• Class Number 3249
  • Term Code 3230
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Andrew Truscott
    • Prof Andrew Truscott
    • Dr Eliezer Estrecho
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 21/02/2022
  • Class End Date 27/05/2022
  • Census Date 31/03/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 28/02/2022
    • Eve Cheng
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:

  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

The course does not exactly follow one textbook, however it is closely related to the content from ‘Griffith’s: Introduction to Quantum Mechanics’ second edition. I will endeavour to state which sections of Griffith’s are relevant to which sections of the course in the preamble to each online section on EDX. Also all the video slides will be released on the EDX platform.

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.

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.

Adjustments to delivery in 2020

Course delivery and assessment in 2020 was adjusted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Any information below that replaces what was published in the Class Summary for Semester 1, 2020 was approved by the Associate Dean Education (as is required after 10% commencement of a course). Where an activity or assessment is not referenced below, it remains unchanged.

Teaching Activities

  • Tutorials and Workshops were done via Zoom.
  • Practical sessions were replaced with data analysis and simulation exercises and kits to use at home.


Adjustments were made to assignment due dates; for details see the course Wattle site.

  • Online questions after lectures were worth 10%.
  • Assignments were worth 30%, with the best 6 of 8 assignment scores used.
  • Workshop Quizzes were cancelled.
  • Mid Term Exam was cancelled.
  • Final Exam was open book, done remotely and worth 40%.
  • Labs were worth 20%.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Weeks 1-12 Flipped classroom-Short videos will be posted followed by a series of multiple choice question. Weekly Workshop (1 on campus and 1 online for remote students) Flipped Classroom: Short videos will be posted followed by a series of multiple choice questions to test your understanding of the video content. Workshop: problem sheets will be set approximately every week throughout the semester. A typical workshop consists of a problem sheet that is based on concepts of the weekly videos that the whole class works through. Discussion with other students at your table, about the problems, is encouraged, however, the real strength of the workshop is the student’s access to experienced tutors/lecturer. For those students that are remote, there will be an on-line workshop (compulsory)

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 % * * 1,2,3,4,5,6
Assignments (offline) 20 % * * 1,2,3,4,5,6
Workshop Quizzes (offline) 10 % * * 1,2,3
Final Exam (offline) 40 % 02/06/2022 30/06/2022 1,2,3,4,5,6
Labs (offline) 20 % * * 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 Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

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.


The course now follows the ‘flipped classroom’ model, that is, there are no lectures but instead short videos that convey the course content.

A weekly 2 hour workshop gives you access to experienced tutors available to assist with problem sheets and general course questions. There will be a workshop offered on line as well as in person. Workshop attendence is compulsory.


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

Please note, that where a date range is used in the Assessment Summary in relation to exams, the due date and return date for mid-semester exams indicate the approximate timeframe in which the exam will be held; the due and return date for end of semester exams indicate the approximate timeframe in which the exam will be held and the date official end of Semester results are released on ISIS. Students should consult the course wattle site and the ANU final examination timetable to confirm the date, time and venue of the exam.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
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: 20 %
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 20% to your final mark. (The top 6 results of the 8 assignments will be recorded for assessment)

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: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Workshop Quizzes (offline)

After each workshop there will be a short WATTLE multiple choice quiz. . These quizzes will be worth a total of 10%.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 02/06/2022
Return of Assessment: 30/06/2022
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 40%, and will test the entire course content. 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.

The date range in the Assessment Summary indicates the start of the end of semester exam period and the date official end of semester results are released on ISIS. Please check the ANU final Examination Timetable http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/examination-timetable to confirm the date, time and location exam.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 7

Labs (offline)

The lab component is carried out through the second year lab program and will be worth 20%. 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 the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to 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 be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, 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 Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

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) 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. Extensions may be granted 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

BEC, Quantum Optics, Quantum physics

Atomic And Molecular Physics

Degenerate Quantum Gases And Atom Optics

Prof Andrew Truscott

Tuesday By Appointment
Prof Andrew Truscott

Research Interests

Prof Andrew Truscott

Tuesday By Appointment
Dr Eliezer Estrecho

Research Interests

Dr Eliezer Estrecho

Eve Cheng

Research Interests

Eve Cheng

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