Grinner

2014-04-19, 07:47 PM

Wanting to learn more about quantum physics, I'm thinking of taking an online course through Coursera. Presently, there are two options: "Exploring Quantum Physics (https://www.coursera.org/course/physicalchemistry)" and "Introduction to Physical Chemistry (https://www.coursera.org/course/physicalchemistry)", hereby known as EQP and PC respectively.

EQP actually started about a week-and-a-half ago, but judging from the syllabus, I might be able to catch up. On the other hand, it seems far more intensive, being focused solely on quantum physics. Frankly, it's a little intimidating, considering the degree of mathematics involved.

PC is split up into three segments, and the final one covers quantum physics*. This one seems a little more manageable, but I'm not entirely sure how greatly it differs from EQP. Additionally, the other two topics, thermodynamics and chemical kinetics, would be nice, but they don't seem that relevant to my goal.

Altogether, I'm really just looking for input, period. I'm kinda out my depth here.

*It's actually called quantum chemistry. What is that, anyway? How do you perform chemistry on a subatomic level?

Lecture 1: Introduction to quantum mechanics. Early experiments. Plane waves and wave-packets

Lecture 2: Interpretation and foundational principles of quantum mechanics

Lecture 3: Feynman formulation of quantum theory.

Lecture 4: Using Feynman path integral. Quantum-to-classical correspondence

Lecture 5: Back to the Schrödinger picture: bound states in quantum potential wells

Lecture 6: Cooper pairing in the theory of superconductivity

Lecture 7: Harmonic oscillator. Solution using creation and annihilation operators

Lecture 8: Classical and quantum crystals. Collective excitations in crystals - phonons

Lecture 9: Atomic spectra

Lecture 10: Quantum theory: old and new

Lecture 11: Solving the Schrödinger equation

Lecture 12: Angular momentum and the Runge-Lenz vector

Lecture 13: Electrical properties of matter

Lecture 14: Gauge potentials, spin and magnetism

Lecture 15: Quantum gases

Lecture 16: Topological states of quantum matter

Thermodynamics

Thermodynamic definitions

The zeroeth law of thermodynamics and temperature

The first law of thermodynamics and enthalpy

The second law of thermodynamics and entropy

The third law of thermodynamics and absolute entropy

Heat capacity

Reversible change

Hess’ Law

Gibbs energy and spontaneous change

Chemical Kinetics

Reaction rate

Effect of stoichiometry

Order of reaction

Half-life

Determining reaction order

Molecularity

The Arrhenius equation

Collsion theory

Transition state theory

Complex reactions

Rate-determining step

Steady state approximation

Quantum Chemistry

Introduction

Planck’s constant

The photoelectric effect

de Broglie’s particle waves

Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle

Schroedinger’s wave equation

The free particle

The particle in a box and application to linear polyenes

Hydrogenic atoms

Born’s interpretation of the wavefunction

Interpretation of radial and angular wavefunctions for hydrogenic atoms

EQP actually started about a week-and-a-half ago, but judging from the syllabus, I might be able to catch up. On the other hand, it seems far more intensive, being focused solely on quantum physics. Frankly, it's a little intimidating, considering the degree of mathematics involved.

PC is split up into three segments, and the final one covers quantum physics*. This one seems a little more manageable, but I'm not entirely sure how greatly it differs from EQP. Additionally, the other two topics, thermodynamics and chemical kinetics, would be nice, but they don't seem that relevant to my goal.

Altogether, I'm really just looking for input, period. I'm kinda out my depth here.

*It's actually called quantum chemistry. What is that, anyway? How do you perform chemistry on a subatomic level?

Lecture 1: Introduction to quantum mechanics. Early experiments. Plane waves and wave-packets

Lecture 2: Interpretation and foundational principles of quantum mechanics

Lecture 3: Feynman formulation of quantum theory.

Lecture 4: Using Feynman path integral. Quantum-to-classical correspondence

Lecture 5: Back to the Schrödinger picture: bound states in quantum potential wells

Lecture 6: Cooper pairing in the theory of superconductivity

Lecture 7: Harmonic oscillator. Solution using creation and annihilation operators

Lecture 8: Classical and quantum crystals. Collective excitations in crystals - phonons

Lecture 9: Atomic spectra

Lecture 10: Quantum theory: old and new

Lecture 11: Solving the Schrödinger equation

Lecture 12: Angular momentum and the Runge-Lenz vector

Lecture 13: Electrical properties of matter

Lecture 14: Gauge potentials, spin and magnetism

Lecture 15: Quantum gases

Lecture 16: Topological states of quantum matter

Thermodynamics

Thermodynamic definitions

The zeroeth law of thermodynamics and temperature

The first law of thermodynamics and enthalpy

The second law of thermodynamics and entropy

The third law of thermodynamics and absolute entropy

Heat capacity

Reversible change

Hess’ Law

Gibbs energy and spontaneous change

Chemical Kinetics

Reaction rate

Effect of stoichiometry

Order of reaction

Half-life

Determining reaction order

Molecularity

The Arrhenius equation

Collsion theory

Transition state theory

Complex reactions

Rate-determining step

Steady state approximation

Quantum Chemistry

Introduction

Planck’s constant

The photoelectric effect

de Broglie’s particle waves

Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle

Schroedinger’s wave equation

The free particle

The particle in a box and application to linear polyenes

Hydrogenic atoms

Born’s interpretation of the wavefunction

Interpretation of radial and angular wavefunctions for hydrogenic atoms