Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
 Department of Mechanical Engineering
 6.050J / 2.110J     Information and Entropy     Spring 2003


Unit 9: Physical Systems


Lecture Tuesday, Apr 15, 2003, 12:00 PM Room 37-212
Recitation Thursday, Apr 17, 2003, 12:00 PM Room 37-212
Problem Set Posted Wednesday, Apr 9, 2003 Due Friday, Apr 18, 2003
Solutions Posted Friday, Apr 18, 2003  

Lecture Handouts

Students who for any reason did not receive these items can pick up a copy in Room 38-344. Most of this material is also available on the 6.050J/2.110J Web site

Reading Assignment



There are many Web sites that discuss quantum mechanics. Naturally, some are better than others, and some assume a higher level of expertise on the part of visitors than others. Here are a few.



  • There are many excellent textbooks dealing with quantum mechanics at the graduate or advanced undergraduate level. Unfortunately there is little if anything in the way of good explanations at a simpler level. An excellent set of notes, by MIT faculty, for a graduate course, is P. L. Hagelstein, S. D. Senturia, and T. P. Orlando, "Introductory Applied Quantum and Statistical Physics," Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA; 2000.
  • The philosophy of assuming maximum uncertainty is discussed in Chapter 3 of M. Tribus, "Thermostatics and Thermodynamics," D. Van Nostrand Co, Inc., Princeton, NJ; 1961
  • Another good explanation, in terms of estimating probabilities of an unfair die is in E. T. Jaynes, "Information Theory and Statistical Mechanics," pp. 181-218 in "Statistical Physics," Brandeis Summer Institute 1962, W. A. Benjamin, Inc., New York, NY; 1963. PDF, PS
  • Personal history by Jaynes, Edwin T. Jaynes, "Where Do We Stand on Maximum Entropy?," pp. 15-118, in "The Maximum Entropy Formalism," Raphael D. Levine and Myron Tribus, editors, The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA; 1979. PDF, PS

Help Wanted

6.050J/2.110J students: be the first to suggest a resource, for example a useful Web site or a good book or article, to add to the list above. If your suggestion is accepted by the 6.050J/2.110J staff, you will get a $5 ice-cream gift certificate. Send your suggestion by e-mail during Spring 2003 to 6.050-staff at

6.050J/2.110J home page | Spring 2003 | Site map | Search | About this page | Comments and inquiries Click here for information on MIT Accessibility