Quantum Mechanics is Obvious – the Movie

I heard Disney was delaying it’s summer blockbusters because of the virus and I wondered who could possibly step into their shoes and keep everyone entertained. Then I realised I had exactly what everyone needed to provide some light relief. What better than some videos of my alternative way of introducing Quantum Mechanics? They’re sure to be a hit with the whole family.

So here’s the first, short, 10 minute video where I explain how you can encode probability distributions as vectors. This is the basic Big Idea of quantum mechanics.

I’m hoping to add to this at a rate of one a week. The rough outline should be something like the following.

1. Turning Probability Distributions into Vectors (the video that’s been uploaded today).
2. Measurement Operators.
3. Operator Equations.
4. The need for complex numbers.
5. Continuous distributions.
6. Quantum Mechanics.

So have fun, share it widely, show it at parties, fascinate your friends and keep the kids amused.

4 thoughts on “Quantum Mechanics is Obvious – the Movie

  1. Very interesting and informative – Thank you

    It is a clear and cumulative step by step explanation which some other sources lack.

    One bit that I’m not 100% clear on is the concept of coin rotation (180 degrees) vs vector rotation (90 degrees).

    This may highlight my lack of understanding but … I follow what you are showing but why is the ‘physical implementation’ relevant?

    Couldn’t you do exactly the same analysis with a six sided die* and look for odd/even outcomes (replacing Heads with Evens and Tails with Odds [or vice versa]). In this case there isn’t a concept of rotation involved between the states.

    *or a D10, D12 or D20 come to that


    1. You’re right that there’s no rotational symmetry in the coin as I describe it. The example is slightly contrived.

      What I was trying to illustrate was the 720 degree symmetry that is often claimed for spin half particles and how it arises in the spinor model.

      I’ll be exploring some examples with a six sided die in future videos.


  2. If it’s any help; though I struggled to understand the subject (which is no one else’s fault but my brain’s), your clear presentation meant I could follow each step.
    My aim is to comprehend enough to ask a valid question about QM so I look forward to your next video.
    PS it is lovely to hear your voice, Rev Dr Peter.


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