Quantum Mechanics

Subject 640-341 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbookSearch for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 30 lectures, six 1-hour tutorials and up to six additional contact hours
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours.
Prerequisites: Physics 640-223 or 640-243. Mathematics 620-231 or 620-233; and mathematics 620-232 or 620-234.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable steps will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their active and safe participation in a subject are encouraged to discuss this with the relevant subject coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Prof S Prawer
Subject Overview:

Quantum mechanics plays a central role in our understanding of fundamental phenomena primarily in the microscopic domain. It lays the foundation for an understanding of atomic, molecular, condensed matter, nuclear and particle physics and new paradigms of information processing such as quantum computing and quantum communications.
Topics covered include the probability interpretation, time evolution and the Schrödinger equation, Fourier transforms, Hermitian operators, the eigenvalue problem, expectation values, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle and commutation relations, and the Dirac delta-function. The quantum mechanics of angular momentum is developed and then applied to central force systems such as the hydrogen atom. The energy eigenstates of the one-dimensional harmonic oscillator are also analysed. The physics of spin-1/2 particles is developed using the matrix theory of spin. The Hilbert space or state vector formulation of quantum mechanics is developed and Dirac bra-ket notation introduced. Time permitting, time-independent perturbation theory is introduced.

Assessment: Written assignments totalling up to 3000 words due during the semester (20%); project work involving a 15-minute group presentation and written report up to 1000 words due during the semester (10%); a 3-hour written examination in the examination period (70%).
Prescribed Texts: Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (D J Griffiths), 2nd edn, Pearson Prentice Hall 2005.
Breadth Options: This subject is a level 2 or level 3 subject and is not available to new generation degree students as a breadth option in 2008.
This subject or an equivalent will be available as breadth in the future.
Breadth subjects are currently being developed and these existing subject details can be used as guide to the type of options that might be available.
2009 subjects to be offered as breadth will be finalised before re-enrolment for 2009 starts in early October.
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students will enhance their ability to:

  • participate effectively as part of a group in tutorials; and
  • plan effective work schedules and manage their time to meet the deadlines for submission of assessable work and prepare for tests and examinations.

Notes: This subject is available for science credit to students enrolled in the BSc (pre-2008 degree only), BASc or a combined BSc course.
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science
Bachelor of Arts and Sciences
Bachelor of Biomedical Science
Bachelor of Science

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