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PHY1025 : Introductory Quantum Mechanics

Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To introduce the principals of the quantum behaviour of particles and form a basis for a formal instruction of quantum mechanics at later stages.

Outline Of Syllabus

Black body radiation; the photoelectric effect,; the instability of the atom; the Compton effect.
Discovery of Planck’s constant and quantization of energy.
Wave-particle duality. de Broglie waves, electron diffraction.
Spectra of hydrogen and other one-electron atoms.
The Rutherford and Bohr models of the atom.
Heisenberg's uncertainty principle.
The Schrödinger equation (non-relativistic).
Bound states and the potential well problem including the infinite square potential well.
Atomic structure: quantum numbers of hydrogen including spin.
Quantum tunnelling.
Applications of quantum mechanics in atomic, nuclear and particle physics.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture181:0018:00Formal lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion122:0024:00Problem solving exercises
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion240:3012:00Revision for final exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:301:30Final Exam
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture61:006:00In-class tutorials
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching51:005:00Small group tutorial classes
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery121:0012:00Office hours to support the course content and preparation of in-course assessed problems.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study121:3021:30Reviewing lecture notes inc. ReCap; Background reading; Tutorial sheet and past paper questions.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Most of the content of the module relates to the acquisition of knowledge and an understanding of principles. The knowledge is taught through lectures and the understanding of the underlying principles is taught in lectures and learnt effectively through the experience of problem solving. Illustrative problems are set by the lecturers to enhance the understanding of the material and nurture the progressive acquisition of skills in problems solving. Office hours provide opportunities for additional review of course content and support for problem solving on an individual basis. Small group tutorial activities provide a forum for students to develop their skills in presenting scientific concepts and methods, as well as supporting the detailed understanding of the taught material.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination902A80N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prob solv exercises2M10Weekly problem solving exercises
Prob solv exercises2M10Small group tutorial
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Much of the material taught in the module is factual and the student is asked to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the content through being able to present the basic aspects of their knowledge of the material in unseen written examination papers and to demonstrate their problem solving skills by answering numerical problems on the topics.
Problems are set and assessed during the module to enhance the understanding of the material and nurture the progressive acquisition of skills in solving illustrative problems. The format of the resit exam is the same as the above.
The small group tutorial sessions involve students in their tutor groups presenting and critiquing the solutions to technical questions associated with the taught material, with the personal tutor assigning marks for the contributions to these discussions on an individual basis.

Reading Lists