Edwin F. Taylor

Special Relativity
General Relativity
Quantum Mechanics
Principal of Least Action
Online Courses

"Teaching Feynman's Sum Over Paths Quantum Theory"
Edwin F. Taylor, Stamatis Vokos, John M. O'Meara, and Nora S. Thornber
Computers in Physics, Vol 12, No. 2, Mar/Apr 1998, pages 190 thru 199

We outline an introduction to quantum mechanics based on the sum over paths method originated by Richard P. Feynman. Students use software with a graphics interface to model sums associated with multiple paths for photons and electrons, leading to the concepts of electron wave function, the propagator, bound states, and stationary states. Material in the first portion of this outline has been tried with an audience of high school science teachers. These students were enthusiastic about the treatment, and we feel that it has promise for the education of physicists and other scientists, as well as for distribution to a wider audience.

View the entire paper (Adobe Acrobat format, ~218K)
Requires free Acrobat Reader

© 1998 American Institute of Physics