• Class Number 2321
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Andrew Truscott
    • Prof Andrew Truscott
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/02/2019
  • Class End Date 31/05/2019
  • Census Date 31/03/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
    • Shao Qi Lim
    • Kay Song
    • Umme Habiba Hossain
    • Bryan Tee
SELT Survey Results

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.

Learning Outcomes

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.

Research-Led Teaching

Quantum Optics

Atomic And Molecular Physics

Degenerate Quantum Gases And Atom Optics

There are many suitable textbooks for this course. We don't follow any closely. If you wish to purchase a modern text we suggest Quantum Mechanics for Scientists and Engineers by David Miller. It is available as an electronic text from the library, or to purchase from Amazon or The Book Depository(probably cheapest and fastest). We have three library copies of the text: to free yours up for the next user please click "Exit" at the top right of the screen when you are finished. Otherwise, the copy is unavailable to others.

We will cover most of chapters 1 to 4, including the properties and interpretation of the wave function, the time-dependent and time-independent Schroedinger equations, and stationary and non-stationary states of free particles and particles in potential wells. We will also develop an understanding of operators and state vectors, and look at orbital and instrinsic angular momenta in quantum mechanics and how they differ from their classical counterparts.

The classic text Quantum Mechanics by Leornard Schiff is available online freely and legally: https://archive.org/details/QuantumMechanics_500. The "PDF with text version" is probably the most useful, as it is searchable. It is dated (1968), but the fundamentals of quantum mechanics haven't changed that much. It is also available from the library. We will mostly refer to chapters 1 to 6.

Other useful resources include Griffiths's Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, Eisberg and Resnick's Quantum Physics of Atoms, Molecules, Solids, Nuclei and Particles; Zetilli's Quantum Mechanics; and virtually any book in the library with a title like one of the above.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • Results of in class quizzes
  • Marked assignments
  • Full solutions to Workshop Problems

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Please note, that where there are multiple assessment tasks of the same type, e.g weekly assignments a date range is used in the Assessment Summary. The first date is the approximate due date of the first task, the return date is the approximate return date for the final task. Further information is provided in the assessment section of the class summary, and details are provided on the course wattle site.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Weeks 1-12 Three lectures and one tutorial per week. Problem sheets will be set approximately every week throughout the semester. You should have a go at the questions before coming to tutorials, but help will be available both in the tutorials and in the drop-in session. The aim of these assignments is to give you practice in applying the material encountered in lectures, and to help develop the skills and understanding that will allow you to be able to actually do quantum mechanics. You should expect to do a little better in the assignments than you will in the exam (since you will be able to work in groups to solve the problems and will have help from the tutors) - but the problems are quite challenging, so you should not expect to get 100% every week. On average, the problem sheets should take approximately 3 hours of your time each week, excluding the scheduled tutorial time. The Research Assignment or HPO options. These are worth 16% of the course.

Tutorial Registration

This course requires you to register for edX edge. You must use the username that is your ANU ID, e.g. u1234567. This is a uniform policy for all physics courses. If you have another edX edge account you cannot use it, and must create a new one with the correct username. Incorrect usernames will be regularly deleted. This ensures that people do not have duplicate accounts that might be used for cheating. Please refer to the Wattle page for further info.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
MC Questions (online) 10 % 25/02/2019 21/05/2019 1,2,3,4,5,6
Assignments (offline) 16 % 25/02/2019 21/05/2019 1,2,3,4,5,6
Quiz (offline) 8 % 25/02/2019 21/05/2019 1,2,3,4,5,6
Mid-term exam (offline) 20 % 01/04/2019 05/04/2019 1,2,3
Final Exam (offline) 30 % 06/06/2019 04/07/2019 1,2,3,4,5,6
Labs (offline) 16 % 25/02/2019 21/05/2019 7

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


You must also complete the appropriate component of the second year lab program over the course of the semester to count towards your PHYS2013 grade: see the second year lab wattle site for more details and to sign up to particular sessions. 


Please refer to the ANU Exam timetable or Wattle for exam times and locations.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 25/02/2019
Return of Assessment: 21/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6

MC Questions (online)

after most lectures there will be a series of exercises (multiple choice questions). You will in general have one go at each question and they should be done independently. The combined mark from all these exercises will form 10% of the mark.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 16 %
Due Date: 25/02/2019
Return of Assessment: 21/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6

Assignments (offline)

There will be a total of 8 assignments that you will do throughout the course. These will be released on the Wattle site and will contribute 16% to your final mark

Assignments will NOT be accepted after the due time/date (refer to the Wattle page for dates (you will get a mark of ZERO if you miss the upload date) - this is so I can put solutions up promptly.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 8 %
Due Date: 25/02/2019
Return of Assessment: 21/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6

Quiz (offline)

there will be Two quizzes during the course. These quizzes will consist of multiple choice questions and will be worth 4% each. The first quiz will be held a quarter of the way through the course and the second quiz will be held ¾ of the way through the course. The idea of these quizzes is that you get some feedback of how you’re travelling throughout the course.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 01/04/2019
Return of Assessment: 05/04/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Mid-term exam (offline)

There will be a mid-term exam – that will ensure you are keeping up with the course, it will be worth 20%

Assessment Task 5

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 06/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6

Final Exam (offline)

There will be a 3hr final exam, similar to previous years exams. Previous exams are available from the library. The final exam will be worth 30%, and will focus on the second half of the course, although concepts from the first part of the course will still be needed.

The end of semester exam is intended to assess your ability to use concepts drawn from throughout the course to solve problems similar in spirit to some of those encountered in class. It is also a means of assessing your work as an individual, and your ability to think on the spot.

Assessment Task 6

Value: 16 %
Due Date: 25/02/2019
Return of Assessment: 21/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 7

Labs (offline)


The lab component is carried out through the second year lab program. The lab program is designed to improve your observational, experimental design, data-taking, analysis and critical thinking skills. Although some of the experiments are related to quantum mechanics, it is NOT intended to support the PHYS2013 lectures and is essentially an independent program. For more information see the Second Year Physics Lab Wattle site.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) as submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

No submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date will be permitted. If an assessment task is not submitted by the due date, a mark of 0 will be awarded.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Not an option.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Prof Andrew Truscott

Research Interests

Quantum Optics

Atomic And Molecular Physics

Degenerate Quantum Gases And Atom Optics

Prof Andrew Truscott

Monday 09:00 17:00
Prof Andrew Truscott

Research Interests

Prof Andrew Truscott

Monday 09:00 17:00
Shao Qi Lim

Research Interests

Shao Qi Lim

Kay Song

Research Interests

Kay Song

Umme Habiba Hossain

Research Interests

Umme Habiba Hossain

Bryan Tee

Research Interests

Bryan Tee

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions