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.
Indicative syllabus for the joint level 6/level 7 curriculum::
• 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.
At level 7, topics will be studied and assessed to greater depth.
Total contact hours: 42
Private study hours: 108
Total study hours: 150
Method of assessment
80% Examination, 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 7 module students will be able to:
1, demonstrate systematic understanding of introductory quantum theory;
2. demonstrate the capability to solve complex problems using a very good level of skill in calculation and manipulation of the material in the following areas: potential wells
and barriers in one dimension, the treatment of eigenvalue problems in quantum mechanics and the hydrogen atom;
3. apply a range of concepts and principles in quantum mechanics in loosely defined contexts, showing good judgement in the selection and application of tools and
The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the level 7 module students will be able to:
1. work competently and independently, be aware of their own strengths and understand when help is needed
2. demonstrate a high level of capability in developing and evaluating logical arguments
3. communicate arguments confidently with the effective and accurate conveyance of conclusions
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 effectively
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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Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
- ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
- The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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