you Are About to Enter
a non-normalized Zone!
The College of New Jersey Quantum Tunnel
BY MARISA SANDERS
last summer, members of The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) Student Chemists Association (SCA) collaborated with TCNJ Mentored Undergraduate Summer Experience
(MUSE) participants to paint the TCNJ Quantum Tunnel in the
basement of the institution’s chemistry building. Inspired by
Donald Hirsh’s quantum chemistry course at TCNJ, the tunnel
stands as a unique hot spot for chemistry majors and anyone else
who wants to learn about quantum mechanics.
Marisa Sanders is double-majoring in chemistry and English
at TCNJ and is president of the SCA.
The wall located at the entrance to the tunnel reads,
“Caution! You are about to enter a non-normalized
zone.” It lists the postulates of quantum mechanics—
the conditions for entering— and a clue that the
quantum tunnel is beyond the confines of normalcy
and classical classroom learning.
The pi molecular
orbitals of butadiene are depicted in
Several quantum models, including the rigid rotor,
harmonic oscillator, and particle-in-a-box, are shown.