A momentary note on why the conversation went the way it did:

what the hell are complex numbers doing in the Dirac equation?

Hopefully you can see why this looked like a rhetorical objection rather than a serious inquiry.

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So, what IS the i doing in Dirac's equation? Well, first let's look into what the i is doing in Schrödinger's equation, which is

with H the 'Hamiltonian' operator: the operator that scales each component of psi by its energy (so, H has only real eigenvalues. Important!)

The time-propagation operator which gives the solutions to this e... (read more)

How accurate is the quantum physics sequence?

by Paul Crowley 1 min read17th Apr 201268 comments

49


Prompted by Mitchell Porter, I asked on Physics StackExchange about the accuracy of the physics in the Quantum Physics sequence:

What errors would one learn from Eliezer Yudkowsky's introduction to quantum physics?

Eliezer Yudkowsky wrote an introduction to quantum physics from a strictly realist standpoint. However, he has no qualifications in the subject and it is not his specialty. Does it paint an accurate picture overall? What mistaken ideas about QM might someone who read only this introduction come away with?

I've had some interesting answers so far, including one from a friend that seems to point up a definite error, though AFAICT not a very consequential one: in Configurations and Amplitude, a multiplication factor of i is used for the mirrors where -1 is correct.

Physics StackExchange: What errors would one learn from Eliezer Yudkowsky's introduction to quantum physics?