Oscillations and Waves

Alexei Gilchrist

The classical theory for oscillations and waves, and an introduction to quantum wave mechanics. Pitched at a second year university level.

The Lotka-Voltera equations. They are a simple simulation of the interaction of predators with prey and lead to oscillatory population dynamics.

These are notes that have or are being used at Macquarie University in one of the core 2nd year physics units. The fist half examines the oscillatory behaviour that is ubiquitous in Nature, and in particular the harmonic oscillator as one of the cornerstone models of physics. The second half introduces quantum wave mechanics, in the playground of Schrodinger’s equation in one-dimension, and mostly piecewise-constant potentials.

Status: Many of the notes on classical oscillations are mostly typeset and listed below. The wavefunction notes are being created and currently only available as mindmaps (see end of page).

1 First-half on Classical oscillations and waves

2 Second-half on Quantum Wavefunctions

These notes are available as mindmap SVG images, with mostly hand-crafted math. They are in the process of being created so some links make not yet work, and all maps may change as I improve the material, fix typos etc. Some of the maps can get large so please be patient while they are loading. They are SVG files with some javascript to help navigate around the map.

Mindmaps: /map/quantum-wave-mechanics/.

Controls: Pinch or control-scroll to zoom, click and drag to pan. Note that different browsers and different platforms handle UI events differently, so try a few browsers to see which gives you the best experience.

© Copyright 2022 Alexei Gilchrist