Physics 652 - Quantum mechanics II - Spring23


Renate Wackerbauer, 

Office Location: REIC 106 

phone: 474-6108 


Open office hours

Walk-ins are very welcome; appointments help; email is effective for straight-forward questions.

Course info

Phys652, 3 credits, face to face


graduate standing or instructor's permission


MWF 13:00 to 14:00 pm, REIC 203. 

The lectures will explore in depth material presented in the text.

Noyes Lab

Access to the Noyes Computer Lab (Rm 101 NSCI) is provided to all students enrolled in a Physics course. Your polar express card lets you in.


Required text:
Principles of Quantum Mechanics, by R. Shankar, Springer (2nd edition, 1994).

Supplementary readings:
Lectures on Quantum mechanics, by G. Baym, Benjamin/Cumings (1973)
--graduate level book
Quantum Mechanics, by F. Schwabl, Springer (2001)
--clearly written introduction; good basis for the author's book on advanced quantum mechanics.
Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, by Griffiths, Prentice Hall (2nd edition, 2004)
--undergraduate book, excellent for filling some lack in qm
Quantum Physics, by S. Gasiorowicz, John Wiley (1974)
--introductory book on quantum mechanics
There are many books on 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

This course is a continuation of Phys651 (Quantum mechanics I), an introduction into quantum mechanics at the graduate level. We will cover the spin, the addition of angular momenta, WKB approximation, Ritz's principle, time-independent and time-dependent perturbation theories and physical phenomena related to these perturbation theories, scattering theory, and Dirac's equation. 


homework assignments

Homework will be assigned weekly and will be due by 3:00 pm on the following Friday, unless explicitly altered at the time of assignment. Late homework will not be accepted. Finished homework should be placed in my mailbox in the main office of the Physics Department. Relevant homework solutions will be posted in the glass case in the Physics Department hallway. 

I HIGHLY appreciate it if you RECYCLE paper for your homework!

in case of problems with the link:

Paper, Presentation

Explore the fun and "strange world" of quantum mechanics! Explore a topic related to this course on your own. This can be an application of quantum mechanics in medicine, in nanotechnology, biology, etc. It can be on non-hermitian quantum mechanics, quantum chaos, alternative theories like Bohm's pilot wave theory, Feynman's path integrals, a bridge between classical and quantum mechanics; it can be on Bell's theorem, the EPR experiment, quantum computation, quantum cryptography; many other topics are possible, follow your own interest. This topic will be explored by you in a concept paper and an oral presentation. A good way to get started is to browse through "physics today" to find an interesting article on quantum mechanics that you will prepare such that the class can understand. The project needs to be based on a published paper or advanced text book, online sources like Wikipedia are not allowed. 

Concept Paper: The concept paper starts with the hypothesis , the title of the paper is the hypothesis; and continues with the explanation of a quantum mechanical concept. the focus is on how the concept is explained and whether it can be understood by an undergraduate physics student that had an introductory QM course. The use of any formula needs to be approved by the instructor at latest 2 weeks before the paper is due. The concept paper represents the basis and key message of the oral presentation. Goal is to formulate the concept as a take home message that is soo well explained that the audience will never forget about it; no "hiding" behind a sequence of formulas or derivation. The paper should consist of 2 pages (single column, 11pt, regular (single) line spacing, margins up to 1 inch in either direction) of text; 3-5 references, figures, and formulas (if approved) do not contribute to the 2 pages. 

The topic should be discussed with the instructor, and is due FEB 1; submit a tentative title and a pdf of the main literature source

The outline presents a 1/2 page summary of the paper; it is due FEB 15. 

the paper is due MARCH 29. The project needs to be turned in as a HARD COPY and as PDF file. The grade is determined from physics (70%) and style (30%) of the paper. The physics part includes hypothesis formulation, correct physics, level covered, how explained, how introduced, understanding, terms defined. The style part includes organization and structure, references given, figures referenced, writing style.

Presentation: The quantum concept will be presented to the class in a 10 minutes presentation the week before finals. The presentation needs to be turned in as a pdf-file, at latest the day after presentation. The grade is determined from clarity of presentation (50%) and content (50%). The clarity of presentation includes board/transparency use, clarity of writing/slides, references used, blocking board/screen, speaking clearly and loud, speed of speech, facing class and eye contact, dealing with questions. The content includes appropriate level, enough details, terms introduced before used, correct physics, how explained.


A 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. The exams will be closed books and closed notes.

Midterm exam 

Friday, March 10

Shankar, approx chapt 12-16

Final exam

Wed, May 3, 1-3pm

Shankar, approx chapt 12-20


The maximum score for each homework will be 100 points. A solution (homework, exam) that presents nothing more than a restatement of the problem will receive zero credit. Credit will be given for clarity of presentation, illegible work will not be graded. Grades are assigned as follows: A+ (>95%), A (>90%), A- (>85%), B+ (>80%), B (>75%), B- (>70%), C+ (>65%), C (>60%), C- (>55%), D+ (>50%), D (>45%), D- (>40%), else F.  

For the final grade homeworks, exams, etc. will be weighted as follows 









Final exam


Course policies

Attendance at lectures is expected. Active class participation, questions, comments on newspaper articles on modern physics 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. 

Student Obligations

As students of UAF, you are bound by the policies and regulations of the University of Alaska, UAF rules and procedures, and the Student Honor Code. You are obligated to make yourselves familiar with all conditions presented in the UAF Catalog. Plagiarism on homework, or on exam, or on presentation or on paper will result in a failing grade.

Student protection and Services

Every qualified student is welcome in my classroom. As needed, I am happy to work with you, disability services, veterans' services, rural student services, etc. to find reasonable accommodations. Students at this university are protected against sexual harassment and discrimination (Title IX), and minors have additional protections. As required, if I notice or am informed of certain types of misconduct, then I am required to report it to the appropriate authorities. For more information on your rights as a student and the resources available to you to resolve problems, please go the following site:

UA is an AA/EO employer and educational institution and prohibits illegal discrimination against any individual:

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.”

Effective communication: Students who have difficulties with oral presentations and/or writing are strongly encouraged to get help from the UAF Department of Communication's Speaking Center (907-474-5470, and the UAF English Department's Writing Center (907-474-5314, Gruening 8th floor), and/or CTC's Learning Center (604 Barnette Street, 907-455- 2860).