MAS3115 : Quantum Mechanics

  • Offered for Year: 2013/14
  • Module Leader(s): Prof. Nikolaos Proukakis
  • Owning School: Mathematics & Statistics
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0

Aims

To introduce the wave theory of matter and other aspects of basic quantum theory.

Module Summary

Quantum mechanics is the theoretical framework used to describe the most fundamental properties of matter. It has a rich mathematical structure and it has provided the impetus for many advances in mathematics. It also has many practical applications, including the modelling of atoms, molecules and semiconductors. Recently, quantum theory has been used extensively to model superfluids and supercooled gases, and there are even attempts to build computers which function by the laws of quantum mechanics.

This module introduces quantum mechanics in terms of waves and explains how to formulate and solve the Schrodinger equation for matter waves. Some basic ideas are described by considering a bouncing ball in one dimension. This is then developed into a mathematical description of a simple harmonic oscillator and a hydrogen atom. Many body theory and quantum fluids will be introduced, and then some of the more puzzling aspects of quantum mechanics and its interpretation will be discussed.

Outline Of Syllabus

Preliminary concepts: The collapse of determinism and the uncertainty principle. Schrodinger's wave theory of matter. Wave mechanics: a bouncing ball in one dimension; a simple harmonic oscillator; a hydrogen atom; many body theory and quantum fluids. The formal rules of quantum mechanics: New ideas involving operators and states will be be introduced, leading to the concepts of spin and angular momentum. Applications: Ideas on the interpretation of quantum mechanics will be introduced, which relate to quantum computers and cryptography.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture21:002:00Revision lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture61:006:00Problem classes
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00Formal lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion111:0011:00Revision for unseen Exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:301:30Unseen Exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion55:0025:00Written assignments
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery61:006:00Drop-ins in lecture room
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery240:000:00Office Hours in a staff office
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study51:005:00Assignment review
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study121:3021:30Studying, practising and gaining understanding of course material
Total100:00
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
MAS8115Quantum Mechanics
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures are used for the delivery of theory and explanation of methods, illustrated with examples, and for giving general feedback on marked work. Problem Classes are used to help develop the students’ abilities at applying the theory to solving problems. Drop-ins are used to identify and resolve specific queries raised by students and to allow students to receive individual feedback on marked work. Office hours provide an opportunity for more direct contact between individual students and the lecturer.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination901A90unseen
Exam Pairings
Module Code Module Title Semester Comment
MAS8115Quantum Mechanics1N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prob solv exercises1M10N/A
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

A substantial formal unseen examination is appropriate for the assessment of the material in this module. Written assignments (approximately 5 pieces of work of approximately equal weight) allow the students to develop their problem solving techniques, to practise the methods learnt in the module, to assess their progress and to receive feedback; this is thus formative as well as summative assessment.

Reading Lists

Timetable