Quantum Physics vs Quantum Mechanics
The terms ‘quantum physics’ and ‘quantum mechanics’ are used by people with different meanings. Although sometimes, they are used to describe the same thing, we can identify quantum physics as a branch of science, which study on theories like quantum mechanics and quantum field theory. For example, mechanics is a set of theories studied under a branch of science known as physics.
Quantum mechanics can be described as the set of principals, which explain the behavior of matter at atomic (or subatomic) scale. The word ‘quantum’ itself describes a fundamental concept of quantum mechanics – the quantized or discrete nature of matter and energy. Quantum mechanics was born when Max Plank introduced the concept of quantized energy (E =nhf) to explain blackbody thermal radiation. Then Einstein came up with the concept of ‘photon’ to explain the particle nature of light. This led to a theory known as ‘wave particle duality’, which says about the possession of both ‘wave’ and ‘particle’ qualities by matter and energy. The concept was introduced by Louis de Broglie.
Fundamental concepts of quantum mechanics also include Bohr models to describe atomic structure by Niels Bohr, Schrödinger equation (widely used equation to calculate quantum waves) by Erwin Schrödinger, uncertainty principle (which explains the probabilistic nature of matter and energy) by Werner Heisenberg, and Pauli Exclusion Principle by Wolfgang Pauli. The explanation known as Copenhagen interpretation and the phenomenon known as quantum entanglement are also belong to the quantum mechanics.
Quantum physics can be called as a branch of science that focuses on systems explained by theories such as quantum mechanics and quantum field theory. Scientists and researchers focus on this area to use this knowledge to understand the behavior of particles at the subatomic level. However, the term ‘quantum physics’ may be used by some with the same meaning of quantum mechanics. But the best use for the term is in describing subject area.
What is the difference between quantum physics and quantum mechanics?
1. Quantum mechanics can be described as the set of principals used to explain the behavior of matter and energy, whereas quantum physics is a branch of science, which focuses on quantum mechanics.
2. Quantum physics and quantum mechanics have a relation similar to that between physics and mechanics.