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MPhys Physics / Course details
Year of entry: 2022
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Course unit details:
Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
|Unit level||Level 2|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 1|
|Offered by||Department of Physics & Astronomy|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
|Unit title||Unit code||Requirement type||Description|
|Vibrations & Waves||PHYS10302||Pre-Requisite||Compulsory|
|Mathematics of Waves and Fields||PHYS20171||Co-Requisite||Recommended|
To introduce the fundamental ideas of quantum mechanics that are needed to understand atomic physics.
‘This course unit detail provides the framework for delivery in 21/22 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. Understand how quantum states are described by wave functions.
2. Deal with operators and solve eigenvalue problems in quantum mechanics.
3. Solve the Schrodinger equation and describe the properties of the simple harmonic oscillator.
4. Deal with algebra of angular momentum operators and solve the simple eigenvalue problems of an angular momentum in quantum mechanics.
5. Use quantum mechanics to describe the hydrogen atom.
6. Use quantum mechanics to describe the properities of one-electron atoms.
7. Use quantum mechanics to describe the simple multi-electron systems such as helium atom and hydrogen molecule.
1. Basic Elements of Quantum Mechanics
Time dependent Schrödinger equation and time evolution.
2. Commutators and compatibility
Operators and quantum states, commutation relations and compatibility of different observables.
3. The Harmonic Oscillator
Stationery states, energy levels of simple harmonic oscillator, vibrational states of a diatomic molecule
4. Orbital angular momentum
Particle in two dimensions (eigenfunctions and eigenvalues of Lz), particle in three dimensions (eigenfunctions and eigenvalues of L2 and Lz), rotational states of a diatmoic molecule.
5. Particle in a central potential
Motion according to classical physics, quantum states with certain E, L2 and Lz and the radial time-indpendent Schrodinger equation, energy levels and eigenfunctions for the Coulomb potential.
6. Hydrogen Atom
Energy levels, size and shape of energy eigenfunctions, effect of finite mass of nucleus, EM spectrum, hydrogen-like systems.
7. One-electron atoms in more details
Electron spin, Sten-Gerlach experiment, magentic moments, orbital and total angular momentum. Spin-orbit interaction, perturbation theory (1st order). Zeeman effect. Parity, radiative transitions and selection rules.
8. Multi-electron Atoms
Wave functions of identical particles. Exchange symmetry. Pauli exclusion principle. Energy states of He atom. Hartree theory. X-ray spectra. Hand's rules.
Feedback will be offered by tutors on students’ written solutions to weekly example sheets, and model answers will be issued.
Phillips, A.C. Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (Wiley)
French, A.P. & Taylor, E.F. An Introduction to Quantum Physics (Thomas Nelson)
For general background reading:
ed. Manners, J. Quantum Physics: an Introduction (IOP in association with the Open University)
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Assessment written exam||1.5|
|Independent study hours|
|Michael Seymour||Unit coordinator|