Quantum Mechanics - MA607

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
Autumn 6 15 (7.5) DR C Dunning checkmark-circle


Quantum mechanics provides an accurate description of nature on a subatomic scale, where the standard rules of classical mechanics fail. It is an essential component of modern technology and has a wide range of fascinating applications. This module introduces some of the key concepts of quantum mechanics from a mathematical point of view.
The joint level 6/level 7 curriculum will consist of the following:
• The necessity for quantum mechanics. The wavefunction and Born's probabilistic interpretation.
• Solutions of the time-dependent and time-independent Schrödinger equation for a selection of simple potentials in one dimension.
• Reflection and transmission of particles incident onto a potential barrier. Probability flux. Tunnelling of particles.
• Wavefunctions and states, Hermitian operators, outcomes and collapse of the wavefunction.
• Heisenberg's uncertainty principle.
Additional topics may include applications of quantum theory to physical systems, quantum computing or recent developments in the quantum world.


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours

42 hours

Method of assessment

80% examination and 20% coursework.

Indicative reading

There is no essential reading or core text.
Background reading for level 6 and 7 students:
• F W Byron, "Mathematics of classical and quantum physics", Addison-Wesley, (1970)
• A Durrant, "Quantum Physics of Matter", Institute of Physics (2000)
• J Manners, “Quantum Physics: An introduction”, Institute of Physics (2000)
• A I M Rae, “Quantum Physics: A Beginner's Guide”, Oneworld Publications (2005)
• R Shankar, “Principles of quantum mechanics”, Plenum Press (1994)
• J J Sakurai, “Modern quantum mechanics”, Addison-Wesley (1994)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes. On successfully completing the level 6 module students will be able to:
1 demonstrate systematic understanding of key aspects of introductory quantum mechanics
2 demonstrate the capability to deploy established approaches accurately to analyse and solve problems using a reasonable level of skill in calculation and manipulation of the material in the following areas: potential wells and barriers in one dimension and the treatment of eigenvalue problems in quantum mechanics.
3 apply key aspects of quantum mechanics in well-defined contexts, showing judgement in the selection and application of tools and techniques.

The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the level 6 module students will be able to:
1 manage their own learning and make use of appropriate resources.
2 understand logical arguments, identifying the assumptions made and the conclusions drawn
3 communicate straightforward arguments and conclusions reasonably accurately and clearly
4 manage their time and use their organisational skills to plan and implement efficient and effective modes of working
5 solve problems relating to qualitative and quantitative information
6 communicate technical material competently
7 demonstrate an increased level of skill in numeracy and computation
8 demonstrate the acquisition of the study skills needed for continuing professional development


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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