University of Wisconsin-Madison

UW Physics


Quantum Mechanics I

Physics 731-Fall 2013

MWF 8:50 AM
2120 Chamberlin Hall

Prof. Lisa Everett
5215 CH, 262-4699

Lectures: 8:50-9:40 AM MWF

Location:  2120 Chamberlin Hall

Office Hours: By appointment (ask before/after class or send email).  

Lecture Notes (Link)

Homework Assignments (Link)

Clebsch-Gordan Table (Link)

Problem sets will be due approximately 1 week after they are assigned.  Further details will be given at the homework link above.

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

  • Midterm 1: 10/11/13, 8:50 -- 9:40 AM.  Topics:  the material covered in HW1-3.  This includes the mathematical background, postulates of quantum mechanics, measurement theory, x and p space, change of basis, spin 1/2 systems, solvable 1d bound state problems (infinite square well, finite well, harmonic oscillator, delta function potential), and time evolution up to but not including the evaluation of the propagator in position space.  This corresponds to lecture notes 1-3, and the first page or two of lecture notes 4.

  • Midterm 2: 11/15/13, 8:50 -- 9:40 AM.  Topics:  the material covered in HW 3, 4, and 6.  This includes time evolution, Schrodinger picture and Heisenberg picture, 1d scattering problems, rotations, Euler angles, angular momentum operators and their eigenstates, Wigner functions, orbital angular momentum, and spherical harmonics.  There will be no problems on WKB or path integrals on this exam.  This material corresponds to lecture notes 4, the first page of lecture notes 5, and the first four pages of lecture notes 6 (up to but not including rotational invariance).  You will be given a Clebsch-Gordan table (the same one available in the link above), which has the spherical harmonics and the Wigner functions.

  • Final Exam: 12/18/13, 10:05 AM -- 12:05 PM, 2241 Chamberlin Hall.  Topics: all topics covered on HW 1-8 (except path integrals) as well as the mathematical prelude.  This includes Lecture Notes 1-4 (all), Lecture Notes 5 (Heisenberg picture, WKB), Lecture Notes 6-7 (all), and Lecture Notes 8 (density operator, symmetries, parity, multipole expansion).  You will be given a Clebsch-Gordan table (the same one available in the link above), which has the spherical harmonics and the Wigner functions.  You will be given SHO wavefunctions (if needed) and any nontrivial integrals (if needed).  Please ask Prof. Everett if you have any questions regarding the topics covered.

Be sure to inform Prof. Everett well in advance if you have any conflicts with the scheduled exam dates.

Grading Policy: The final grades will be determined as follows: 25% homework, 40% midterms (20% each), and 35% final.

Text: The main texts are 

  • J. J. Sakurai,  Modern Quantum Mechanics, Revised Ed., Addison-Wesley Press (1994).  Note: there is a newer (2nd) edition with co-author J. Napolitano.  These will be labeled as S1r and S2, in what should be self-explanatory notation.  Feel free to use either edition.
  • R. Shankar, Principles of Quantum Mechanics, 2nd Ed., Springer (1994).  This text is not required, but is a highly recommended resource text. 

Material Covered: It depends on how quickly we progress, but most likely we will cover Sakurai Chapters 1-4, and start Chapter 5 (if time permits).   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).
  • L. D. Landau and E. M. Lifschitz, Quantum Mechanics, Pergamon Press (1959).
  • 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).
  • A. Messiah, Quantum Mechanics, Dover (1999).
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.
  • 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, unless an emergency makes that impossible.  

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, please contact our department's diversity liason and ombudsperson, Ms. Renee Lefow (, 262-9678). 





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