PHY 402- Fall 2014
Instructor: Paulo Bedaque, Physics Building, room 2105
Office hours: Mondays, and Fridays, 10:00am to 10:50am, Wednesdays 10:00am t 11:50am
Grader: Yiming Cai
Textbook: D. Griffths, Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, 2nd edition, is the recommended text. You should be able to get by with the first edition too. An errata is available from the authors's website. The lectures will not follow the book closely so, if you prefer any other of the many quantum mechanics texts available on the market (and in the library), feel free to use them.
Grades: The grade will be based on frequent
homeworks (10%), one midterm (40%) and one final (50%).
Syllabus and objectives: The goal of this class is to generalize the basic principles of quantum mechanics to systems with spin and/or more than one particle and apply this formalism to situations of physical interest. In doing so, we will learn about a number of paradigmatic approximation methods required to describe realistic situations in atomic, molecular, nuclear, particle and astrophysics. We will also discuss some foundational issues. These topics are discussed in chapters 5 to 11 of Griffths' text.
Review of basic formalism and mathematical methods (Griffiths's appendix)
Applications of Quantum Mechanics with two or more particles (Chapter 5)
• Generalization to many particles
• Two particle systems and the reduced mass
• Identical particles and exchange symmetry---fermions and bosons
• Aspects of atomic physics---role of the Pauli principle
• Aspects of solid state physics---the fermi gas; Bloch’s theorem and band strucutre
Approximation Methods in Quantum Mechanics (Chapters 6-10)
• Time-independent perturbation theory
• Applications of time independent perturbation theory in atomic physics
• Brief treatment of other time independent approximation methods---variational and
• Time-dependent perturbation theory
• Application to two level systems
• The sudden and adiabatic approximations
Scattering theory (Chapter 11)
• Meaning of Cross-Section
• Partial wave analysis and phase shifts
• The Born approximation
Decoherence, measurement and Bell's inequalities
account of the discovery of spin
Some very disorganized and hard to read notes on bras and kets (they were meant for my own use only)
Besides the appendix on Griffths a good place to learn linear algebra as required by this is class the chapters 6 and 7 of Nearing's Mathematical Tools for Physics.
A fail safe point in case you're lost with bracketology: failsafe