Ph125b - Quantum Mechanics - Winter 2007
MW 9:30-11:00am / 107 Downs

Click here to go to Ph125c/Spring 2007.


LECTURE NOTES1/3v2  1/8  1/10  1/17  1/22  1/24  1/29  1/31  2/5  2/7v2  2/12v2  2/14  2/21  2/26  2/28  3/5v2  3/7 

HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS:  HW1  HW2  HW3  HW4  HW5  HW6  HW7  HW8v2

HOMEWORK SOLUTIONSSol1  Sol2  Sol3  Sol4  Sol5v2  Sol6  Sol7  Sol8v2

Syllabus: Basic principles of quantum mechanics (states, measurement and dynamics) will be introduced in the first quarter, working entirely within a finite-dimensional framework in order to make the linear-algebraic structure of the theory as clear as possible.  A probabilistic interpretation of the theory will be emphasized, and examples from quantum information science will be used to illustrate key concepts.  During the second and third quarters (Ph125bc) the theory will be extended to infinite-dimensional systems; basic elements of scattering and symmetry representation theory (including angular momentum) will also be introduced.  Illustrative applications will be developed in atomic and solid-state physics.

Course materials: Lecture notes will be posted above; there is no required textbook.  The bookstore should have copies of Sakurai's Modern Quantum Mechanics, which is the primary suggested (optional) textbook for the course.  Other recommended books (which have not been ordered) include Quantum Mechanics (Volumes I and II) by Cohen-Tannoudji, Diu and Laloe; and Quantum Mechanics (3rd Edition) by Merzbacher.  Where possible the lecture notes will provide references to suggested reading in one or more of these books.

Grading and homework policy: Final letter grades will be based on weekly homework assignments (25%), a midterm exam (25%), and a final exam (50%).  Collaboration on homework assignments is allowed but each student must produce his/her own write-up based on his/her own understanding of the problem solutions.  Math software packages (such as Mathematica, Maple and Matlab) are of course a tremendous resource for physics research.  HOWEVER, as a student it is absolutely essential that you develop a strong intuition for basic calculations involving linear algebra, differential equations, and the like.  The only way to develop this intuition is by working lots of problems by hand; skipping this phase of your education is a really bad idea.  In Ph125 you are allowed to use computers/software to check your final answers on homework problems but you must do all calculations by hand and you must show your work in your write-ups.
    Homework sets are due on Tuesday afternoons at 5:00pm, in the box outside 24 Bridge Annex.  Late homework will be penalized 50% unless prior arrangements are made with the Instructor for an extension.  Each problem will be scored out of three points: 3 = correct answer with correct and complete reasoning; 2 = correct approach with enough work shown, but incorrect final answer; 1 = incorrect but reasonable approach, with substantial effort; 0 = insufficient effort made to work the problem.  Since the student-to-TA ratio is rather high in this course the TA's will not make extensive corrections on anyone's homework.  Complete solution sets will be posted and you will be responsible for analyzing your own mistakes.

Instructor:
    Hideo Mabuchi - hmabuchi@caltech.edu
    Office: 24 Bridge Annex (also check 266 W. Bridge)
    Office hours: Tuesdays 1-3pm; exceptions: 1/30

Teaching assistants:
    Prabha Mandayam - prabhamd@caltech.edu
    Ted Corcovilos - corcoted@caltech.edu
    Miguel Bandres - bandres@caltech.edu
    Office hours: Monday 4-6pm in 425 Lauritsen; contact a TA by email to make other arrangements if you cannot make this time.