Quantum Mechanics

Quantum mechanics was first developed in the early 1900s by a number of prominent physicists, including Max Planck, Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Louis de Broglie, Werner Heisenberg, Erwin Schrödinger, and Wolfgang Pauli. Planck is generally credited with the founding of quantum mechanics, as he developed the first quantum theory to explain the behavior of blackbody radiation in 1900.

The basic of quantum mechanics is the idea that energy and matter exist in discrete packets or quanta. This means that the energy of a system can only take certain values, rather than being continuous. As a result, particles can ‘jump’ from one energy level to another, and this is how quantum devices like lasers, transistors, and atomic clocks work. Quantum technologies use these principles to provide new capabilities for computing, communication, sensing, and other applications.

Schrödinger’s cat is a well-known thought experiment illustrating the application of Quantum Mechanics to familiar objects. local_doctor/Shutterstock.com

Quantum mechanics are an active and rapidly-evolving field of research today. It is being used to develop new technologies such as quantum computers and communication systems, as well as to further our understanding of the fundamental nature of the universe. In addition, researchers are exploring a variety of applications for quantum mechanics, including cryptography, medical imaging, and drug development.

The illustrious mathematical biologist Alfred Lotka have put forward his quantum model of consciousness where the mind controls the brain with random quantum jumps. Lotka suggested that consciousness takes place “below Planck’s constant”, where the deterministic laws of classical physics are invalid. Today, a number of neuroscientists are researching how quantum theory could provide the solution to fully understanding how the brain works.

The University of Oslo (UIO) offers courses in quantum mechanics. The university offers a Master’s program in quantum and nanoscience as well as an advanced course in quantum mechanics. The university also offers a Master’s program in Physics with a specialization in Quantum Physics. In the early 1980s, I attended introductory quantum mechanics courses at the University of Oslo.