Quantum Mechanics is the fundamental theoretical framework for modern physics. It underlies our approach to microscopic physics from fundamental particle physics to chemistry, and lies at the root of technological advances from the laser to the transistor. This class provides a thorough introduction to the conceptual and technical foundations of the subject. These are reinforced by applying them to specific systems in which the striking differences between quantum mechanics and classical physics are manifest. At the end of the course the Hydrogen atom is studied. This simple system was one of the first known failures of classical physics and its solution one of the first triumphs of quantum mechanics.
The technique of finding eigenvalues and eigenvectors of a quantum mechanical Hamiltonian is developed. Operator notation is stressed. Basic quantum mechanics postulates are introduced and then applied to a variety of systems, some having classical analogs and some not. Where classical analogues exist, this limit is explored.
The course provides exposure to the following topics:
This course is for both advanced undergraduates and beginning graduate students. For undergraduates, the PHY211/PHY212 sequence will provide a solid foundation for graduate study at the most competitive schools in the nation. For graduate students, this course will build upon the "Modern Physics" courses often offered to you as undergraduates, and prepare you for many-body and relativistic treatments of quantum mechanics (found in PHY315).
(Each bullet represents one week.)