Physics 421 - Quantum mechanics - Fall 14


Renate Wackerbauer,
Office Location: REIC 106
phone: 474-6108

Open Office hours Walk-ins are very welcome; appointments help; email is effective for straight-forward questions.
Course Info Phys421, 4 credits
Prerequisites Phys213, 220, 301; or permission of instructor.
Lectures MWF 10:30 to 11:30 am, M 4:40-5:40, NSCI 207. The lectures will explore in depth material presented in the text.
Noyes Lab Access to the Noyes Computer Lab (Rm 101 NSCI) is provided to all students enrolled in a Physics course. Your polar express card lets you in.
Text Required text:
Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, by D.J. Griffiths, Prentice Hall (2nd edition, 2005): Chapters 1-9
Supplementary readings:
Quantum Physics, by R. Eisberg and R. Resnick, Wiley (1985)
--This book represents a detailed introduction into modern quantum physics, tells also about the history and experiments in QM.
Lectures on Quantum mechanics, by G. Baym, Benjamin/Cumings (1973)
--for further reading, usually at graduate level
Quantum Mechanics, by F. Schwabl, Springer (2001)
--clearly written introduction; good basis for the author's book on advanced quantum mechanics.
The infinite well and Dirac delta function potentials as pedagogical, mathematical and physical models in QM, M. Belloni and RW. Robinett, Physics Reports, 2014
-- for further reading with interesting applications
There are many books on introductory quantum mechanics in the library that almost all cover the material presented in the lectures. Please explore them to see different approaches to our topics.

Course Content

Tentative course calendar

Schroedinger's equation, Born interpretation, operator formalism, measurement and projection, stationary states, one-dimensional systems, hydrogen atom, states of definite angular momentum, perturbation theory
Course Goals This course provides an introduction into quantum mechanics, the physics of the microscopic particles like electrons, protons, atoms, etc.
The Schroedinger equation - the quantum mechanical equation of motion is studied in very detail for different physical systems. Where does Heisenberg's uncertainty relation really come from, is there just one or are there many?
Student Learning Outcomes Students learn,
--how particle behavior in the microscopic world differs from the one in the macroscopic world
--how to describe and solve problems in theoretical quantum mechanics
--some limitations of classical analogons in quantum mechanics
--how measurement processes are different in quantum mechanics and classical physics



Homework (10 assignments, each counting 100pts) will be assigned weekly and will be due by 4:00 pm on the following Friday, unless explicitely altered at the time of assignment. Late homework will not be accepted. Finished homework should be placed in the designated box in the main office of the Physics Department. Homework assignments and solutions will be posted in the glass case in the Physics Department hallway. I HIGHLY appreciate it if you RECYCLE paper for your homeworks! You can earn 100 bonus points in the homework by giving a 10min presentation to class on a topic related to class, for example the life of a quantum physicist, an application of quantum mechanics, experiments on quantum mechanics, etc.

Examinations Two one-hour in-term examinations and a two hour final examination will be held during the semester. In-term exams will be held in the classroom. Upon request, an additional review class may be scheduled before each exam. The exams will be closed books and closed notes. No calculators, computers, or communication devices are allowed.
Exam 1 (in class) Friday, Oct 17 Griffiths: approx. chapt. 1-3
Exam 2 (in class) Friday, Nov 21 Griffiths: approx. chapt. 4-6
Final Exam Monday, Dec 15, 10:15-12:15am Griffiths: approx. chapt. 1-9
The maximum score for each homework will be 100 points. A solution (homework, exam) that presents nothing more than a restatement of the problem will receive zero credit. Credit will be given for clarity of presentation, illegible work will not be graded. To pass the course with a grade higher than an "F", you need 40% of the total credits. Grades A - D are assigned equal weight for total credits between 40% and 100%. So, A+ (>97.5), A(>87.5), A-(>85), B+(>82.5), B(>72.5), B-(>70), C+(>67.5), C(>57.5), C-(>55), D+(>52.5), D(>42.5), D-(>40). If this class is in your major you need a grade C- for passing the course and fulfilling prerequisites. For the final grade homework, exams, etc. will be weighted as follows:
Homework 20%
Exam 1 25%
Exam 2 25%
Final Exam 30%
Course policies Attendance at lectures is expected. Active class participation, questions are extremely welcome in the lectures. A missed exam will receive 0 credit unless the instructor is notified by email, phone, etc before the exam starts. Make-up exams will be individually scheduled with the student.
Student Obligations As students of UAF, you are bound by the policies and regulations of the University of Alaska, UAF rules and procedures, and the Student Honor Code. You are obligated to make yourselves familiar with all conditions presented in the UAF Catalog. Plagiarism on homework or on an exam will result in a failing grade.
Disabilities Services The Office of Disability Services implements the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and insures that UAF students have equal access to the campus and course materials. If you have any kind of dissability, please ensure that you go to the dissabilities services program coordinator. I will work with the office of disabilities services (203 WHIT, 474-7043) to provide reasonable accomodations to students with disabilities.