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.
Total contact hours: 42
Private study hours: 108
Total study hours: 150
Method of assessment
80% examination and 20% coursework.
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)
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
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