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Classical mechanics, Classical Electrodynamics and Quantum Mechanics

Classical mechanics
In classical mechanics, the material universe is thought to be made up of tiny particles whose
motions are completely determined by forces that act between the particles, forces such as
gravitation, electrical attractions and repulsions, etc.
The equations that describe those motions, Newton's laws of motion, were for many centuries
thought to be perfect and sufficient to predict the future of any mechanical system. They
provided support for many philosophical ideas about determinism.
Classical mechanics
In classical electrodynamics, electromagnetic radiation (light, radio) was known to have wave
properties such as interference. When the crest of one wave meets the trough of another, the
two waves cancel one another.
Quantum Mechanics
In quantum mechanics, radiation is found to have some particle-like behaviour. Energy comes
in discrete physically localized packages. Max Planck in 1900 made the famous assumption
that the energy was proportional to the frequency of radiation .
E = h

Introduction to Statistical Mechanics


Historically, there have always been two major branches of the subject.
There is, on one hand, the idea of heat and temperature applied to large macroscopic
bodies, rooted in the study of heat engines, energy conservation and reversible vs. irreversible
reactions. This is the famous thermodynamics, the one most useful to engineers and from
where the ideal gas equation springs forth. Here, systems are characterised by states - certain
parameters are presumed to pervade the system, and changes in any one constitute a new state
for the system. This, properly speaking, is what we usually mean by 'thermodynamics'. Its
true name, however, is thermal physics.
On other hand, there is another form of Thermodynamics which seeks to move past
generic descriptions of large macroscopic bodies and then write the thermodynamic quantities
in terms of physically real phenomena.
For Example:
Temperature becomes the statistical average of particle energy; pressure the statistical
average of molecular collisions; and large macroscopic systems can now be described in
terms of the averages of the states of its constituents.
This branch of thermodynamics is called statistical mechanics,
Quantum Statistical Mechanics:
The laws of thermodynamics do not strictly apply at the quantum or classical
microscopic level - but you can combine quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics to
arrive at something remarkably satisfactory. The application of ideas from thermodynamics to
quantum systems is known as quantum statistical mechanics.
Quantum mechanics' core idea is the replacement of properties with operators: instead
of saying that energy is a property of an object, it says that there is an associated function
with the object which, when you apply a mathematical operation to it (hence operator),
returns a set of possible values.

Hamiltonian Operator
A very naive way to begin to do quantum statistical mechanics is to replace properties
with their corresponding operators. So, instead of using energy in the expression for the
canonical ensemble, you use the Hamiltonian operator, and continue this practice
everywhere. But this is just the start.
The Hamiltonian is the operator corresponding to the total energy of the system in
most of the cases; which is the sum of the kinetic energies of all the particles, plus the
potential energy of the particles associated with the system.
It is usually denoted by H, also or . Its spectrum is the set of possible outcomes
when one measures the total energy of a system
For different situations or number of particles, the Hamiltonian is different since it
includes the sum of kinetic energies of the particles, and the potential energy function
corresponding to the situation
The Schrdinger Hamiltonian
One particle
By analogy with classical mechanics, the Hamiltonian is commonly expressed as the sum of
operators corresponding to the kinetic and potential energies of a system in the form

is the potential energy operator and

is the kinetic energy operator in which m is the mass of the particle, the dot denotes the dot product of
vectors, and
is the momentum operator wherein is the del operator. The dot product of with itself is the
Laplacian 2. In three dimensions using Cartesian coordinates the Laplace operator is

Although this is not the technical definition of the Hamiltonian in classical mechanics, it is the form it
most commonly takes. Combining these together yields the familiar form used in the Schrdinger
equation

which allows one to apply the Hamiltonian to systems described by a wave function (r, t).
This is the approach commonly taken in introductory treatments of quantum mechanics,
using the formalism of Schrdinger's wave mechanics.
Schrdinger's equation
It replaces the classical Newton equations of motion.
Note that Schrdinger's equation describes the motion of only the wave aspect, not the
particle aspect, and as such it implies interference. Note also that it is as fully deterministic an
equation of motion as Newton's equations