Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Principles of Quantum Mechanics
Academic Year
Semester 2
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 2 Problems Sheets  30%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Written Examination  70%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Written Examination  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Present and classify the basic principles of the quantum mechanical concepts of waves, particles and wave packets.
2. Explain the limits of classical physics at the microscopic level.
3. Describe basic physical systems in terms of Schrodinger's equation.
4. Analyse problems in quantum mechanics at the microscopic level.
5. Solve simple numerical problems in quantum mechanics at the microscopic level.

Brief description

This Year 2, 10-credit module introduces the standard approach to Quantum Physics. The concept of the wavefunction is introduced together with the time-dependent and the time-independent Schrödinger Equation, and the Uncertainty Principle. We introduce the formalism of quantum mechanics starting with spin-half systems, and generalizing to the basic postulates.

The particle in a box problem is solved in detail, and a description of the harmonic oscillator and central potential (hydrogen atom) is introduced.


Limits of classical physics: black body radiation, photo-electric effect. Recap of wave-particle duality. De Broglie relationships. Hamiltonian mechanics and Poisson brackets.

Wavefunction and its interpretation. Time-dependent and time-independent Schrödinger equations.

Operators, eigenvalues, eigenvectors and possible results of a measurement. Expectation values.
Solution of the Schrödinger equation for an infinite well.
Degeneracy. Correspondence Principle. Symmetric and anti-symmetric solution.

The Schrödinger Equation for the harmonic oscillator Zero-point energy. Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. Energy spectrum of the harmonic oscillator.
Introduction to the energy spectrum of the hydrogen atom and good quantum numbers.

Scattering by a finite well, Tunnelling

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Physics problems are heavily numeracy-dependent.
Improving own Learning and Performance Feedback from example sheets will help students improve learning.
Problem solving Students are required to apply theoretical concepts covered in lectures to specific science problems.


This module is at CQFW Level 5