Syllabus for Physics 622 –Fall 2020


(Check here frequently for important announcements related to the course)


Course Description: Title: Introduction to Quantum Mechanics I; Credits: 4; Grade Method: REG/AUD;

Prerequisite: PHYS401 and PHYS402 (or equivalent); Topics: Dirac’s “bra-ket” (vector space) notation for state of a

system; Schroedinger equation, with examples; angular momentum related to rotation (continuous) symmetry;

discrete symmetries


Instructor: Professor Kaustubh Agashe [Phone: (301)-405-6018 (this is in the office, so it will likely

not be in use since the course is online); Office (note: again, since the course is online, this will likely not

be in use): Room 3118 of Physical Sciences Complex (PSC); e-mail: (note: this is

the primary method of communication)]; Office Hours (note days and times carefully): Monday

11 am.-12 pm. and Wednesday 2.00-3.00 pm., via zoom (link given in email sent to all students

registered: it is also listed in ELMS under the zoom tab). (It might be possible to have office hours at

other times by appointment.)                                                              


Teaching Assistant: Deepak Sathyan [email: or via ELMS

(note: this is the primary method of communication)]; office: Rm. 4231 of ATL (note: since course is

online, this will likely not be in use); Phone: (901) 340-1055 (note: use it only for time sensitive issues)];

Office hours (note days and times carefully: Tuesday 3.00-4.00 pm. and Thursday 2.00-3.00 pm. via zoom

(link given in email sent to all students registered: it is also listed in ELMS under the zoom tab). (It

might be possible to have office hours at other times by appointment.)

Lecture Time:  10:00-10:50 am. on Monday and Wednesday; 10.00-11.50 am. (with 10 min. break) on Friday 


Lecture Room: via zoom (link given in email sent to all students registered: it is also listed in ELMS under the zoom tab)


Required Textbook: Modern Quantum Mechanics (2nd edition) by Sakurai and Napolitano (denoted below simply as



Recommended textbook: Exploring Quantum Mechanics by Galitski.


A note on prerequisite: this course assumes that students have had a strong undergraduate background

in quantum mechanics, for example, (roughly) at the level of the courses Phys401 and Phys402 taught here

(see for typical syllabi here and here), based (for example) on the textbook “Introduction to Quantum

Mechanics’’ by D. Griffiths.


Homework: The homework assignments (problem sets) will generally be assigned here on Mondays, and

should be submitted online (via ELMS) within 2 weeks (this is a tentative schedule). Late homework will

be accepted at the discretion of the instructor (in particular, a valid documented excuse such a medical problem,

religious holiday, or serious family crisis is required), but probably not after solutions have been handed out.


No homework will be dropped for any reason.  For full credit for any written homework or exam problem,

in addition to the correct answer, you must show the steps/justify your approach as much as possible.


Solutions to homework (and exams) will be posted here.


Exams: There will be one midterm exam, which will be take-home (of approximately 24 hours duration) and

contribute to the final grade for the course. Tentatively, this is scheduled for middle/end of October. The final

exam will also be take-home (over a few days), given during the final exam period around middle of

December. You must take the final exam to pass the course. There will be no make-up for the exams,

unless there is a strong documented excuse (a serious medical problem or family crisis).


Details such as which topics will be covered in each exam, the exact dates etc. will be posted later.

Both exams will be assigned and have to be submitted online.


Submissions: all of them (homeworks, incoming survey, exams) will be done online (PDF form preferred) via ELMS (go to “Assignments” tab for this course here).

Grade: The semester grade will be based on the homework, one midterm exam (take-home) and the final exam (also take-home) with the following (tentative) weights: one midterm exam: 20%, homework: 50%,                       final exam: 30%.                           

Attendance: Regular attendance and participation in this class is the best way to grasp the concepts and

principles being discussed. Please try to attend every class and to read up the relevant chapter(s) of the

textbook before coming to the class.


Some class notes will be posted here.


Academic Honesty: Note that, although you are encouraged to discuss homework with other students, any

work you submit must be your own and should reflect your own understanding. In fact, the main way you will

understand Physics (and thus do well on the exams) is by doing the homework (that too by yourself).

In addition, academic dishonesty, such as cheating on an exam or copying homework, is a serious offense

which may result in suspension or expulsion from the University.


The University of Maryland, College Park has a nationally recognized Code of Academic Integrity,

administered by the Student Honor Council.  This Code sets standards for academic integrity at Maryland 
for all undergraduate and graduate students.  As a student you are responsible for upholding these 
standards for this course.  It is very important for you to be aware of the consequences of cheating, 
fabrication, facilitation, and plagiarism. For more information on the Code of Academic Integrity or the 
Student Honor Council, please visit here.
To further exhibit your commitment to academic integrity, please sign the Honor Pledge (which covers 
all examinations and Assignments) and turn it in as “Homework 1”: 


"I pledge on my honor that I will not give or receive any unauthorized assistance (including

from other persons and online sources) on all examinations, quizzes and homework assignments 
in this course." 


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responsibility you hold as a student member of our academic community. Your feedback is

confidential and important to the improvement of teaching and learning at the University as well as to the

tenure and promotion process. CourseEvalUM (go here) will open in mid-December for you

to complete your evaluations for Spring semester courses. By completing all of your evaluations each

semester, you will have the privilege of accessing the summary reports for thousands of courses online at



(TENTATIVE) schedule of Physics 622 topics, exams, and homeworks (if needed, a more detailed

schedule, for example, by chapter-sections, might be posted as part of the “announcements” here roughly

at the beginning of each week; the homework assignments will also indicate the topics being covered in



Homework: typically 1 per week, except during exams weeks (for a total of about 10 for the course)


Midterm exam: take-home, assigned and due (after about 1 day) in middle-to-end of October (exact dates

to be announced).


Final exam: take-home, assigned and due (after about 1 week) around early-December (exact dates to be



Syllabus (main topics of lectures):


(I). Chapter 1 of Sakurai: Basic formalism/language


·      Stern-Gerlach experiment: motivates describing state of a system as a vector (``ket’’)

·      Developing bra-ket (Hilbert/vector space) notation

·      Measurements: observables as operators in vector space

·      Position, momentum operators

·      Relating bra-kets to (usual) wavefunction

(II). Chapter 2 of Sakurai: Time evolution of state of system

·      “Generalized’’ Schroedinger equation

·      Schroedinger (“usual”: state evolves, while operator is fixed) vs. Heisenberg (state fixed, operator time-varying) pictures

·      Solving simple harmonic oscillator using operator method

·      Schroedinger’s (usual) wave equation, with examples

·      Feynman’s path integral approach

·      Aharanov-Bohm effect (gauge invariance in electromagnetism)


 (III). Chapter 3 of Sakurai: angular momentum systematically


·      Relating spatial rotations to angular momentum operators

·      Spin-1/2 system (rotation by 2p flips sign of state ket)

·      Group theory of rotations/angular momentum

·      Eigenvalues/states of angular momentum operator

·      Solving Schroedinger’s equation for spherically symmetric potential

·      Adding angular momenta

·      Bell’s inequality

·      Tensor operators


(IV). Chapter 4 of Sakurai: Symmetries


·      Continuous symmetry (using rotation as example) gives degeneracies

·      On to Discrete symmetries: Parity (space inversion)

·      Lattice (“discrete”) translation

·      Time-reversal


(V). (Time permitting) Selected topics from quantum information (likely by guest lecturers)