Quantum Mechanics II (PHY 422)

Contact Information

Course Description

Second semester of a study of selected topics in modern physics, utilizing the methods of quantum mechanics. The Schrodinger equation is solved for such systems as potential barriers, potential wells, the linear oscillator and the hydrogen atom. Perturbation techniques and the operator formalism of quantum mechanics are introduced where appropriate. Prerequisites: PHY 211 and MAS 266, or permission. 3 credits.

Learning Objectives

It is expected that students will

  1. describe physical situations using the mathematical language of complex vectors and kets
  2. interpret the results of experiments in terms of quantum theory
  3. apply the postulates of quantum mechanics to specific physical situations
  4. calculate probabilities of measurement outcomes
  5. calculate the future state of a system from its initial state and its Hamiltonian
  6. solve the energy eigenvalue problem for the hydrogen atom

IDEA Objectives

  1. Learning fundamental principles and theories, in particular quantum theory
  2. Gaining factual knowledge and terminology, especially the terminology of kets and operators in which quantum mechanics is expressed
  3. Learning to apply course material to solve problems in quantum mechanics


The textbook for the course is Quantum Processes, Systems, and Information by Benjamin Schumacher and Michael D. Westmoreland, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-87534-9.


The plan for this course is to read, do all of the exercises in, and do some of the problems in chapters 12 through 17 (except section 13.4) of Schumacher and Westmoreland. Each student will be expected to do one problem of his or her choice at the end of each chapter. Different students will choose different problems. Each student will present his or her solution to the rest of the class. The exercices distributed throughout the chapter will be divided among the students to do, according to the following table. Students will briefly present the exercises they have done to the rest of the class.

First two letters of last nameDo Exercise c.n if
Bon mod 3 = 0
Can mod 3 = 1
Wen mod 3 = 2


Your grade will be determined by the completeness of the exercises and problems that are assigned to you to do.

Class Schedule

Week ofTopic
01/16Chapter 12
01/23Chapter 12
01/30Sections 13.1–13.2
02/06Section 13.3
02/13Chapter 14
02/20Chapter 14
02/27Chapter 15
03/06Spring Break
03/13Chapter 15
03/20Chapter 16
03/27Chapter 16
04/03Chapter 16
04/10Chapter 17
04/17Chapter 17
04/24Chapter 17
05/01Chapter 17