*University
of Maryland at
College Park, Fall of 2007*

**Instructor:**

2105 Physics Building

(301) 405-6148

*bedaque@umd.edu*

Aleksey Cherman

2204D John S. Toll Physics Building

(301) 405-405 6127

**Textbooks:**

"Introduction to Quantum Mechanics", David J. Griffths.

We will have time for very little discussion of the historical develoment of the subject. I suggest you read"Introducing Quantum Theory", by J. P. McEvoy

during the first couple of weeks (or before the classes start) in order to learn a bit about the history and also to be introduced to the subject without getting deterred by technicalities. It makes a great, light summer reading (it's a comics book !).The material discussed in the first couple of weeks is presented, for instance, in

Notice that Eisberg & Resnick conatins much more material than we will need, both in depth and breadth.

Keep in mind that different people will enjoy different books. Our library has a good collection of them for you to explore. The best book for you will be the one you like the most.

**Course Policies:**

We will have three exams, two midterms and a final, and periodic home problems. The grade will be based on the two exams (25% for each midterm, 40% for the final) and homework (10%).

**Tentative Syllabus:**

Aug. 29 | Introduction to the class The rise of quantum ideas |

Aug. 31 | Blackbody radiation |

Sep. 5 | Photoelectric effect |

Sep. 7 | Compton scattering |

Sep. 10 | Matter waves |

Sep. 12 | Schroedinger equation, the wave function |

Sep. 14 | Probability and the statistical interpretation of the wave function |

Sep. 17 | Double-slit experiment |

Sep. 19 | Momentum operator and the Uncertainty Principle |

Sep. 21 | Free particle |

Sep. 24 | Infinite square well |

Sep. 26 | Finite square well |

Sep. 28 | Harmonic oscillator |

Oct. 1 | Harmonic oscillator |

Oct. 3 | Potential barriers |

Oct. 5 | Tunneling |

Oct. 8 | Review |

Oct. 10 | Midterm |

Oct. 12 | Midterm discussion |

Oct. 15 | Linear algebra: review |

Oct. 17 | Linear algebra: review |

Oct. 19 | The formalism of quantum mechanics: states, operators, observables, eigenstates, ... |

Oct. 22 | Dirac notation |

Oct. 24 | Dirac notation |

Oct. 26 | Two-state systems |

Oct. 29 | Two-state systems |

Oct. 31 | Covalent binding |

Nov. 2 | Review |

Nov. 5 | Midterm |

Nov. 7 | Three-dimensional Schroedinger equation |

Nov. 9 | Three-dimensional square wells |

Nov. 12 | Angular Momentum |

Nov. 14 | Three-dimensional spherical wells |

Nov. 16 | Hydrogen atom |

Nov. 19 | Hydrogen atom |

Nov. 21 | Hydrogen atom |

Nov. 26 | Fine and hyperfine structure |

Nov. 28 | |

Nov. 30 | |

Dec. 3 | |

Dec. 5 | Complicated atoms, molecular binding, chemistry |

Dec. 7 | Review |

Dec. 10 | Review |

Dec. 19 | Final: 8:00 am, room 1201 |

**Homework:**

homework 1, due sept. 19 before class solution

homework 2, due October 3rd solution

homework 3, due October 10th, before the test solution

homework 4, due october 24th before class solution

homework 5, due November 16th before class solution

homework 6, due december 5th before class solution

MIDTERM I

midterm_1 solution

midterm_2 solution

FINAL

final solution

Lectures Notes: historical development

Lecture Notes: summary up to first midterm

probability current

Potential barriers notes

Lecture Notes: summary

**Interesting links:**

**Blackbody radiation**

You can buy your own blackbody here.

A nice figure of the blackbody spectrum.

The Universe as a blackbody: the spectrum from COBE and the tiny variations of the temperature with the direction in space. More about the COBE sattelite.

Even NASA scientists know that holes are really dark, even in Mars.

Photoelectric effect:

An applet that simulates the photoelectric effect. Try varying the different handles and predicting the outcome !

Spectra

A beautiful picture of the absoprtion spectrum of the Sun. Part of the hydrogen, mercury and neon emission spectra and the hydrogen absorption spectrum is shown here. Notice how the emission and absoprtion spectra of the hydrogen match. Based on their wavelength, can you ideintify the hydrogen lines (meaning, find out the initial and final states of the electron emiting those photons) ?

Electron double-slit experiment

The quantum Truth before your very eyes: Fantastic movie with a real implementation of the double slit experiment with electrons from researchers at Hitachi (courtesy of Prof. L. Orozco).

Infinite square well

I made a little movie showing the time evolution of a NON-stationary state of the infinite square well potential. This particular state is an equal superposition of the ground and first excited states.

Wave packetsA movie I made showing two sine waves with similar velocity and wavelength (in red) interfering to make a wave packet (in blue). The two dots follow one of the waves, at phase velocity, while the other follows the top of the wave packet, moving at group velocity. The relation between wavelength and frequency is the same as in quantum mechanics so the group velocity is twice the phase velocity.

Movies showing wave packets colliding with walls, etc..

Applet showing a wave packet tunneling through a barrier.

Schwarz inequality

Terence Tao has an insightful discussion on how one could invent a proof of the Schwarz inequality. It ays to understand how great minds work !

Visualize Hydrogen atom orbitals

Great visualization program for hydrogen atom wave functions, courtesy of R. Hitchcock.

Good article on Otto Stern and the discovery of spin

Others

Very useful applets (physlets) illustrating various aspects of quantum mechanics.

Cool quantum mechanics applets from the Ecole Polytechnique.

Lots of good quantum applets, courtesy of Charles Hawkins.

Problems with solutions and study aidsHomeworks and solutions from previous years can be very useful.

An article warning of frequent conceptual mistakes often made.

More problems with solutions (some of them using material not covered in the class).