Quantum mechanics (along with General Relativity) is one of the two foundational theories on which modern physics rests. PHYS2013 introduces the basic theoretical concepts and formalism, including the wave mechanics developed by Schroedinger and others and some aspects of the matrix formalism first developed by Heisenberg.
The course starts with an overview of the historical evidence that led to the development of a quantum theory of matter and light. This is followed by an introduction to the key elements of quantum mechanics, including the statistical interpretation of wave functions, the role of operators and their connection with observables, and uncertainty. These concepts are initially introduced and reinforced through relatively simple problems with analytic solutions, but computational solutions are also examined where appropriate.
PHYS2013 provides the foundations for further studies of, for example, atomic and nuclear spectroscopy, elementary particle physics and solid state physics as well as more advanced quantum mechanics. It is thus a core course in that it provides the background needed for several courses offered at third year. There is a small laboratory component (shared with PHYS2020).
Honours Pathway Option
This course is offered as an advanced option.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
1. identify and understand the kinds of experimental results which are incompatible with classical physics and which required the development of a quantum theory of matter and light
2. interpret the wave function and apply operators to it to obtain information about a particle's physical properties such as position, momentum and energy
3. solve the Schroedinger equation to obtain wave functions for some basic, physically important types of potential in one dimension, and estimate the shape of the wavefunction based on the shape of the potential
4. understand the role of uncertainty in quantum physics, and use the commutation relations of operators to determine whether or not two physical properties can be simultaneously measured
5. apply the technique of separation of variables to solve problems in more than one dimension and to understand the role of degeneracy in the occurrence of electron shell structure in atoms.
6. relate the matrix formalism to the use of basis states, and solve simple problems in that formalism.
7. design, set up and carry out experiments; analyse data recognising and accounting for uncertainties; and compare results with theoretical predictions.
Assessment will be based on:
- Weekly problem sheets to assess abilities to analyse problems, identify approaches to solutions, and apply the mathematical formalism of quantum mechanics (33%; LO 1-5)
- An extended research assignment, providing an opportunity to focus on a chosen aspect of quantum physics (such as a historically crucial experiment, competing interpretations of quantum theory, or a current research problem), thus allowing students to gain a deeper appreciation of the structure and applications of quantum physics (12%; LO 1-5)
- Laboratory component to evaluate understanding of the significance of particular experimental results and the ability to integrate theoretical and experimental work (20%; LO 1, 5)
- Final exam (35%; LO 1-5)
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Three lectures and one tutorial per week. Nine hours of Lab over the semester.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Assumed KnowledgeIt is desirable that students take MATH2305 or MATH2405 simultaneously with PHYS2013 unless they have previously completed MATH2023, but it is not a course requirement.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees. Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.
Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
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Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.
|Class number||Class start date||Last day to enrol||Census date||Class end date||Mode Of Delivery||Class Summary|
|1541||16 Feb 2015||06 Mar 2015||31 Mar 2015||29 May 2015||In Person||N/A|