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PHY3020 : Advanced Quantum Mechanics

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Jerry Hagon
  • Owning School: Mathematics, Statistics and Physics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To present quantum mechanics in a formal way summarising material at previous stages in a number of operator postulates.

To develop a number of approximation methods in quantum mechanics including the variational principle and perturbation theory.

To present applications of these approximation methods in a number of areas including the Stark effect, the Zeeman effect, atomic transitions.

To present simple approaches to treat systems with more than one particle using quantum mechanics.

Outline Of Syllabus

Fundamental principles of quantum mechanics. Formal presentation and review of stage two material.

Approximation Methods:
The variational principle; time independent perturbation theory; time dependent perturbation theory, Fermi’s golden rule, atomic transitions, variational principle.

Simple treatment of many electron systems. Spin. The helium atom. Dimensional methods.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion65:0030:00Problem Solving Exercises (bi-weekly)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion240:3012:00Revision for final exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:301:30Final Exam
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture41:004:00In class tutorials
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture201:0020:00Formal Lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery120:102:00Office hours
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study130:3030:30Reviewing lecture notes; background reading; tutorial sheets
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provide core material and guidance for further reading, problem solving practice is provided through tutorials and continually assessed exercises. Office hours (two per week) will provide an opportunity for more direct contact between individual students and the lecturer: a typical student might spend a total of one or two hours over the course of the module, either individually or as part of a group.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1201A90N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prob solv exercises1M10Bi-weekly problem solving exercises
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination provides the opportunity for the student to demonstrate their understanding of the course material. The problem solving aspects of the assessment enable students to demonstrate that they are able to apply this understanding and their analysis and synthesis skills to novel situations. 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.

Reading Lists