COES professor publishes groundbreaking book on quantum mechanics

Dr. Shabnam Siddiqui, research associate professor with the Louisiana Tech University Center for Biomedical Engineering and Rehabilitation Sciences, has authored Quantum Mechanics: A simplified approach, a textbook that takes an innovative path to guiding students in upper-level undergraduate and graduate quantum mechanics courses.

Shabnam SiddiquiSiddiqui says that she outlined the book to address difficulties that physics instructors face in teaching quantum mechanics due to the complicated nature of the content. She says that the goal of this book is to help more students grasp quantum mechanics at a deeper level and develop interest in the field.

“Quantum mechanics is a difficult subject to teach to students, because of both the difficult concepts and the difficulty of the mathematics involved in the process,” Siddiqui said. “Our day-to-day understanding of the world around us is based on classical physics concepts. Therefore, to understand quantum mechanics, even conceptually, requires reprogramming our thinking. Most books available in the market have presented quantum mechanics in a very classical way. Thus, this subject has remained difficult to understand.”

The book, which is available through CRC Press, Francis & Taylor Group, will be the first on the market to divide quantum mechanics into a step-by-step approach of distinguishing classical physics concepts from quantum mechanical concepts and to provide an active approach, using tutorials and simulations, to presentquantum mechanical concepts and mathematics in a simplified way that will make learning and teaching the course easier, and to help students develop a sound understanding of the quantum mechanics.

Siddiqui says that she is grateful for the feedback provided by other College of Engineering and Science faculty.

“Louisiana Tech University has provided me with a great deal of encouragement and support as I worked on the book. I received editing support from several colleagues, including Dr. Lee Sawyer, director of chemistry and physics, Dr. B. Ramachandran, associate vice president for research, dean of the graduate school and professor of chemistry, and Dr. Leonidas Iasemidis, director of the Center for Biomedical Engineering and Rehabilitation Sciences, and their feedback was invaluable.”

The quantum mechanics field is growing as quantum-based technologies, such as quantum computing, become more important in everyday life and, thus, form a larger sector of employment opportunities. This growth has prompted a similar growth in interest in studying the field, causing demand for course materials to rise.