2012 BFY Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: W49 - Quantum Analogs
Abstract: Students have trouble forming intuition about quantum mechanics, especially if partial differential equations are not their natural language. To help in conceptualization, TeachSpin offers a collection of apparatus and experiences in classical acoustics of air in confined volumes to teach analogies to quantum phenomena. By using acoustic experiments to display the solutions of a differential equation analogous to the Schrödinger Equation, students can see classical normal modes as the analogs of quantum eigenstates. Using a spherical resonator, they can see directly the spherical harmonics that are common to classical and quantum-mechanical problems in spherical systems. A one-dimensional array of acoustic modules provides hands-on analogs from particle-in-a-box to the behavior of semiconductors

Participants will:
-- See the 'mode spectrum' of acoustic resonances in a spherical resonator by scanning over frequency
-- Choose one mode, and explore its spherical-harmonic character
-- Perturb that mode out of a sphere, and see frequency splittings
-- Graduate to a periodic 1-d acoustic structure, and see acoustic bands and gaps
-- Learn how 3 independent variables control 3 dependent variables in the band-gap pattern
-- Manage to leave the room after only 40 minutes of using this highly addictive apparatus.
Abstract Type: Workshop

Workshop Documents

Workshop Document: Download the Workshop Document
Workshop Document (2): Download the Workshop Document (2)

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: David Van Baak