Atomic Physics - PHYS5030

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 5 15 (7.5) Nigel Mason checkmark-circle


This module will build on the general principles of quantum mechanics introduced earlier in the degree and applied them to the description of atoms, starting by the description of the hydrogen atom and covering other topics such as the effect of magnetic fields on an atom or X-ray spectra.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 32
Private study hours: 118
Total study hours: 150


This is not available as a wild module.

Method of assessment

Coursework (30 hrs) 30%, consisting of
Homework 1 (10 hours, 15%)
Homework 2 (10 hours, 15%)
Exam (2 hours) 70%

Indicative reading

Quantum mechanics - Bransden, B. H., Joachain, C. J. 2000
Introduction to the Structure of Matter – Brehm, J.J. and Mullin, W.J. 1989
Atomic Physics – Jones, D.G.C. 1997

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:
Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of physical laws and principles in Quantum and Atomic Physics, and their application to diverse areas of physics
Identify relevant principles and laws when dealing with problems in Quantum and Atomic Physics, and to make approximations necessary to obtain solutions.
Solve problems in Quantum and Atomic Physics using appropriate mathematical tools.
Use mathematical techniques and analysis to model physical behaviour in Quantum and Atomic Physics.
To present and interpret information graphically.
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:
Use problem-solving skills, in the context of both problems with well-defined solutions and open-ended problems. Numeracy is subsumed within this area.
Demonstrate 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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