Physics 448
Information
Fall 2013
Atomic and
Quantum Physics
Description: First semester of a
twosemester senior course. Review of atomic
and other quantum phenomena and special
relativity; introduction to quantum
mechanics treating the more advanced topics
of atomic physics and applications to
molecular, solid state, nuclear, and
elementary particle physics and quantum
statistics. Experiments underlying this
course are covered in Physics 407.
Prerequisites: Physics
205, 241,
or 244,
and Physics
311 and 322.
Not open to those who have had Physics
531
Instructor:
Thad Walker, 5322 Chamberlin, 2624093, tgwalker@wisc.edu
Lectures:
MWF 8:50, CHAMBERLIN 2241
Office
Hours: MWF 7:458:30, TTh 8:00am9:30am. Some days I may
not be available. If you come by during office
hours and I am not there, leave a note under the
door and send me an email. I will make every
effort to meet with you at the first
opportunity.
I strongly
encourage you to take advantage of my office
hours. Yes,
they are early in the day,
but yes, you will find me helpful when you
come.
Text: A Modern Approach to
Quantum Mechanics by Townsend. This
text takes a different approach than most.
Excerpts from it reviewed well with 448/9
students from last year.
There are many good introductory quantum
mechanics texts you might find helpful as
well. These include Quantum Mechanics
by Basdevant and Dalibard (the text for the last
2 years), Modern Quantum Mechanics by
Sakurai,
Introduction
to Quantum Mechanics by Griffiths (a
student favorite though in my view fairly
oldfashioned), and Lectures on
Quantum Mechanics by Baym,
all of which are on reserve in the physics
library. There will also be some handout
supplements that will appear periodically on the
web page.
I intend to roughly follow the text, but you
should expect significantly different
perspectives to be
discussed and presented in the
lectures. Here's a quote from
a recent student
evaluation: "Also,
if you only have good lectures to learn
from,
and you miss class, then
it is a significant problem".
I agree.
Required supplemental material:
Mathematica. Mathematica
is a particularly powerful tool for algrebra, simulation,
and graphics. I
encourage you to use it for your homework and
there will be some work that will be required to
do using Mathematica. Other work will often
be much easier done with Mathematica
than by hand. A student license is
available at DOIT for $49, and Mathematica is
also available for your limited free use on the
physics library computers, in the physics
club room, and in the
Garage Physics room.
One of my goals is computer literacy. Computation is an important
skill for
any scientist to
master.
Grading:
The final grade will be determined from a
weighting of the three components listed below.
The total homework score and each of the exam
scores will be curved to a
80(A)70(AB)60(B)50(BC)40(C)20(D) scale
before a final grade judgement
is made. Scores will be posted on the
course Learn@UW page.
Homework:
25% of grade. Homework assignments will
typically be due on Friday afternoons at 5:00,
turned into the 448 slot
next to Rennenbaum
auditorium near our classroom. Late homework is
not accepted. Just do it. The lowest homework
score will be dropped. Each homework problem is
worth 03 points and will be graded according to
the following scale:
Pts

Description

0

Garbage/Too Messy to
grade

1

Tried but little progress

2

On the right path but
significant errors

3

Correct or only minor
errors

Historically,
students who neglect their homework are at the
greatest risk for low exam scores. I
strongly urge you to work together in small
groups, but the work you hand in should be your
own. My solutions will be posted on the web
page.
Exams:
2 exams, 45% of
grade. Expected exam dates are
given below.
Exams may include both inclass and takehome
components.
Final
Exam: 30% of grade. Comprehensive. Time
and Locations are given TBA.
Academic
Misconduct:
Inclass
exams: you are allowed to bring one sheet of
notebook paper. Calculators are
permitted, but no devices that can access the
internet.
Takehome
exams: you are allowed to use any books,
internet, Mathematicaany nonhuman resource
to solve the problems. As with any of
your work, if you use an outside source you
are required to properly cite it. If you
modify a homework solution, even your own, you
must identify that as well. This is
important because your homework solutions will
often be quite similar to each other due to
working together. You are explicitly not
allowed to discuss any aspect of the
exam with any other human being using any form
of communication. This includes sharing
information about what resources to use.
Consequences: academic misconduct
will result at a minimum with a 0 for the exam
with greater punishments given at the
instructor's discretion.
Web
Page: http://www.physics.wisc.edu/undergrads/courses/fall2013/448/
Your source for homework and reading
assignments, solutions, etc. This page can
also be accessed from the course Learn@UW page,
where the grade book resides.
Schedule:
typically 1 chapter/week in Townsend,
excluding exam weeks. Exam 1
roughly October 2, Exam 2 roughly November
20. Precise dates will be announced in
class when the time approaches.
Classroom
Environment: Quantum Mechanics is
the basic language of modern physics.
There will be many new ideas to
consider. I want and need you to
interact with me in the classroom. Come
ready to participate. Another student
evaluation quote: "He
strongly encouraged questions, and once we
caught on to just how receptive he was, we
really capitalized and it greatly enhanced
the class."
