A New Model Course in Applied Quantum Physics
E.F. Redish, R.N. Steinberg, M.C. Wittmann

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Applied Homework Assignments

The students in our classroom need to know that the physics of quantum mechanic plays a role in their everyday life. By focusing on device-based examples of real-world phenomena, they can build a bridge between the abstract and the everyday. The examples listed below show how students build on their understanding of ideas in tutorial and lecture. We are presently developing more extended homeworks.

(Note that greyed out text indicates links that will be included on the final version but are not included in the demonstration version of the CD.)

Photomultiplier Tube

The photomultiplier tube is based on relatively simple physics. Students build on their understanding of the photoelectric effect and electric fields and force.

Atomic Interferometer

Guidance systems can be built using an atomic interferometer as a gyroscope system. In this homework, students build on the idea of wave-particle duality.

Spectroscopic Chemical Analysis

To test for harmful materials in wildlife, environmental tests in which the intensity of spectral lines are compared are carried out. Students build on their understanding of spectroscopy to discuss how chemicals are found in nature.

Scanning Tunneling Microscope

Understanding of surface physics has been greatly helped by the technique of scanning tunneling microscopy. Building from a tutorial on tunneling, students develop a simple model of how STM's function.


New measurement techniques with superconducting quantum interference devices provide students with an opportunity to discuss tunneling issues in a relevant context.


Discussing the physics of bias and one-way current in diodes provides students with a context in which to understand pn-junctions and the electronics in many of their engineering classes.


Students model the creation of a conduction channel in a simple transistor using physics concepts from the classroom.


Though the detailed physics of lasers is difficult for students and comes late in the semester, an applied homework comparing different types of lasers provides students with the opportunity to discuss transitions between energy levels in different gases.




Last modified 2k1 Jun 21