Coronavirus information for applicants and offer-holders

We understand that prospective students and offer-holders may have concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The University is following the advice from Universities UK, Public Health England and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Read our latest coronavirus information

MPhys Physics with Astrophysics

Year of entry: 2021

Course unit details:
Advanced Quantum Mechanics

Unit code PHYS40202
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 4
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Department of Physics & Astronomy
Available as a free choice unit? No


Advanced Quantum Mechanics


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Advanced Dynamics PHYS10672 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Lagrangian Dynamics PHYS20401 Pre-Requisite Recommended
Mathematical Fundamentals of Quantum Mechanics PHYS30201 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Electrodynamics (M) PHYS30441 Pre-Requisite Compulsory

Follow - Up Units

PHYS40481 - Quantum Field Theory

PHYS40682 - Gauge Theories

PHYS40771 - Gravitation

PHYS40772 - Early Universe


1. To  enhance knowledge and understanding of Quantum Mechanics.

2. To prepare students for Quantum Field Theory, Gauge Theories and other related courses.


Learning outcomes

This course unit detail provides the framework for delivery in 20/21 and may be subject to change due to any additional Covid-19 impact.  Please see Blackboard / course unit related emails for any further updates

On completion successful students will be able to:

1. Find the unitary transformations linked to symmetry operations.
2. Apply time-dependent perturbation theory to variety of problems.
3. Derive a mathematical description of quantum motion in electromagnetic fields.
4. Apply the relativistic wave equations to simple single-particle problems. 


1.    Symmetries in quantum mechanics (4 lectures)

Rotations, space-time reflections and parity

Unitary operators for space and time translations

Conversation laws

Schrödinger vs Heisenberg picture


2.    Time-dependent perturbation theory (6 lectures)

Fermi's Golden Rule

Selection rules for atomic transitions

Emission and absorption of radiation

Finite width of excited state

Selection rules for hydrogen


3.    Coupling to E&M fields (6 lectures)

Minimal coupling

Landau levels

The Gauge Principle in Quantum Mechanics

The Pauli-Schrödinger equation


4.     Relativistic wave equations (8 lectures)

The Klein-Gordon equation

The Dirac equations

Chirality and helicity

Lorentz invariance and the non-relativistic limit

The hydrogen atom and fine structure


Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 100%

Feedback methods

Feedback will be provided via solutions to the problem sheets, which will be made available electronically on Blackboard. More detailed feedback will be provided in example classes which are integrated within the 24 lectures.


Recommended reading

There is no single book that covers all the material in the course. The following books represent a basic choice:

Shankar R., Principles of Quantum Mechanics 2nd ed, 3rd printing (Springer, 2008)

Atkinson I.J.R. and Hey, A.J.G. Gauge Theories in Particle Physics, Vol 1 (IoP, 2003)


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 1.5
Lectures 24
Independent study hours
Independent study 74.5

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Yang Xian Unit coordinator

Return to course details