Phys 137B: Quantum Mechanics II
shortcut to the homework assignments
Time: Lectures on Tue and Thu, 5:10-6:30 pm.
Place: 141 Giannini Hall.
Office: 401 Le Conte.
Office hours: Wednesdays 11am-12noon, Thursdays 2-3pm.
GSI: Kevin Grosvenor
Quantum mechanics is absolutely central for our understanding of modern
physics: The entire Universe that we live in is quantum mechanical.
Moreover, the basic rules, concepts and laws of quantum mechanics appear to
be extraordinarily robust and universal, not representing just an
approximation to some more fundamental theory, at least to our best knowledge
so far. This all makes the learning of the basics of quantum mechanics
crucial for everyone who is serious about exact sciences, not stricly speaking
only for those with direct research interests in physics.
The basic introduction into the concepts and ideas of quantum mechanics,
together with some of the "easy" (and often exactly solvable) examples,
is typically covered in the first semester (in a course equivalent to our
Phys 137A). In contrast, this second semester of QM will extend the
applications of the basic concepts to more complex systems, involving
interactions of (often) a large number of constituents. Such more complex
systems are certainly more realistic, but also typically not exactly
solvable. Extracting useful information about their behavior will require
the development of various approximation techniques, of varying level of
sophistication. Much of this second semester will be devoted to such
perturbative techniques, including the systematic treatment of scattering
The main textbook for this course is going to be:
B.H. Bransden and C.J. Joachain, Quantum Mechanics, 2nd edition
(Prentice Hall, 2000),
which I will refer to as [BJ] from now on. This choice of textbook is
partially to maintain continuity with the course Phys 137A taught in Fall
2013 by Prof. Siddiqi.
There are now many many more texts on QM, some excellent, some not so much.
In the first 80% or so of the semester, we will follow pretty linearly
the logic and layout of [BJ], starting from Chapter 8 and ending with Chapter
14. Then, in the final 20% or so of the semester, we will try to have some
fun with special, more modern bonus topics -- such as decoherence, quantum
entanglement, basics of quantum computing, perhaps even quantum properties of
black holes, together with the problems of measurement and interpretation of
quantum mechanics, including the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox and Bell's
inequalities, finishing with some possible glimpses into how to expand the
framework of QM beyond its existing limits. Hence, the approximate
outline of the semester will be as follows:
I. Approximation methods, for time-dependent and time-independent problems;
II. Systems of identical particles and their quantum statistics;
III. Interaction of quantum systems with electromagnetism (both as radiation
and as an external field);
IV. Quantum collision theory and scattering processes;
V. Bonus material (to be fine-tuned based on feedback from students in class).
Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, at the level equivalent to Phys 137A.
Roughly, you need to be familiar with the main points of Chapters 1-7 of [BJ]
(but, of course, you don't need to know everything that is in those Chapters).
Homeworks and Grading Policy
There will be weekly homework assignments, posted on this website, more info
follows below. The final grade will be based on the following breakdown:
50% homeworks (and participation in discussions),
25% midterm exam (given in class in early March),
25% final exam (based primarily on the material of Ch. 8-14 of [BJ]).
Additional info will appear here as it becomes available/relevant.
The homework assignments will be posted here weekly, on Thursdays before
and will be due on Thursday, one week later, by 5:10pm, in class (or
in place agreed on by the GSI). Most HWs will refer to specific problems in
HW1 (due on Thu, Jan 30): Problem 8.2 (on
page 427 of [BJ]), Problem 5.13(b) (on page 262), and Problem 8.8
(again on page 427).
HW2 (due on Thu, Feb 6): Problems 8.6, 8.10 and 8.11 (on
pages 427-8 of [BJ]).
HW3 (due on Thu, Feb 13): Problems 8.15 and 8.21 (on
page 429 of [BJ]).
HW4 (due on Thu, Feb 20): Problems 9.2, 9.6, 9.7 and 9.8
(on pages 466-7 of [BJ]).
HW5 (due on Thu, Feb 27): Problems 10.4, 10.5, 10.6 and
10.7 (on page 512 of [BJ]).
HW6 (due on Thu, March 20): Problems 11.2, 11.5, 11.6,
11.7 and 11.9 (pages 555-6 of [BJ]).
HW7 (due on Thu, April 3): Problems 12.5 and 12.6 (p. 585),
and Problem 13.7 (p. 637).
HW8 (due on Thu, April 10): Problems 13.6(a,b) and
13.8(a,b,c) (pp. 636-8). You can also do 13.8(d), but it is not required.
HW9 (due on Thu, April 17): Problems 13.11, 13.12 and
13.14(a) (pp. 638-9).
HW10 (due on Thu, April 24): Problems 14.1, 14.3, 14.4 and
14.5 (p. 676).
Since we are now already in the bonus-material portion of the semester,
there will be no new homework assignments. HW10 was the final HW of this