Department of Physics

Physics 341: Quantum Mechanics

 

Like all sciences, physics is a cycle of experimental observation and theoretical explanation: observation motivates proposed explanations which predict further observations whose confirmation or refutation informs refinements of the explanations…  As far as we know, Quantum Mechanics provides the most exact theoretical structure for modeling observed reality, though its non-classical, probabilistic tools are typically necessary (and tractable) only for fundamentally simple, relatively isolated, and usually small systems.  More than any other subject, Quantum Mechanics forces us to recognize that the best any science can promise is a theory that models measurements of nature; in Quantum Mechanics, our speculations on how nature behaves outside of measurements can be famously unsatisfactory.   This course is challenging on both mathematical and conceptual fronts – you will employ new mathematical tools that will lead to decidedly non-classical results.   


Lecture: MWF 1:00 - 2:20; AHoN 117

Instructor: Eric Hill

Office Hours: M 2:30-3:50, Th 11:00-12:00 (if these don't work for you, check my complete schedule for other times I'm free)

E-mail: eric_hill@redlands.edu

Text: Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, Griffiths  2nd Ed

Office: AHoN 127

Phone: ext. 8659


Goals

It goes without saying that you’ll deepen your understanding of quantum mechanics and the appropriate techniques in this course.  More generally, through this course you should continue to develop your rigorous problem-solving skills – conceptual, analytical, and computational.  As they help you to solve complex problems, you’ll also hone your skills of communication as in clearly presenting your work.  Thus, of the five major goals that guide our physics curriculum, developing experimental skills is the only one not served by this course.


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Please let me know if you discover any problems or have any difficulty with the class web pages.