Visual Quantum Mechanics

by Bernd Thaller
>> Deutsch


Quantum mechanics describes strange phenomena far beyond the realm of everyday experience. Computer visualization is sometimes the only method to observe what cannot be seen by any other means.

"Visual Quantum Mechanics" is a systematic exploration of quantum mechanics using computer-generated animations. These are the main results:


"Visual Quantum Mechanics" and "Advanced Visual Quantum Mechanics" - Two textbooks about quantum mechanics, each with a cover CD containing hundreds of short movie clips illustrating quantum phenomena. The software for both books won the European Academic Software Award EASA (2000 and 2004).


A few examples (from about 700 movies coming with the two books). You need QuickTime to view these films. The explanations require some knowledge of quantum mechanics.

Here are some additional movies about topics not covered in the books.

The VQM packages

A collection of Mathematica packages for visualizing complex-valued functions, for solving the Schrödinger and Dirac equations, and related topics. Outside of quantum mechanics, these packages are specially useful for visualizing complex analytic functions. (See the image gallery). A new version for Mathematica 6 is available.


An openGL-based visualization tool for visualizing complex-valued functions and spinor-valued wave functions in three dimensions. Colored isosurfaces, slice planes, flux lines (see the sample images).

Quantum mechanics and art - internet exhibitions

Datenstrukturen V-Q-M (2000) and Datenstrukturen AVQM (2004) - two exhibitions of computer art, inspired by (Advanced) Visual Quantum Mechanics.


Work in progress - this is the starting point of a collection of "reusable learning objects" for elementary quantum mechanics (for teaching in high schools) that builds on the achievements of the "Visual Quantum Mechanics" project. Presently, this is mainly in German, but there are a few units available in English and Japanese.


EASA 2000

Top 5 Award

Made with Mac