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PHY3044 : Advanced Quantum & Atoms, Molecules, Nuclei & Particles

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Angela Dyson
  • Owning School: Mathematics, Statistics and Physics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


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.

To present the quantum theory of atoms including spin, fine structure and many electron atoms.
To present the quantum theory of molecules, including a quantum treatment of their binding, electronic structure, rotation, vibration and spectroscopy.
To present a treatment of the structure of the nucleus, its binding and treatments of decay.
To present an overview of elementary particle physics, their classification and interactions.

Outline Of Syllabus

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

The hydrogen atom: radial functions, spherical harmonics, angular momentum. Properties of solutions.

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.

Atomic Structure:
Spin, Pauli Principle, multiplets, fine structure; Zeeman effect; LS and JJ coupling.

Molecular Physics:
Molecular Hamiltonian, Born Oppenheimer approximation, electronic structure: bonding
Vibration and rotation: harmonic motion and beyond, rigid rotator and energy levels.
Spectroscopy: microwave, infrared optical spectra. Selection rules, Franck-Condon principle.

Nuclear Physics:
Nuclear masses and binding energies; models of the nucleus, theories of radioactive decay, fission and fusion nuclear power.

Particle Physics:
Elementary particles, relativity and antiparticles, Feynman diagrams, particle exchange and interaction, the Standard model

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture441:0044:00Formal Lectures and problem classes – Present in Person
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion741:0074:00Completion of in course assignments/ examination revision
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study821:0082:00Preparation 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. Some in-person sessions will be used for problem solving.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1502A80N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prob solv exercises1M10Problem-solving exercises
Prob solv exercises2M10Problem-solving exercises
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.

In the event of on-campus examinations not being possible, an on-line alternative assessment will be used for written examination 1.

Reading Lists