Quantum Physics - PH502

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2017-18 2018-19
Canterbury Autumn and Spring
View Timetable
5 15 (7.5) DR J Quintanilla Tizon







Revision of classical descriptions of matter as particles, and electromagnetic radiation as waves.
Some key experiments in the history of quantum mechanics. The concept of wave-particle duality.
The wavefunction. Probability density. The Schrodinger equation. Stationary states.
Solutions of the Schrodinger equation for simple physical systems with constant potentials: Free particles. Particles in a box. Classically allowed and forbidden regions.
Reflection and transmission of particles incident onto a potential barrier. Probability flux. Tunnelling of particles.
The simple harmonic oscillator as a model for atomic vibrations.
Revision of classical descriptions of rotation. Rotation in three dimensions as a model for molecular rotation.
The Coulomb potential as a model for the hydrogen atom. The quantum numbers l, m and n. The wavefunctions of the hydrogen atom.
Physical observables represented by operators. Eigenfunctions and eigenvalues. Expectation values. Time independent perturbation theory.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

Contact hours: lectures (30 hours), workshops/revision sessions (3 hours)
Total study time 150 hrs (including private study time).


This not available as a wild module.

Method of assessment

Coursework 30% including class tests;
Final (written, unseen, length 2 hours) exam 70%.

Preliminary reading

Core Text: B. H. Bransden & C. J. Joachain, Quantum Mechanics, 2nd Edition,

  • Recommended Texts: Young H.D. and Freedman R.A., University Physics with Modern Physics
  • Rae A.I.M, Quantum Mechanics
  • Cassels J.M., Basic Quantum Mechanics

    See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

    See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

  • Learning outcomes

    Knowledge and understanding of physical laws and principles in Quantum Physics, and their application to diverse areas of physics.

  • An ability to identify relevant principles and laws when dealing with problems in Quantum Physics, and to make approximations necessary to obtain solutions.
  • An ability to solve problems in Quantum Physics using appropriate mathematical tools.
  • An ability to use mathematical techniques and analysis to model physical behaviour in Quantum Physics.
  • An ability to present and interpret information graphically.
  • An ability to make use of appropriate texts, research-based materials or other learning resources as part of managing their own learning.
  • Problem-solving skills, in the context of both problems with well-defined solutions and open-ended problems. Numeracy is subsumed within this area.
  • Analytical skills – associated with the need to pay attention to detail and to develop an ability to manipulate precise and intricate ideas, to construct logical arguments and to use technical language correctly.

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