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MAS3802 : Quantum Mechanics

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Luca Galantucci
  • Owning School: Mathematics, Statistics and Physics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To introduce the mathematical description of 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, with appropriate mathematical examples and physical interpretation. Examples include “quantum particles” in different potentials, and their scattering and wave-mechanical interference. It also provides a more formal approach based on simple operator theory.

Outline Of Syllabus

Wave mechanics overview: mathematical solution of ordinary/partial differential wave equation and wave interference. The collapse of determinism and the uncertainty principle. Schrodinger's equation and concept of quantum-mechanical wavefunction. Mathematical solutions of finite, infinite square wells: energy quantisation, superposition states and the correspondence principle. Scattering on potential barriers. The harmonic oscillator and Hermite polynomials. Formal structure of quantum mechanics: fundamental postulates; operators, eigenvalues and observables.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture21:002:00Revision Lectures – Present in Person
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture51:005:00Problem Classes – Synchronous On-Line
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion151:0015:00Completion of in course assessments
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture201:0020:00Formal Lectures - Present in Person
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study581:0058:00Preparation time for lectures, background reading, coursework review
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.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A80N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prob solv exercises2M20Coursework assignment
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

A substantial formal unseen examination is appropriate for the assessment of the material in this module. The coursework assignments 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; these assessments have a secondary formative purpose as well as their primary summative purpose.

Reading Lists