Physics 214: Intro to Quantum Mechanics
Meetings: MWF 11:30-12:30, location Koshland E309 (+ one recitation hour TBA)
Instructor: Suzanne Amador Kane (610)896-1198, office: KINSC L103
Textbook: John Townsend, Quantum Physics: a fundamental approach to modern physics (University Science Books) This textbook is the sophomore-level prelude to the text used in our advanced quantum course and we're excited about this new approach!
Quantum mechanics was one of three revolutions in physics that created our truly modern era (along with statistical physics and relativity) and its fundamental principles remain fundamentally mysterious yet experimentally testable and theoretically exact. This semester we'll learn this subject from a modern perspective that allows us to learn the foundations of quantum mechanics at an elementary level, yet also understand why it's such an active area of current research by considering its applications to quantum computing, astrophysics, atomic physics, condensed matter and other areas.
Our course format will involve a combination of shorter lectures plus lots of hands-on and group problem-solving activities, so come prepared to read up in advance and get your hands on quantum ideas from day one!
See Moodle for all other course details.
Catalog description: An introduction to the principles governing systems at the atomic scale. Topics include the experimental basis of quantum mechanics, wave-particle duality, Schrodinger's equation and solutions in one dimension, time dependence of quantum states, angular momentum, and one-electron atoms. Recent developments, such as paradoxes calling attention to the remarkable behavior of quantum systems, or quantum computing, will be discussed. Multi-electron atoms and nuclei will be considered if time allows. Physics 212, a related laboratory half-course is required for majors, and may be taken concurrently or later.