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  • ALLAN ADAMS: Hi everyone.

  • Welcome to 804 for spring 2013.

  • This is the fourth, and presumably final time

  • that I will be teaching this class.

  • So I'm pretty excited about it.

  • So my name is Allan Adams.

  • I'll be lecturing the course.

  • I'm an assistant professor in Course 8.

  • I study string theory and its applications

  • to gravity, quantum gravity, and condensed matter physics.

  • Quantum mechanics, this is a course in quantam mechanics.

  • Quantam mechanics Is my daily language.

  • Quantum mechanics is my old friend.

  • I met quantum mechanics 20 years ago.

  • I just realized that last night.

  • It was kind of depressing.

  • So, old friend.

  • It's also my most powerful tool.

  • So I'm pretty psyched about it.

  • Our recitation instructors are Barton Zwiebach, yea!

  • And Matt Evans-- yea!

  • Matt's new to the department, so welcome him.

  • Hi.

  • So he just started his faculty position,

  • which is pretty awesome.

  • And our TA is Paolo Glorioso.

  • Paolo, are you here?

  • Yea!

  • There you go.

  • OK, so he's the person to send all complaints to.

  • So just out of curiosity, how many of you all are Course 8?

  • Awesome.

  • How many of you all are, I don't know, 18?

  • Solid.

  • 6?

  • Excellent.

  • 9?

  • No one?

  • This is the first year we haven't had anyone Course 9.

  • That's a shame.

  • Last year one of the best students

  • was a Course 9 student.

  • So two practical things to know.

  • The first thing is everything that we put out

  • will be on the Stellar website.

  • Lecture notes, homeworks, exams, everything

  • is going to be done through Stellar, including your grades.

  • The second thing is that as you may

  • notice there are rather more lights than usual.

  • I'm wearing a mic.

  • And there are these signs up.

  • We're going to be videotaping this course

  • for the lectures for OCW.

  • And if you're happy with that, cool.

  • If not, just sit on the sides and you

  • won't appear anywhere on video.

  • Sadly, I can't do that.

  • But you're welcome to if you like.

  • But hopefully that should not play a meaningful role

  • in any of the lectures.

  • So the goal of 804 is for you to learn quantum mechanics.

  • And by learn quantum mechanics, I

  • don't mean to learn how to do calculations,

  • although that's an important and critical thing.

  • I mean learn some intuition.

  • I want you to develop some intuition

  • for quantum phenomena.

  • Now, quantam mechanics is not hard.

  • It has a reputation for being a hard topic.

  • It is not a super hard topic.

  • So in particular, everyone in this room,

  • I'm totally positive, can learn quantum mechanics.

  • It does require concerted effort.

  • It's not a trivial topic.

  • And in order to really develop a good intuition,

  • the essential thing is to solve problems.

  • So the way you develop a new intuition

  • is by solving problems and by dealing

  • with new situations, new context, new regimes, which

  • is what we're going to do in 804.

  • It's essential that you work hard on the problem sets.

  • So your job is to devote yourself to the problem sets.

  • My job is to convince you at the end of every lecture

  • that the most interesting thing you could possibly

  • do when you leave is the problem set.

  • So you decide who has the harder job.

  • So the workload is not so bad.

  • So we have problem sets due, they're

  • due in the physics box in the usual places, by lecture,

  • by 11 AM sharp on Tuesdays every week.

  • Late work, no, not so much.

  • But we will drop one problem set to make up

  • for unanticipated events.

  • We'll return the graded problem sets

  • a week later in recitation.

  • Should be easy.

  • I strongly, strongly encourage you

  • to collaborate with other students on your problem sets.

  • You will learn more, they will learn more,

  • it will be more efficient.

  • Work together.

  • However, write your problem sets yourself.

  • That's the best way for you to develop and test

  • your understanding.

  • There will be two midterms, dates to be announced,

  • and one final.

  • I guess we could have multiple, but that

  • would be a little exciting.

  • We're going to use clickers, and clickers will be required.

  • We're not going to take attendance,

  • but they will give a small contribution

  • to your overall grade.

  • And we'll use them most importantly

  • for non-graded but just participation concept questions

  • and the occasional in class quiz to probe your knowledge.

  • This is mostly so that you have a real time

  • measure of your own conceptual understanding of the material.

  • This has been enormously valuable.

  • And something I want to say just right off

  • is that the way I've organized this class

  • is not so much based on the classes I was taught.

  • It's based to the degree possible on empirical lessons

  • about what works in teaching, what

  • actually makes you learn better.

  • And clickers are an excellent example of that.

  • So this is mostly a standard lecture course,

  • but there will be clickers used.

  • So by next week I need you all to have clickers,

  • and I need you to register them on the TSG website.

  • I haven't chosen a specific textbook.

  • And this is discussed on the Stellar web page.

  • There are a set of textbooks, four textbooks that I strongly

  • recommend, and a set of others that are nice references.

  • The reason for this is twofold.

  • First off, there are two languages

  • that are canonically used for quantum mechanics.

  • One is called wave mechanics, and the language,

  • the mathematical language is partial differential equations.

  • The other is a matrix mechanics.

  • They have big names.

  • And the language there is linear algebra.

  • And different books emphasize different aspects

  • and use different languages.

  • And they also try to aim at different problems.

  • Some books are aimed towards people

  • who are interested in materials science, some books that

  • are aimed towards people interested in philosophy.

  • And depending on what you want, get

  • the book that's suited to you.

  • And every week I'll be providing with your problem sets readings

  • from each of the recommended texts.

  • So what I really encourage you to do is find a group of people

  • to work with every week, and make sure

  • that you've got all the books covered between you.

  • This'll give you as much access to the texts

  • as possible without forcing you to buy four books, which

  • I would discourage you from doing.

  • So finally I guess the last thing to say

  • is if this stuff were totally trivial,

  • you wouldn't need to be here.

  • So ask questions.

  • If you're confused about something,

  • lots of other people in the class

  • are also going to be confused.

  • And if I'm not answering your question without you asking,

  • then no one's getting the point, right?

  • So ask questions.

  • Don't hesitate to interrupt.

  • Just raise your hand, and I will do my best to call on you.

  • And this is true for both in lecture,

  • also go to office hours and recitations.

  • Ask questions.

  • I promise, there's no such thing as a terrible question.

  • Someone else will also be confused.

  • So it's a very valuable to me and everyone else.

  • So before I get going on the actual physics

  • content of the class, are there any other practical questions?

  • Yeah.

  • AUDIENCE: You said there was a lateness policy.

  • ALLAN ADAMS: Lateness policy.

  • No late work is accepted whatsoever.

  • So the deal is given that every once in a while,

  • you know, you'll be walking to school

  • and your leg is going to fall off,

  • or a dog's going to jump out and eat your person standing

  • next to you, whatever.

  • Things happen.

  • So we will drop your lowest problem set score

  • without any questions.

  • At the end of the semester, we'll

  • just dropped your lowest score.

  • And if you turn them all in, great,

  • whatever your lowest score was, fine.

  • If you missed one, then gone.

  • On the other hand, if you know next week, I'm

  • going to be attacked by a rabid squirrel,

  • it's going to be horrible, I don't

  • want to have to worry about my problem set.

  • Could we work this out?

  • So if you know ahead of time, come to us.

  • But you need to do that well ahead of time.

  • The night before doesn't count.

  • OK?

  • Yeah.

  • AUDIENCE: Will we be able to watch the videos?

  • ALLAN ADAMS: You know, that's an excellent question.

  • I don't know.

  • I don't think so.

  • I think it's going to happen at the end of the semester.

  • Yeah.

  • OK.

  • So no, you'll be able to watch them later on the OCW website.

  • Other questions.

  • Yeah.

  • AUDIENCE: Are there any other videos

  • that you'd recommend, just like other courses on YouTube?

  • ALLAN ADAMS: Oh.

  • That's an interesting question.

  • I don't off the top of my head, but if you send me an email,

  • I'll pursue it.

  • Because I do know several other lecture series

  • that I like very much, but I don't

  • know if they're available on YouTube or publicly.

  • So send me an email and I'll check.

  • Yeah.

  • AUDIENCE: So how about the reading assignments?

  • ALLAN ADAMS: Reading assignments on the problem set every week

  • will be listed.

  • There will be equivalent reading from every textbook.

  • And if there is something missing,

  • like if no textbook covers something,

  • I'll post a separate reading.

  • Every once in a while, I'll post auxiliary readings,

  • and they'll be available on the Stellar website.

  • So for example, in your problem set, first one was posted,

  • will be available immediately after lecture

  • on the Stellar website.

  • There are three papers that it refers to, or two,

  • and they are posted on the Stellar website

  • and linked from the problem set.

  • Others?

  • OK.

  • So the first lecture.

  • The content of the physics of the first lecture

  • is relatively standalone.

  • It's going to be an introduction to a basic idea then is

  • going to haunt, plague, and charm us

  • through the rest of the semester.

  • The logic of this lecture is based

  • on a very beautiful discussion in the first few chapters

  • of a book by David Albert called Quantum Mechanics

  • and Experience.