speaking, there are two alternative ways to introduce non-relativistic
quantum mechanics. Most physics students and instructors are familiar
with the approach centered on the mathematically complex Schrödinger
equation. But more than fifty years ago Richard P. Feynman showed us
an easier and more fundamental way.
Feynman's sum-over-paths quantum theory simply commands the electron: Explore all paths. Students model this command with the computer, pointing and clicking to tell the electron which paths to explore; wave functions and bound states arise naturally. This story line and the results of early trials with students are described more fully in the publication "Teaching Feynman's Sum Over Paths Quantum Theory," Edwin F. Taylor, Stamatis Vokos, John M. O'Meara, and Nora S. Thornber, Computers in Physics 12, 190-199 (Mar/Apr 1998).
The new teaching materials are based on the little book of popular lectures given by Richard Feynman: QED, The Strange Theory of Light and Matter (Princeton, 1985).
software and DRAFT student exercises:
copyright 2008, Edwin F. Taylor, All Rights Reserved