Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Quantum mechanics QM

Quantum mechanics QM is a branch of physics which deals with physical phenomena at microscopic scales, where the action is on the order of the Planck Constant. Quantum mechanics deviates from classical mechanics mainly at the quantum realm of atomic and subatomic length scales. Quantum mechanics offers a mathematical description of much of the dual particle-like and wave-like behavior and interactions of energy and matter. Quantum mechanics is the non-relativistic limit of Quantum Field Theory (QFT), a theory that was built up later that united Quantum Mechanics with Relativity Theory.

Quantum mechanics is the body of scientific values that elucidates the behavior of matter and its interactions with energy on the scale of atoms and subatomic particles and how these happenings could be linked to daily life.

Monday, 4 March 2013


In physics, a quantum is the minimum amount of any physical entity involved in an interaction. Behind this, one finds the fundamental notion that a physical property may be "quantized," referred to as "the hypothesis of quantization". This means that the magnitude can take on only certain discrete values. There is a related term of quantum number. An example of an entity that is quantized is the energy transfer of elementary particles of matter through bosons and of photons.

A photon is a single quantum of light, and is referred to as a "light quantum". The energy of an electron bound to an atom is said to be quantized, which results in the stability of atoms, and of matter in general. As incorporated into the theory of quantum mechanics, this is regarded by physicists as part of the fundamental framework for understanding and describing nature at the infinitesimal level.

Normally quanta are considered to be discrete packets with energy stored in them. Max Planck considered these quanta to be particles that can change their form. This phenomenon can be observed in the case of black body radiation, when it is being heated and cooled.

Monday, 16 July 2012


Moxie is a carbonated beverage that was one of the first mass-produced soft drinks in the United States. It continues to be regionally popular today.
Moxie has a unique flavor that is not as sweet as that of most modern soft drinks and that is described by some as "bitter."
Moxie is closely associated with the state of Maine and was designated the official soft drink of Maine on May 10, 2005. Its creator, Dr. Augustin Thompson, was born in Union, Maine.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Doctors without physics…

In what is an absurd suggestion, Ezekial Emanuel has suggested that medical schools cease requiring physics, organic chemistry, and calculus for incoming students, arguing that doctors never use those subjects in the daily practice of medicine. It is hard to overstate the absurdity of this suggestion. On the one hand, even if his claim was true (which it is not), the critical thinking skills one learns in those three classes, especially physics, are invaluable. As a colleague of mine argued yesterday, if you can make it through those courses, statistics and ethics ought to be a breeze (not to imply those courses are cakewalks, but that physics, organic chemistry, and calculus are excellent preparation).

Aside from that, his claim is just patently false. With advances in medical technology increasingly more complex it seems ridiculous for future doctors not to have a basic understanding of the principles behind this technology. Well-established equipment such as NMR and MRI require a knowledge of basic physics if one is to understand them properly. This is aside from the very basic knowledge of mechanics that just might be useful for kinesiology, orthopedics, etc. And how are doctors going to properly communicate with the physicists and engineers who are attempting to develop new technologies? Take, for example, the cover story for this month’s Physics Today discussing advances in prosthetics. At the very least, having had a course in physics, doctors working with physicists and engineers should be able to speak their language. And if there was any doubt about the importance of this, most hospitals now employ physicists in radiology departments and it is possible to obtain a degree in Medical Physics.

Besides, whatever happened to learning for its own sake?

Monday, 19 September 2011

Autumnal Greetings, The Quantum Times, and a Random Thought

Welcome to autumn here in the northern hemisphere of the home planet! OK, that sounds like it’s out of a bad sci-fi flick or something. Nonetheless, for yours truly who lives in Maine, Autumn brings one of the most awesome times of the year – colorful leaves, brisk temperatures with mostly sunny skies, apple picking, the Fryeburg Fair, and my favorite holiday, Halloween!

Since September is coming to a close, I am about to put together the next issue of The Quantum Times and would welcome any suggestions for potential articles or notices for inclusion. You can post them here or send me an e-mail at idurham(at)anselm(dot)edu.

And finally a random thought I’m working on: time is nothing more than a statistical phenomenon related to the second law of thermodynamics which is really just a physical manifestation of the law of large numbers and any violation of Bell’s inequalities violates the second law. Comment away…

Friday, 1 September 2006


Well, for those of you (all two of you) who read The New American Whig, my former blog, I have decided to reduce the politics and ramp up the quantum mechanics and physics in general (which is my everyday passion). Politics just gets depressing after awhile whereas physics is almost always exciting! Though my students would perhaps disagree…

So, without further ado, here is Quantum Moxie: quantum mechanics with an attitude.