Module Identifier PH14310  
Academic Year 2007/2008  
Co-ordinator Dr Tudor E Jenkins  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Professor Keith Birkinshaw  
Pre-Requisite Normal entry requirements for Honours physics.  
Course delivery Lecture   20  
  Workload Breakdown   20 hrs lectures 20 hrs example sheet work 60 hrs private study  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours  70%
Semester Assessment Example sheets30%
Supplementary Exam2 Hours written examination100%

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
1. Apply the concepts of quantum mechanics in molecules, atoms, nuclei and fundamental particles

2. Define a photon and give examples which illustrate its importance

3. State the de Broglie hypothesis and outline the experimental evidence for it.

4. Interpret the wavefunction and use it to demonstrate the key concepts of quantisation of particles in potential wells.

5. Analyse experimental data in terms of quantisation

6. Demonstrate quantum ideas in the understanding of molecular and condensed matter physics

7. Summarise the basic structure of nuclei

8. Explain the stability or otherwise of nuclei

9. Explain the classification of elementary particles into quarks and leptons


This module introduces the fundamental aspects of quantum physics in the undergraduate physics programme.

Brief description

Quantum mechanics is the most successful physics theory created by mankind. It explains aspects of physics ranging from neutron stars through to sub-nuclear particles such as quarks. The module will introduce the concepts of quantum mechanics and use these to explain phenomena in molecular, atomic, nuclear and subnuclear particle physics.


The concept of the photon - photoelectric effect and Compton scattering
Matter waves and the de Broglie relation. Verification by Davisson-Germer
The wavefunction and its interpretation.
Quantisation - examples in square well potential, simple harmonic oscillator potential and Coulombic potential. Line spectra and the Franck-Hertz experiment.
The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle
The Schrodinger equation and the quantum numbers of hydrogen. Electron spin. The Pauli Exclusion Principle and multi-electron atoms.
Tunneling of particles through potential barriers.
Molecular orbitals and covalent bonding.
Ionic and van der Waals bonds.   Inter-atomic energy curve.
Crystalline and amorphous solids. Types of crystals, crystal organisation.
Electrons in crystals: introduction to band theory. Conductors, insulators, semiconductors
The atomic nucleus. Structure of the nucleus and its experimental determination
The Standard model of elementary particles.

Module Skills

Problem solving During example sheets which are a series of physics problems.  
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will have feedback through marked example sheets which will improve their learning  
Information Technology Students will use java applets from web to illustrate key ideas.  
Application of Number Example sheets and exam have a strong algebraic and numerical contribution.  

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
French, A.P; Taylor, E.F. (2003) An Introduction to Quantum Physics Chapman and Hall 041237580X
Tipler,Paul Allen; Mosca, Gene (2003) Physics for Scientists and Engineers 5th Edition, extended version. 0716743892


This module is at CQFW Level 4