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Susan八年级校园生活(14)--11月独立阅读:量子力学导论(初中生都能懂?)

 

Susan

 

4-5节课

 

     11月独立阅读:量子力学导论:一个图表指南

 

Susan 小哭译

 

11月份的独立阅读,我读了《量子力学导论:一个图表指南》一书。这书非常有趣儿。书中用图片、表格和文字解释了量子力学的基本原理。全书共有175页,绝大部分都是图表以及相应的解释文字。图片极大地帮助了我理解量子力学的不同理论。它们提供了一个对于方程所讨论内容的直观例子。我喜欢书中用对话框、而不是仅仅一段平淡的文字来表示不同物理学家的重要发现这一方法。这就使得这些发现与那些发现他们的人更好地联系起来,让人很容易记住,读起来更有趣儿。这本书耐心地解释了不同的理论,我得以理解了其中的多数。然而,还有几个理论真的是非常地难以理解,于是我就跳过去往下读了。《量子力学导论》覆盖了量子物理学的所有基本信息:它包括了量子力学是怎么开始的、谁做了贡献、怎么演变的,以及人类目前对其理解到了哪里(这书写于1996年,所以它漏掉了几个小细节)。它甚至在开始谈论量子物理之前,花了几页纸的篇幅,给出了读者所需要知道的古典(正常)物理的基本信息。我认为这本书写得非常好,在每一个理论、想法、人物和事件上都有着最恰当的笔墨。书中的图片非常地简洁,与文字搭配得非常好。《量子力学导论》是J.P. 麦克沃伊和奥斯卡.萨拉特合著的。它属于一个介绍诸如混沌、分形分析、女权运动、印度教和达尔文这些题材的系列。我认为这本书非常值得花点时间去读读,我愿意将它推荐给任何对量子物理感兴趣、但又对其几乎一无所知的人们。


我觉得有趣的十件事儿:

 

1.)量子物理首先开始于马克斯.普朗克的一个发现——由一个未完成的数学过程引起的一个意外发现。当普朗克最后从一个数学错误中发现量子论时,他正在寻找对他自己提出的令人困惑的黑体悖论的解释。这样一个“……对于一个在物理学历史上最伟大的革命的丢人的开始!”,书中如是说。

 

2.)在进行研究发现的同时,物理学家还参加会议分享他们的想法。我注意到,他们都有着相当强烈的自我意识,对自己非常地自信。他们很不情愿去接受自己的想法可能是错误的,或者另一个科学家比他们自己更快地发现了答案。这就有点可笑和悲哀,以至于罗伯特.A.米利肯花了他生命中十年的光阴去证明爱因斯坦的一个理论,最终也只是加固了它而已。

 

3.)几个物理学家,像普朗克,排拆他们自己的工作成果。薛定谔没有直接地排拆他的工作成果,但是他并不喜欢。普朗克是波动力学的一个主要贡献者,可实际上,他根本就不喜欢波动力学。后来,他尝试用薛定谔的猫悖论证明他的发现不成立,但结果只是使得他的理论传播得更为广泛。

 

4.)随着我读得越来越多,量子力学的概念竟然不是变得越来越清晰了,反倒是令人甚至更困惑了。我明白得越多,就有越多的疑问。据说没有人能够真正地理解量子力学。真是这么回事儿!

 

5.)有一个波动的概念。是这样的一个想法:在一个充满气体的盒子中,所有的分子在某一瞬间可能都集中在这上容器的某一个角落处。这个可能性真的是小,但是却存在着。思考这些事儿很酷:所有的分子在一个角落里,甚至只是一瞬间,留给盒子其余的地方一个真空状态。

 

6.)有一个“旧”的量子力学:其理论在1927年首次向世人介绍量子理论的索尔韦会议之前就被确切地阐述过了(译者注:英文原文写成会议之后,怀疑是笔误)。后来,有了“新”的量子力学:其理论在经历了“二十五年的困惑”、在量子力学的概念已经被接受和研究之后才被提了出来。这真有趣儿。

 

7.)新的量子力学主要是由海森堡、薛定谔和狄拉克提出来。他们相互独立地同时发表了提出截然不同的新观点的论文,后来证明所有的这些论文都是相互支持的!

 

8.)所有的这些信息都与我在科学课上所学的内容相符。

 

9.)沃尔夫冈.泡利真是一个很酷的人。他在青少年时期很擅长数学和物理,在21岁时发表了一篇关于广义相对论的评论文章。这篇文章甚至获得了爱因斯坦的评论:“任何研究这篇严谨且具宏观构想的论文的人,简直不可能相信它的作者只有21岁。”关于他的一件很不可思议的事情是当他长大后,他少有地出现在实验室时,时常弄得实验仪器出故障。这事儿被认为是“泡利效应”(不要和“泡利不相容原理”混淆)。

 

10.)所有的物理学家通过发表论文分享了他们的发现。我想知道发在了哪里?有没有一个物理学家发表论文的特别杂志或是什么?

 

【小哭介绍背景】Susan主动地说,要把她刚刚完成的作业给我看看,说是非常值得我读读。写之前我听她念叨过要查一查正在读的有关量子力学的书属不属于科学书的范畴。估计这又是威尔基女士的大作业了,从她在作业纸顶部的“第4-5节课”标注我肯定了自己的猜想,也许,这就是全职主妇有别于工作族妈妈的地方吧,可以对孩子的生活和学习细节有更多的了解。后来仔细寻问,Susan说这书是科学课老师提到过的一本书,建议他们读读。于是她就找来读了。而威尔基女士对11月的独立阅读大作业的要求是读一本非虚构类的、最好是科学类的书,写一篇读书报告上交。

 

最近的饭桌上,话题偶尔就是量子力学,最初是从Susan问爸爸知道quantum是什么意思吗?接下来的讨论就越来越多地夹杂着大把我听不懂的单词,我少见地、主动地没有参与讨论,暗下决心等小宝长大后我一定要能够用英语和孩子讨论量子力学。

 

我刚才在中文网站查了一下量子力学的词条,其中有个网址给出的内容和Susan的这篇文章介绍的比较相近,但却要全面和深入得多了,或说枯燥多了。读了Susan的这篇作业,我很想把她推荐的书也推荐给朋友的孩子。同时,我对威尔基女士越来越“崇拜”了。我很想知道,这个让我如此佩服的老师,是她很独特?还是哪个学校也都会有一两个?跟着威尔基女士上课,这才不到半年的时间,我都感受到了Susan的巨大收获。这要是能够多跟几年,真不知道得有多大的收获!当然,基本上没有这样的孩子,她只是八年级快班的老师,全年级有大概三、四个快班,每年只有几十个孩子有机会跟着她上一年的课。

 

上周的家长会,她告诉Susan可以带着妈妈一起来讨论暑假文集,我想着这么严格的老师,大概会告诉我们怎么把语法弄好、怎么避免拼写错误吧,结果人家只跟Susan强调了一件事儿:你现在的写作风格属于写给你自己看的,接下来你要转变文风,把文章写成给杂志发表用的那种风格。所以,你写之前要想好,那些没用的废话就不要写出来,更不要写着写着跑跑题,再来一句“话说回来”或“让我们回到**”,你压根就没必要写那些跑题的内容。Susan听得连连点头,最后老师送了她一本TEENINK杂志,让她把目标定为在这个杂志发表文章。当时Susan拿着杂志、受宠若惊的样子,我现在还记得。其实阿朵早就给我们介绍过这个杂志的。回家路上我跟Susan说,我也提出来过同样的问题,说她的文章越来越长、越来越跑题。可是Susan说威尔基女士讲得很明白,妈妈讲的跟老师没法比。一想Susan现在终于又找到了一个可以指导她写作的老师了,我大大地松了口气。我能帮到她的,可能也就是帮她找教练了。

 

至于Susan在文中对量子力学的兴趣,我一点也不意外。如今她通过威尔基女士的阅读要求,慢慢地扩大阅读领域,了解之前未曾涉足的知识,培养好奇心、求知欲,以及求知技能,让自己拥有越来越强的自我提高能力,这一点真是令我无比欣慰。

 

附上Wikiversity Beta介绍“量子力学入门”词条的网址,及其推荐的几本中、英文入门书:

 

http://beta.wikiversity.org/wiki/%E9%87%8F%E5%AD%90%E5%8A%9B%E5%AD%A6%E5%85%A5%E9%97%A8

 

量子力学入门

 

 

 

以下的书目全部是由专业物理学家撰写的通俗著作,旨在让更多的人了解量子力学,都尽量避免了使用过多的专业术语。

 

    • Ghirardi, GianCarlo, 2004. Sneaking a Look at God's Cards, Gerald Malsbary, trans. Princeton Univ. Press. The occasional passages using algebratrigonometryand bra-ket notation can be passed over on a first reading.

    • Victor Stenger2000. Timeless Reality: Symmetry, Simplicity, and Multiple Universes. Buffalo NY: Prometheus Books. Includes much non-quantum physics and philosophy

 

再推荐一本在网络上流传很广的通俗量子力学著作(现已出版)。

 

简体:

 

 

繁体:

 

    • 曹天元,上帝擲骰子嗎?:量子物理史話,八方出版股份有限公司 2007

 

该书介绍了量子力学的发展历史和现状,基本上就是20世纪的物理学史,还通俗的阐述了量子力学的各种主流诠释。虽然形式上不够专业,还有一些大大小小的错误,但对于想了解量子力学的业余读者来说还是很适合的。没有高等数学基础也可以阅读(其实有中学水平的就可以胜任了)

 

附上英文原文:

 

Susan

 

Period 4-5

 

Nov. IR: Introducing Quantum Theory: A Graphic Guide

 

For my November independent reading, I read the book Introducing Quantum Theory: A Graphic Guide. It was very interesting. The book explained the basics of quantum mechanics with pictures, diagrams, and words. It had 175 pages, mostly filled with drawings and explanations for them. The drawings helped me a lot in understanding the different theories of quantum mechanics. They provided a visual example of what the equations were talking about. I like how the book presented important discoveries from speech bubbles from different physicist instead of from just a bland paragraph of words. That made the discoveries more connected to those who discovered them, easier to remember, and more interesting to read about. The book took its time explaining different theories, so I understood most of them. However, there were a few that were really hard to understand, so I skipped them and moved on. Introducing Quantum Theory covered all the general information about quantum physics: how it began, who contributed, how it evolved, and where mankind currently is in understanding it (this is written in 1996, so it missed a few small details). It even spent a few pages giving the basic information readers need to know about classical (normal) physics before it started talking about quantum physics. I think it was very well-written, and spent just the right amount of time on each theory/idea/person/event. The pictures were very neat and mixed well with the words. Introducing Quantum Theory was written by J.P. McEvoy and Oscar Zarate. It is in a series that contains books introducing other subjects like chaos, fractals, Feminism, Hinduism, and Darwin. I think this book was very much worth the time to read, and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in quantum physics yet knows almost nothing about it.


List of ten things I found interesting:

 

1.) Quantum physics was first started by a discovery by Max Planck—a discovery that was accidental and caused by an incomplete mathematical procedure. Planck was looking for an explanation for his own perplexing black-body paradox when he finally found it—from making a mathematical mistake. Such an “…ignominious start to one of the greatest revolutions in the history of physics!”, as the book put it.

 

2.) While making discoveries, the physicists attended conferences to share their ideas. I noticed that they all had pretty big egos and were very sure of themselves. They were reluctant to accept that their ideas might be wrong, or that another scientist had discovered the answer faster than themselves. It’s kind of funny and sad that Robert A. Millikan spend 10 years of his life trying to disprove one of Einstein’s theories, yet only ended up strengthening it.

 

3.) A few physicists, like Planck, rejected their own work. Schrodinger didn’t straight out reject his work, but he disliked it. He was a main contributor to wave mechanics, but he actually does not like wave mechanics at all. Later, he tried to disprove his discoveries with the Schrodinger’s Cat paradox, but only made his theory even more widespread.

 

4.) Instead of becoming clearer and clearer as I read on, quantum mechanics became even more confusing. The more I understood, the more questions I had. It is said that nobody can truly understand quantum mechanics. How true that is!

 

5.) There’s this concept called fluctuations. It is the idea of all the molecules in a box full of gas might be, for an instant, in just one corner of the container. The possibility is really small, but it exists. That’s cool to think about: all the molecules in one corner, even for an instant, leaving an vacuum in the rest of the box.

 

6.) There’s the “old” quantum mechanics: the theories that were first formulated after the Solvay Conference in 1927 that first introduced quantum theory to the world. Then there’s the “new” quantum mechanics: the theories proposed after the “twenty-five years of confusion”, after idea of quantum mechanics had been accepted and studied. That’s interesting.

 

7.) New quantum mechanics was proposed mainly by Heisenberg, Schrodinger, and Dirac. They all published distinct papers proposing new ideas at the same time, independent of each other, and later, it was shown that the papers all supported each other!

 

8.) All this information matches with what I studied in science class.

 

9.) Wolfgang Pauli is a really cool person. He was advanced in math and physics in his teenage years, and published a review article on general relativity when he was 21. The article even received a comment from Einstein, saying: “Whoever studies this mature and grandly conceived work might not believe its author is only 21 years old.” One of the weird things about him is that when he grew up, his mere presence in a laboratory often made experimental instruments malfunction. That was known as the Pauli effect (not to be confused with the Pauli principle).

 

10.) All the physicists shared their discoveries by publishing them. I wonder where? Is there a specific magazine that physicists publish to or something?

 

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评论

司马冰的头像
 #

谁说美国学校学的东西少,学的东西浅,这样高深的知识中国的大学生接触过了解过的也很少。一个应试教育把中国的教育都搞坏了。

 
周小哭的头像
 #

这里不是一刀切,感觉有一个非常健全的体制,让学有余力的人,可以学到非常多的东西,但是对其它的孩子不构成影响。

 
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