Physics 421 - Quantum mechanics - Fall 2022


Renate Wackerbauer,
Office Location: REIC 106
phone: 474-6108                                                          Welcome !! and have a great semester !!

Open Office hours walk-ins are welcome, email is effective for straight-forward questions. additional recitation classes can be scheduled on request.... i am happy to meet !!!
Course Info Phys421, 4 credits
Prerequisites Phys213, 220, 301, 341; or permission of instructor.
Lectures MWF 10:30 to 11:30 am, M 3:30-4:30, REIC 207.
Lectures are face to face
Noyes Lab Access to the Noyes Computer Lab (REIC 101) is provided to all students enrolled in a Physics course. Your polar express card lets you in.
Text Required text:
Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, by D.J. Griffiths and D. F. Schroeter, Cambridge University Press (3rd  edition, 2018)
Supplementary readings:
Quantum Physics, by R. Eisberg and R. Resnick, Wiley (1985)
--This book represents a detailed introduction into modern quantum physics, tells also about the history and experiments in QM.
Lectures on Quantum mechanics, by G. Baym, Benjamin/Cumings (1973)
--for further reading, usually at graduate level
Quantum Mechanics, by F. Schwabl, Springer (2001)
--clearly written introduction; good basis for the author's book on advanced quantum mechanics.
The infinite well and Dirac delta function potentials as pedagogical, mathematical and physical models in QM, M. Belloni and RW. Robinett, Physics Reports, 2014
-- for further reading with interesting applications
There are many books on introductory quantum mechanics in the library that almost all cover the material presented in the lectures. Please explore them to see different approaches to our topics.
Course Content
Tentative course calendar
Schroedinger's equation, Born interpretation, operator formalism, measurement and projection, stationary states, one-dimensional systems, hydrogen atom, states of definite angular momentum, perturbation theory
Course Goals This course provides an introduction into quantum mechanics, the physics of the microscopic particles like electrons, protons, atoms, etc.
The Schroedinger equation - the quantum mechanical equation of motion is studied in very detail for different physical systems. Where does Heisenberg's uncertainty relation really come from, is there just one or are there many?
Student Learning Outcomes Students learn,
--how particle behavior in the microscopic world differs from the macroscopic world
--how to describe and solve problems in theoretical quantum mechanics
--some limitations of classical analogons in quantum mechanics
--how measurement processes are different in quantum mechanics and classical physics


Homework (10 assignments, each counting 100pts) will be assigned weekly via "google classroom" and will be due by 2:00 pm on the following Friday, unless explicitely altered at the time of assignment. Late homework will not be accepted. Finished homework (hard copy) should be turned in to my mail box in the main office .
You can earn 100 bonus points in the homework by giving a 10min presentation to class on a topic related to class, for example the life of a quantum physicist, an application of quantum mechanics, experiments on quantum mechanics, etc.
in case of issues with the homework link use:
Examinations Two one-hour in-term examinations and a two hour final examination will be held during the semester. In-term exams will be held in the classroom. Upon request, an additional review class may be scheduled before each exam. The exams will be closed books and closed notes. No calculators, computers, or communication devices are allowed.
Exam 1 (in class) Fri, Oct 14
Griffiths: approx. chapt. 1-3
Exam 2 (in class) Fri, Nov 18 Griffiths: approx. chapt. 4-6
Final Exam Monday, Dec 12, 10-11:50 Griffiths: approx. chapt. 1-9
The maximum score for each homework will be 100 points. Illegible work will not be graded. To pass the course with a grade higher than "F", you need 40% of the total credits. Grades A to D are assigned equal weight for total credits between 40% and 100%. So, A+ (>97.5), A(>87.5), A-(>85), B+(>82.5), B(>72.5), B-(>70), C+(>67.5), C(>57.5), C-(>55), D+(>52.5), D(>42.5), D-(>40). If this class is in your major you need at least a grade C- for passing the course and fulfilling prerequisites. For the final grade, homework, exams, etc. will be weighted as follows:
Homework 20%
Exam 1 25%
Exam 2 25%
Final Exam 30%
Course policies Attendance at lectures is expected. Active class participation, questions are extremely welcome in the lectures. A missed exam will receive 0 credit unless the instructor is notified by email, phone, etc before the exam starts. Make-up exams will be individually scheduled with the student.

Your instructor follows the University of Alaska Fairbanks Incomplete Grade Policy: “The letter “I” (Incomplete) is a temporary grade used to indicate that the student has satisfactorily completed (C or better) the majority of work in a course but for personal reasons beyond the student’s control, such as sickness, has not been able to complete the course during the regular semester. Negligence or indifference are not acceptable reasons for an “I” grade.”
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