Quantum Physics - PHYS5020

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 5 15 (7.5) Jorge Quintanilla Tizon checkmark-circle


This module provides an introduction to quantum mechanics, developing knowledge of wave-functions, the Schrodinger equation, solutions and quantum numbers for important physical properties. Topics include: 2-state systems. Bras and kets. Eigenstates and Eigenvalues; Superposition Principle; Probability Amplitudes; Change of Basis; Operators. The Schrodinger equation. Stationary states. Completeness. Expectation values. Collapse of the wave function. Probability density. 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. Atomic vibrations.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 40
Private study hours: 110
Total study hours: 150


This not available as a wild module.

Method of assessment

Problem sheet 1 (10 hours, 15%)
Problem sheet 2 (10 hours, 15%)
Exam 70% - 2 hours

Indicative reading

Quantum Mechanics – Bransden, B. H., Joachain, C. J., 2000
Quantum Mechanics: Concepts and Applications – Zettili, Nouredine, 2009
Introduction to the Structure of Matter – Brehm, John J., Mullin, William J., 1989
Quantum Mechanics – Rae, Alastair I. M., c2008
Feynman Lectures in Physics – Vol. 3
The Theoretical Minimum: Quantum Mechanics – Leonard Susskind & Art Friedman (Penguin Books 2014)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
Display knowledge and understanding of physical laws and principles in Quantum Physics, and their application to diverse areas of physics.
Display an ability to identify relevant principles and laws when dealing with problems in Quantum Physics, and to make approximations necessary to obtain solutions.
Display an ability to solve problems in Quantum Physics using appropriate mathematical tools.
Display an ability to use mathematical techniques and analysis to model physical behaviour in Quantum Physics.
Display an ability to present and interpret information graphically.
Display an ability to make use of appropriate texts, research-based materials or other learning resources as part of managing their own learning.

The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
Display problem-solving skills, in the context of both problems with well-defined solutions and open-ended problems. Numeracy is subsumed within this area.
Display 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.


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 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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