Quantum Mechanics I module (PH31005)

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Quantum mechanics deals with the behaviour of matter and energy at the atomic and subatomic levels. Quantum mechanics is essential for understanding the behaviour of light and the fundamental forces of nature. It has revolutionised our understanding of the physical world and has challenged our perceptions of reality. It has revealed that particles can exist in multiple states simultaneously and that observing a system can influence its behaviour. 

This module is the first of a sequence that will enable you to gain a fundamental understanding of modern non-relativistic quantum mechanics and apply your knowledge to solve physically insightful problems. You will learn about Schrödinger’s time-dependent and time-independent equations and use the methods of wave mechanics to demonstrate quantisation, tunnelling, and other fundamental physical processes that result from the theory. 

You will be introduced to the postulates of quantum mechanics and begin to gain a deeper understanding of the theoretical structure that enables quantum mechanics to successfully predict the outcomes of experiments. 

Topics include: 

  • The Schrödinger time equation for a series of model yet insightful, one-dimensional physics problems, including particles localised in space and particles encountering a narrow potential barrier. Such problems underpin our understanding of topics as diverse as atomic spectra, conduction in crystalline materials, and radioactivity. 

  • The theoretical structure of quantum mechanics - the mathematical operators acting on functions and enabling the outcomes of experiments to be predicted. 

  • The necessary background to prepare you for future modules exploring the existence of spin, atomic structure, and the curious predictions that arise when considering the quantum states of two or more particles. 


This module is available on following courses: