PHY 334: Quantum Mechanics

Course Description

    This is an introductory course on the fundamental properties of quantum mechanics using a linear vector
space approach.  Some time is spent discussing the quantum theory of measurement and various interpretations
of the theory.

    Prerequisites:  Physics 303,  Modern Physics,  and Math 221,  Linear Algegra
    Instructor:  Jacob

           Text: Goswami, Quantum Mechanics (W. C. Brown 1992)

        Generally a good text, although it is a bit careless with notation in places, there are a few minor errors,
        and the mathematical development is not always as clear and concise as it might be. The inclusion of material
        on the interpretation of quantum mechanics makes up for these shortcomings for our purposes.

    A final class presentation on a related topic will be required.

         Some possible topics:

            Interpretations of quantum mechanics
            Hidden varible interpretations
            Einstein, Rosen, Podolsky paradox
            Bell's theorem
            Quarks and QCD
            W-particle and electro-weak interaction
            Symmetry groups

        Computer simulations
            Schrodinger equation for potential well
            Wave packets

Some good references:

        Bohm, Quantum Theory
            A somewhat philosophical introduction. Examines carefully the fundamental ideas.

        Herbert, Quantum Reality
            Examines seven different interpretations of quantum theory. Includes a discussion of Bell's theorem.

        Park, Introduction to the Quantum Theory
            One of the better undergraduate texts, with a very clear and complete development of the mathematical
            formalism. Often does things more neatly than Goswami. Too much material for us to cover in one term,
            but the first half might be a very useful reference.

        Townsend, A Modern Approach to Quantum Mechanics
            Unusual in that it begins with spin and matric mechanics, which does help to emphasize the fundamentals
            of quantum mechanics without getting involved with the mathematics of wave packets, delta functions, etc.

        Sherwin, Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
            An undergraduate introduction with emphasis on the wave function representation.
            Lots of good, simple examples.

        Dicke & Witke, Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
            A bit more mathematical, but clear and precise. (Often used in a first year graduate course.)

        Close, The Cosmic Onion
            Recent ideas on quarks, fundamental particle physics, symmetry groups, etc. at a level that ought
            to be somewhat understandable.
 

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Last modified October 9, 1998  by Richard Jacob