Syllabus Spring 2018 Physics 55100

PHY 551: Quantum Mechanics I


Spring 2018


Instructor:       Professor V.P. NAIR

Office:             Room J-309 B, Marshak

Office hours:   Wednesdays 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM



Class Schedule:                       2:00  to 3:40 PM, Tuesdays \& Thursdays, Room MR 417N

Text:                                        Griffiths, D. J., Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, Second                                                                      

                                               Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-13-124405-1

Supplementary                        Eisberg, R. and Resnick, R., Quantum Physics of Atoms,

(recommended) Book:            Molecules, Solids, Nuclei, and Particles, Second Edition


Catalogue description of the course

Introductory material: 2-slit experiment, matter waves and addition of amplitudes, superposition principle; Uncertainty principle, properties of matter waves: Boundary conditions and energy level quantization and Schrodinger interpretation-wave equation, application to one dimensional problems, barrier penetration, Bloch states in solids and how bands form in solids; The universality of the Harmonic potential-Simple Harmonic oscillator and applications; One electron atoms, spin, transition rates; Identical particles and quantum statistics; Beyond the Schrodinger equation: Variational methods and WKB.

Prereq.: MATH 39100 and MATH 39200; Pre- or coreq.: PHYS 35100, PHYS 35400

(required for Physics majors). 4 hr./wk.; 4 cr.



The lectures will follow a slightly different sequence starting with the physics which led to quantum mechanics, followed by a mathematical introduction. A set of notes for the introductory part will be circulated.



There will be two midterm examinations (on February 22, April 12) and a final examination. They will contribute to your final grade with weights of approximately 20%, 20% and 40%, respectively. These will be $\underline{ closed~book}$ exams, but I will give you a formula sheet with all the formulae which I consider will be useful for the exam.



There will be homework assignments, approximately one set for each week. They will be given out in class, and will also be listed on my website. These will be graded, and they do contribute to your final grade with a weight of 20%. It is very important (for you) that you do these problems. It has almost always been true that students who do not work out the problems find the exams difficult and end up getting a low grade for the course.



Regular attendance is very important. There will be variations in my lectures compared to the book, for this reason, attendance is important and you should keep good class notes. If you are absent for an exam, your grade for that exam will be zero. There will be no make-up exams, except in dire medical emergencies, supported by a doctor’s certificate.


Schedule of lectures

A precise schedule of lectures will not be given. Apart from the initial part, the lectures will roughly follow the book by Griffiths. Depending on how the class progresses, I will speed up or slow down, as appropriate.


Working out problems will be part of the course, integrated into the lectures. Additional problem sessions will be scheduled when appropriate.