the platitudes from scientists about not really understanding something till you can explain it to your granddaughter/grandmother, the point of science is not to simplify to an extent that we laymen can understand it! Science is the cutting edge, education and popularisation are just as important; but they are not the same. You do not have to be able to communicate to the public, or even to undergrads to be a great scientist; you need to uncover new ground, create a new perspective, provide insight, and be able to convince your peers of the value of this work.

 

The change between popularisations of quantum mechanics (like Chad Orzel's great book) and actual quantum mechanics is enormous - the slope is so steep it is almost impossible to build the halfway house. As soon as you get at all serious the maths becomes vile (for the non-mathematicians like me). Special relativity seems to be almost the opposite - you can pick and choose the level of maths you will try to comprehend and even some undergrad texts are understandable by the layman with a bit of graft. But quantum mechanics is either an airy-fairy description without maths and with huge assumptions and missing matter - or it is difficult difficult maths. As a few of the physic Docs have said - real quantum theory is a late undergrad option or a gradschool course; it just doesn't admit to a medium level of dumbing down.

 

The famous dutch lecturer at MIT is Walter Lewin and I do not believe he teaches quantum mechanics - his entry level course are all available online and are on mechanics, electromagnetism, and waves (I think); his speciality is x-ray cosmology. 1

 

If you wanna mental work out and start to look at some qm - you could check out Leonard Susskind's lectures from Stanford (all on line as well). These courses are for non-students and take place in the evening - he covers relativity, the standard model, cosmology, some qm, some string theory, statistical mechanics (which completely surprised me by being fascinating) 2

 

There are more and more courses being put on line - but I think you will struggle to find a qm course purely because of the innate difficulty.

 

 

1 Walter Lewins Homepage - scroll to take a class for the epic and famous lectures

http://web.mit.edu/physics/people/faculty/lewin_walter.html

 

2. Leonard Susskind's Homepage

https://physics.stanford.edu/people/faculty/leonard-susskind

and his lectures through youtube or itunes

http://tedyoung.me/2011/01/22/leonard-susskind-lectures/

 

Both of the above are incredibly engaging, personable, and compelling lecturers - Susskind's stuff assumes a bit more maths, and Lewins is more structured as it is the first year physics course at MIT

Edited by imatfaal
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With respect Mike,

 

The famous dutch lecturer at MIT is Walter Lewin and I do not believe he teaches quantum mechanics - his entry level course are all available online and are on mechanics, electromagnetism, and waves (I think); his speciality is x-ray cosmology. 1

 

If you wanna mental work out and start to look at some qm - you could check out Leonard Susskind's lectures from Stanford (all on line as well). These courses are for non-students and take place in the evening - he covers relativity, the standard model, cosmology, some qm, some string theory, statistical mechanics (which completely surprised me by being fascinating) 2

 

There are more and more courses being put on line - but I think you will struggle to find a qm course purely because of the innate difficulty.

 

 

1 Walter Lewins Homepage - scroll to take a class for the epic and famous lectures

http://web.mit.edu/physics/people/faculty/lewin_walter.html

 

2. Leonard Susskind's Homepage

https://physics.stanford.edu/people/faculty/leonard-susskind

and his lectures through youtube or itunes

http://tedyoung.me/2011/01/22/leonard-susskind-lectures/

 

Both of the above are incredibly engaging, personable, and compelling lecturers - Susskind's stuff assumes a bit more maths, and Lewins is more structured as it is the first year physics course at MIT

 

 

Thank you I will review and get back to you. I have watched a few of Walter Lewins but not Leonard Susskind. Back later !

Edited by Mike Smith Cosmos
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  • 1 month later...

With respect Mike, and gainsaying all the platitudes from scientists about not really understanding something till you can explain it to your granddaughter/grandmother, the point of science is not to simplify to an extent that we laymen can understand it! Science is the cutting edge, education and popularisation are just as important; but they are not the same. You do not have to be able to communicate to the public, or even to undergrads to be a great scientist; you need to uncover new ground, create a new perspective, provide insight, and be able to convince your peers of the value of this work.

 

The change between popularisations of quantum mechanics (like Chad Orzel's great book) and actual quantum mechanics is enormous - the slope is so steep it is almost impossible to build the halfway house. As soon as you get at all serious the maths becomes vile (for the non-mathematicians like me). Special relativity seems to be almost the opposite - you can pick and choose the level of maths you will try to comprehend and even some undergrad texts are understandable by the layman with a bit of graft. But quantum mechanics is either an airy-fairy description without maths and with huge assumptions and missing matter - or it is difficult difficult maths. As a few of the physic Docs have said - real quantum theory is a late undergrad option or a gradschool course; it just doesn't admit to a medium level of dumbing down.

 

The famous dutch lecturer at MIT is Walter Lewin and I do not believe he teaches quantum mechanics - his entry level course are all available online and are on mechanics, electromagnetism, and waves (I think); his speciality is x-ray cosmology. 1

 

If you wanna mental work out and start to look at some qm - you could check out Leonard Susskind's lectures from Stanford (all on line as well). These courses are for non-students and take place in the evening - he covers relativity, the standard model, cosmology, some qm, some string theory, statistical mechanics (which completely surprised me by being fascinating) 2

 

There are more and more courses being put on line - but I think you will struggle to find a qm course purely because of the innate difficulty.

 

 

1 Walter Lewins Homepage - scroll to take a class for the epic and famous lectures

http://web.mit.edu/physics/people/faculty/lewin_walter.html

 

2. Leonard Susskind's Homepage

https://physics.stanford.edu/people/faculty/leonard-susskind

and his lectures through youtube or itunes

http://tedyoung.me/2011/01/22/leonard-susskind-lectures/

 

Both of the above are incredibly engaging, personable, and compelling lecturers - Susskind's stuff assumes a bit more maths, and Lewins is more structured as it is the first year physics course at MIT

 

 

I watched Walter Lewins Final Retirement Lecture ( 75 Years old ) at MIT a few days ago . Just ACE.

 

 

It has been said ( probably not in these exact words)

 

. Any Mathematician or Scientist, should be able to step off the back of a bus , and go up to the first person he/she sees and explain their ideas succinctly and understandably !

Edited by Mike Smith Cosmos
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  • 4 months later...

I'm no expert on physics or science, but I enjoy the subject to my own level. Are the

Astrophysicist Kip Thorne ( b.1940 ) Leonard Susskind ( b.1940 ) Bernard Carr from

the same era and the wide ranging Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg ( b.1933 ) all exceptional

in the field of Quantum Physics, as well as those already mentioned. I know the names and dates

of some brillant people, but failed GCE Maths and Science at School so really I'm a sham, but I do

take an interest in things beyond my own station, perhaps I'm bigoted. I also love watching BBC 4

and love the series Cosmos by Carl Sagan ( 1934 - 1996 ). I have and rarely watch lectures on

deep physics by Leonard Susskind to enjoy the fact it so far beyond me that I realise how ordinary

I am!!!

 

 

Cheers - Mike Fuller

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How about Sara McMurray?

 

 

I've been fortunate in having had a succession of brilliant maths teachers, none more so than Dr Sara McMurry, whom I encountered during my physics degree in Trinity. Sara taught me most of the "difficult" maths-heavy courses such as quantum mechanics. She has the rare ability of being able to effortlessly carve through mathematical jungles, rendering them comprehensible to the diligent student.

 

http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/students-ignorance-of-basic-maths-is-sum-of-all-our-fears-26605713.html

 

Although the linked website refers to one of her maths books, she has also written a QM book

 

or Shan Majid?

Edited by studiot
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