Students’ Common Misconceptions

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YEN-JIE LEE: Before people take 8.03 class, especially my version, most of the students may think uncertainty principle is actually completely related to quantum mechanics. So actually it is actually not the case. Actually, uncertainty principle almost have nothing to do with quantum mechanics. It has to do with just the wave description we employ when we describe the system.

So that's actually one of the big thing which you will learn from 8.03. The other thing which people will learn a lot more is actually that before they come into the class, they may think it's almost impossible to understand infinitely number of coupled oscillators. And it turns out that there is a very systematical way you can actually make use of simple symmetry argument, and that you can actually greatly simplify complicated system, like infinity long system. So it is actually not an impossible task, and then everything can be actually understand, using the concept of symmetry, which we introduce in 8.03.

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