A New Model Course in Applied Quantum Physics
E.F. Redish, R.N. Steinberg, M.C. Wittmann

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Course Philosophy | Course Outline

Example Course Outline

This course for engineers and physicists would appropriately be taught 4 hours per week - 3 hours of lecture and 1 hour of tutorial. Some of the topics and examples could be covered exclusively in tutorial or as part of a homework assignment.

We have developed extensive materials to help implement this suggested course outline. For more information, see the Summary of classroom materials or the "Classroom materials" section, linked to at the top of the page.

Introduction to QM: The experimental base

  • The photoelectric effect
  • Electron diffraction
  • Atomic spectra

Building the Quantum Model

  • The Thomson and Rutherford models
  • The Bohr model
  • deBroglie waves

Wave mechanics

  • Electron dispersion relation
  • The 1D Schrödinger equation
  • Group and phase velocities
  • Fourier transforms
  • The uncertainty principle

Bound states

  • Potential energy diagrams
  • Infinite square well (1, 2, and 3D)
  • Finite square well
  • Harmonic oscillator
  • Delta function

Scattering state

  • Scattering at a step
  • Delta function
  • Barrier penetration and tunneling

Spin and statistics

  • Introduction to spin (no math)
  • Fermi and Bose statistics

Quantum models of matter

  • Double well - molecular bonding
  • Multiple wells - band structures


  • Conductors, semiconductors, insulators
  • Quantum polarization (applying an external electric field)


  • pn-junctions / diodes
  • transistors
  • SQUIDs