PHYS2110 Quantum Physics and Laboratory
Students should only enrol into PHYS2030 if they have already completed PHYS2040.
All others should enrol into PHYS2110 Quantum Physics and Laboratory in 2013.
Also Lecture notes,
Assignments, tutorial questions etc.
'breakdown' of Classical Physics; Photoelectric Effect,
Compton Effect; Bragg Equation; Wave-functions; Uncertainty
Principle; Schrödinger Equation; solutions for simple potentials;
Models of the atom (Thomson, Rutherford, Bohr); Quantum
numbers; Pauli Exclusion Principle; electron spin.
course assumes familiarity with first year physics, e.g.
PHYS1002 or PHYS1221 or PHYS1231 or PHYS1241; and first
year mathematics, e.g. MATH1231 or MATH1241.
Physics underpins all aspects of modern life. This course
aims to provide students with an introduction to the principles
and behaviour of Quantum systems. Specific topics include:
discussion of the crucial experiments in the early 1900s
which led to the introduction of the concept of photons;
fundamental wave-like and particle-like properties of
description of the behaviour of electrons, neutrons etc
in terms of a wave-function and its relationship to the
probabilistic picture of Nature; Heisenberg's Uncertainty
use of Schrödinger's equation to deduce the energy of
electrons in simple potentials e.g. "particle in
a box"; step-up and step-down potentials, tunneling phenomena;
quest to understand the structure of the atom, leading
to Bohr's 3 postulates; application to the Hydrogen atom;
use of 'quantum numbers' to describe the H atom;
importance of angular momentum and its 'space quantization';
the concept of 'electron spin'.
examples of quantum mechanics including quantum devices,
scanning tunneling microscopy, NMR, etc.
the end of the course all students should be able to
understand and explain at least three experimental results
which lead to the overthrow of some of the concepts of classical
explain and apply the new concepts and formalism which
were introduced to replace classical physics
use the formalism of quantum mechanics to solve simple
problems, including applications to the hydrogen atom,
orbital and spin angular momentum, atomic spectra, etc
the conceptual problems of quantum mechanics, including
the measurement problem, entanglement and non-locality.
is Quantum Physics important?
1982, Heinz R. Pagels wrote "When the history of this
century is written, we shall see that political events -
in spite of their immense cost in human lives and money
- will NOT be the most influential events. Instead, the
main event will be the first human contact with the invisible
quantum world and the subsequent biological and computer
Physics provides the foundation for virtually all of modern
life (Computer chips, CD players, lasers, nanotechnology,
biology .). Some familiarity with Quantum Physics (or at
least some exposure to it) is essential for any modern scientist,
'applied', 'fundamental' or anywhere in between.
course is strongly recommended as groundwork for a number
of 3rd year courses including PHYS3010 & 3210
Quantum Mechanics, PHYS3080 Solid State Physics and PHYS3160
to succeed - Strategies for Learning.
all agree that your theory is crazy – but is it crazy
enough ?” – Neils Bohr.
students find aspects of this subject confusing and perhaps
even disturbing, since it basically represents the overthrowing
of the Classical Physics learnt at School and First-Year
University. Furthermore, many parts of the course are wildly
counter-intuitive, making a mockery of our 'Common Sense'.
We grow up in a macroscopic world and our everyday experiences
seem to be deterministic, in the Cartesian sense. However,
the consequences of Quantum Physics are all around us and,
as Richard Feynman said, "Things on a very small scale
behave like nothing you have any direct experience about".
This course will provide both an introduction to this strange
quantum world and the basic tools necessary if one wishes
to pursue these studies. At this level, it is important
to focus on the basic principles and not get 'hung-up' on
the abstract, philosophical or metaphysical questions (there
are plenty of these later). Nor should the student get too
'hung-up' on the mathematics (Quantum Physics
can get very mathematical at times but this course will
try to avoid this where possible).
further tips for successful learning include:
not hesitate to ask questions during lectures.
There is no such thing as a silly or wrong question.
your questions are helpful for you, they are
also helpful for other students (you’ll often
find other students in your class who have the
same question but are too
shy to ask), and they are helpful for the lecturer
because they allow him/her to gauge whether they
are getting the material across effectively or
time should be spent ‘thinking’ about the
subject, this may seem kind of obvious, but it goes
much deeper than simply reviewing notes, reading resources
or trying to memorize the various equations. You should
try to spend some time after each lecture actively
thinking about what you have learned. An ideal way
to do this is to ask yourself questions such as “How
does this fit into my existing knowledge of physics
and my experience of how the world works?”, “Does
this make sense?”, “How would I explain
this to someone else?”, “Can I find some
logical inconsistency or conflict that emerges from
how I currently understand what I’ve learned?” (in
which case you should aim to figure out and resolve
this conflict), “What parts of what I’ve
learned do I not fully understand?”, etc. In
doing this, you may want to review your notes or books,
but you should not see this as normal note-review or
study (i.e. you shouldn’t do this by sitting
there staring at your notes), to give an analogy,
it should be more like being a Zen monk contemplating
the sound of one hand clapping.
should also try to do as many problems as possible – just
doing the assignments is usually not enough. A variety
of suggested tutorial problems will be given during
the course, and some will be discussed during lectures.
However, as individual students, you can help yourself
by seeking out problems that make you confront aspects
of the course that you least understand, just doing
the easy questions will not help you very much. Forming
small study groups to discuss the course material and
work together on tutorial problems is highly encouraged,
this approach will help you learn better by teaching
each other (n.b. care should be taken that this doesn’t
cross over to plagiarism for assignments – make
sure you know the rules). Plagiarism
guidelines can be found here.
should work throughout the course on compiling your
own concise set of revision notes. A good way to do
this is to write a brief review after each lecture.
You should also add lessons learned in doing tutorial
questions and from thinking about the lectures to these
remember, don’t focus on just memorising all the
equations (a formula sheet will be attached to the exam
paper) – concentrate on understanding the physics
instead, and the mathematical aspects should then
Eisberg and R. Resnick, Quantum Physics of Atoms, Molecules,
Solids, Nuclei and Particles (2nd Edition)
Moses and Moyer, Modern Physics, 3rd ed. Thomson/Brooks
Thornton & Andrew Rex, Modern Physics (3rd Ed)
Krane, Modern Physics, (2nd Edition)
Rohlf, Modern Physics from a to Zo, 1st edition (Wiley).
Griffiths, Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
on student support services may be found on the School website here.
Effect, Compton Effect, Davisson-Germer experiment,
de Broglie waves, wave-particle duality
of quantum mechanics, Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle,
eigenvalues and eigenstates, free particle solution
potential well, finite potential well, barriers
and steps, tunneling, simple harmonic oscillator
scattering, Bohr model of atom, central field solution,
quantum numbers, probability density, expectation
diagrams, space quantization, interaction with a
magnetic field (Zeeman effect). Stern-Gerlach experiment,
spin angular momentum.
exclusion principle. Atomic spectra.
- 3 units of credit for PHYS2030
- 6 units of credit for PHYS2110
of experiment with hypothesis lies at the very core of the
Scientific Method, and nowhere are such comparisons more
important than in Physics.
This course provides
an introduction to some of the experimental techniques used
in physics research. It also provides experience in making
accurate measurements and in estimating their reliability,
skills that are important in any experimental discipline.
cover a wide range of techniques including X-ray diffraction,
radioactive decay and nuclear magnetic resonance.
- Any first year physics
PHYS2110 students must pass both the Laboratory component and the Quantum Physics component independently in order to pass the entire course.
- Experimental investigations
in a range of areas including: X-ray diffraction, work
function, semiconductor bandgap, Hall effect, carrier
lifetimes, nuclear magnetic resonance, magnetic properties
For more information
about PHYS2110 and PHYS2030 Laboratory contact:
last updated 1st March2012