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Feynman's path integral formulation of quantum mechanics

Vejleder: Thomas Ryttov


In the first part of the last Century, new experimental evidence forced upon us a revision of our understanding of the physical world. Classical mechanics had to be replaced by a broader and fundamentally new framework. Originally and around the same time Heisenberg proposed his matrix mechanics while Schrödinger proposed his wave mechanics as candidates for the new description of Nature. Shortly after they were discovered they were shown to be equivalent. However, a few decades later Feynman suggested a third and equivalent formulation of quantum mechanics known as the “path integral" or “sum-over-histories” approach. Here the quantum mechanical probability of a particle travelling from A to B is viewed as a sum over all possible paths that the particle can take from A to B.

The project will aim at introducing the path integral approach and show that it is equivalent to the ordinary formulation of quantum mechanics. Next step is then to understand various physical examples and problems. Here the project can take several directions depending on what the student wishes to explore.

It is crucial to get a grip on the path integral approach to quantum physics since it permeates most of modern theoretical high energy physics.


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Sidst opdateret: 09.09.2021