Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years
Successful Completion of Year 3 of the MPhys Scheme

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 20 lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 3 Hours   End of semester examinations  80%
Semester Assessment continuos assessment  20%
Supplementary Exam 3 Hours   100%

Learning Outcomes

After taking this module students should :

  • be familiar with fundamental assumptions of Quantum Mechanics.
  • be able to apply simple model potential well systems to solve elementary problems.
  • describe and apply both time-independent and time-dependent perturbation theory.
  • be able to use a variational method for finding the ground state of a bound particle.

Brief description

The Postulates of Quantum Mechanics are introduced. Model potential wells in 1 and 3 dimensions are described and applied to simple physical phenomena and optical properties in condensed matter. Time-independent (non-degenerate and degenerate) and time-dependent perturbation theory are applied to a number of physical problems, and the variational method is used to derive the ground state of Helium.


  • Fundamentals of Quantum Mechanics and their relation to the properties of dynamic operators, wavefunctions and the eigenvalues that are observed.
  • Model potential well systems: finite potential well - scattering and tunnelling; cubic and spherical wells - optical phenomena in insulators and quantum confined systems.
  • Perturbation theory:
  • (a) stationary theory - non-degenerate (1st and 2nd Order) degenerate (b) time-dependent - harmonic perturbation, radiative transition, step perturbation
  • Variational method.

Transferable skills

This module will include several problem-solving sessions.

Reading List

Recommended Text
Alistair I.M. Rae Quantum Mechanics Institute of Physics Primo search Phillips, A.C. Introduction to Quantum Mechanics John Wiley Primo search
Reference Text
Davies, P.C.W. Quantum Mechanics Routledge & Kegan Primo search F. Mandl Quantum Mechanics John Wiley Primo search French, A P & Taylor, E F An Introduction to Quantum Physics MIT Introductory Physics Series Primo search Matthews Introduction to Quantum Mechanics McGraw-Hill Primo search
Recommended Background
Hey, Tony & Walters, Patrick The New Quantum Universe Cambridge University Press Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 7