Physics 731 Fall 2017 Home Page

Quantum Mechanics I 
Physics 731-Fall 2017

Prof. Lisa Everett
5215 CH, 262-4699

Lectures: 8:50-9:40 AM MWF

Location:  2223 Chamberlin Hall

Office Hours: By appointment (ask before/after class or send email to make an appointment).  Questions are welcomed and encouraged. However, it is strongly recommended that you ask questions in person.  Please be warned that questions asked via email may not be answered in time (if at all). An email question will only be answered promptly if the answer is likely to benefit the majority of the students.  In such cases, the questions will be answered via group email. 

Lecture Notes: Lecture notes will be posted here and updated regularly. 

Homework: Homework and solutions will be posted below. 

Homework policies:

  • The problems assigned from the course text will be written out and labeled with S1r (for the 1st Ed., revised) and S2 (for the 2nd Ed.). These problems will occasionally be modified from their original form in terms of what you have to calculate and/or what method you will have to use to solve the problem, in which case they will be marked as "modified."
  • Please make your answers clear and legible.  If your work is not shown clearly and is not sufficiently legible you may not be given full credit for your effort. (Any deductions given for presentation issues will be at the discretion of the person grading your homework.) Homework will be graded out of a scale of 0-5, with 5=perfect, 4=good effort, 3=some effort, 2=little effort, and 0=no effort. Some problems may be given two times the value listed above.  
  • Any questions regarding the homework grading should be directed to Prof. Everett, not to the grader.
  • Late homework will not be accepted. The only exceptions may be in cases of genuine emergencies. Such situations must be discussed individually with Prof. Everett.
  • If for any reason you are struggling to complete an assignment, please note that it is infinitely better to turn in something to the grader's mailbox on time, however meager, than to turn in nothing. If you do miss an assignment, it is recommended that you complete it at some point in the semester and hand it in directly to Prof. Everett. It will not be graded in the usual sense, but your effort will be noted and appreciated in the final grade determination.

Exams: There will be two in-class (50 minute) midterm exams, and one two-hour cumulative final exam.   All exams will be closed notes and  closed book.   No calculators, cheat sheets, phones, etc. are allowed.  

Exam policies: All exams will be graded using a blind grading system using your student ID number as the identifier.  Please read the following instructions carefully.  

  • For each exam, you will label your exam only with your student ID number, and not your name, so please have your ID information ready.  There will be a space on the exam sheet to enter your ID number.  
  • After you finish the exam, you must attach your exam sheet to the top of your solutions, and make sure your ID number is clearly written and legible on the exam sheet so that your work can be identified.  

Please be sure to follow these instructions.  If you do not do so, you may not receive credit for the exam in question.  

Please note that once the grades are completed and entered into the spreadsheet according to ID number, your name will (most likely) be written on the exam to help save time in retrieving the exams once they are given back in class.  The gradebook will of course not be blinded to Prof. Everett during the course -- it is just for the real-time exam grading process.  If you have any questions about this procedure or the above instructions, please ask Prof. Everett.

Cheating of any form will not be tolerated.  This includes violating the above rule about supplemental materials/devices, and continuing to work on your exam once it is time to stop.

The exam dates are:

  • Midterm 1: 10/13/17, in class. 
  • Midterm 2: 11/17/17, in class.
  • Final Exam: 12/19/17, 5:05 PM -- 7:05 PM, Ingraham 120.  

    Be sure to inform Prof. Everett well in advance if you have any conflicts with the scheduled exam dates. Makeup exams may be arranged in cases of illness or travel for research purposes (such as to a conference). Any exam makeup arrangements must be approved by Prof. Everett at least a week prior to the exam date unless medical emergencies make this impossible.  

Grading Policy: The plan for determining the final grades is as follows: 15% homework, 50% midterms (25% each), and 35% final exam.  

Text: The main texts are 

  • J. J. Sakurai,  Modern Quantum Mechanics. There are two main editions to this text: the 1st Edition Revised, Addison-Wesley Press (1994), and the 2nd Edition, with co-author J. Napolitano, Pearson (2010).   Both editions are now, unfortunately, out of print (as is the original 1st Edition).  The publisher of the 2nd Edition is now Cambridge University Press; a release of this text is tenatively scheduled for November 2017. Used copies of either edition can be obtained from many venues (e.g. third party sellers, libraries, floating around the department). The portion of the text that will be covered this semester are also available to enrolled students through the Physics Library (information and instructions can be found at the Physics Library Course Reserves Page for Physics 731).  A hard copy of the 2nd Edition is also on reserve at the Physics Library.  Please feel free to use either edition.  These will be labeled as S1r and S2, in what should be self-explanatory notation.    
  • R. Shankar, Principles of Quantum Mechanics, 2nd Ed., Springer (1994).  This text is not required. However, it is a highly recommended resource text.  This text is on reserve at the Physics Library. 

Material Covered: It depends on how quickly we progress, but most likely we will cover Sakurai Chapters 1-4 (either edition), and possibly start Chapter 5 (if time permits; it probably won't).   We will cover path integral quantization and the WKB method in more detail than Sakurai's presentation.  

Supplemental Texts:

Particularly recommended (but not required) texts are 

  • K. Gottfried, Quantum Mechanics, Vol 1: Fundamentals,  Benjamin (1966).
  • L. Schiff, Quantum Mechanics, McGraw-Hill (1968).
  • A. Messiah, Quantum Mechanics, Dover (1999).
  • E. Merzbacher, Quantum Mechanics, 3rd Ed., Wiley (1997).

  An incomplete list of other useful texts is

  • G. Baym, Lectures on Quantum Mechanics, Westview Press (1974).
  • C. Cohen-Tannoudji et al., Quantum Mechanics, Wiley (2006).
  • R. Feynman and A.R. Hibbs, Quantum Mechanics and Path Integrals, McGraw-Hill (1965).
  • L. D. Landau and E. M. Lifschitz, Quantum Mechanics, Pergamon Press (1959).

More mathematical references that are useful include

  • F. Byron and R. Fuller, Mathematics of Classical and Quantum Physics,  Dover (1992).  First published in two volumes by Addison-Wesley in 1969.
  • P. Dennery and A. Krzywicki, Mathematics for Physicists,  Dover (1996).  First published by Harper & Row in 1967.
  • M. Hammermesh, Group Theory and its Application to Physical Problems, Dover (1989).  First published by Addison-Wesley in 1962.
  • P. Morse and H. Fesbach, Methods of Theoretical Physics, McGraw-Hill (1953).  Now published by Feshbach publishing.

General Rules for Class:

  • Show up
  • Pay attention
  • Be respectful
  • Work hard

If you need to miss class because of religious or personal reasons, please let Prof. Everett know ahead of time if at all possible.

The UW-Madison physics department strives to provide an inclusive climate in which every student feels welcome, thrives, and learns, independent of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, national origin, income, etc. Should you ever experience or witness discrimination, one place to find resources and campus information is the Climate and Diversity page on the Physics Department website.

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