Fall 2007 Mondays and Wednesdays from 17:30 to 18:45 in room 184
Students may ask me questions about quantum mechanics whenever they
My cell and office phone numbers are 205 5448 and 277 5318.
The course is designed for graduate students in physics.
Students should have be familiar
with complex numbers, linear algebra, vector calculus, and the Fourier
and know something about differential equations.
The principal topics will be:
Basic Concepts and Principles
Symmetries and Conserved Quantities
The Hydrogen Atom
The textbook is Modern Quantum Mechanics
(Revised Edition) by J. J. Sakurai (Addison Wesley Longman,
1994). Try to get the latest printing.
The bookstore will carry it but possibly at a high price and in an old printing, so I suggest ordering it elsewhere, such as Amazon who charge $115 with free shipping for a new copy. They also list book-sellers who charge $55 and up for a used copy and $60 and up for a new one.
A good supplementary textbook is
Lectures on Quantum Mechanics
by Gordon Baym. Amazon
sells it new for $55.42 and lists
who charge $24.95 and up for used and new copies.
The grader is Mr. Stefan Maier; his e-mail address is
Lecture notes on chapter 1 of Sakurai.
Notes on the polarized-light demo that shows why quantum mechanics needs complex numbers.
Notes on matrix algebra. Wiki's description of the singular-value decomposition.
Notes on space-time translations.
Notes on birefringent crystals.
Notes on chiral molecules and polarized light.
Notes on Schroedinger's equation.
Uses of the uncertainty principle.
Dirac's delta function.
The Schroedinger & Heisenberg Pictures
Notes on chapter 2 of Sakurai.
Notes on harmonic oscillators and coherent states.
Supersymmetric Quantum Mechanics
Harmonic Oscillators Are Ubiquitous
The Virial Theorem
Feynman's Path Integral
Path Integrals and the WKB Approximation
Path Integrals and Ground States
Particle in an Electromagnetic Field
Notes on chapter 3 of Sakurai.
Notes on Rotations
Notes on the Lie Algebra of the Rotation Group
Orbital Angular Momentum in Spherical Coordinates
The Two-Body Problem
The Hydrogen Atom
The Hydrogen Atom in a Magnetic Field
Adding Angular Momenta
The 2-D Harmonic Oscillator
The 3-D Isotropic Harmonic Oscillator
First-Order Perturbation Theory
and the Linear Stark Effect
Higher-Order Non-Degenerate Perturbation Theory
The Quadratic Stark Effect on the Ground State of Hydrogen
Higher-Order Perturbation Theory for a Degenerate Level
A More-Direct version of Degenerate Perturbation Theory
The Variational Method
Fine Structure and the Spin-Orbit Effect
The Lorentz Group and the Dirac Matrices
Pages 261-273 of Dirac's Book
The Dirac Equation and the Magnetic Moment of the Electron
Spin Is Angular Momentum
Dirac's Hydrogen Atom
Invariances of the Dirac Equation
The Interaction Picture
The Time-Energy Uncertainty Principle, Fermi's Golden Rule, and Detailed Balancing
The Cubic Equation
Light and Atoms
Spontaneous Emission: Lifetime of the 2p state of atomic hydrogen
Ionization of atomic hydrogen
Classical currents make coherent states
Solutions to the non-HW problems of chapter 1.
In the following homework assignments, the "chapters" are those of
the textbook by Sakurai.
Homework problems due Wednesday, September 5th: Problems 1-6 of
chapter 1. Due to the two-day extension, this date is firm.
Feel free to ask for hints in class. Solutions to the problems of the first homework assignment.
Second homework assignment due Monday, September 17th:
Problems 8, 10, 13, 14, 19, 21, & 23 of chapter 1.
Solutions to the problems of the second homework assignment.
Third homework assignment due Monday, October 1st:
Problems 26, 30, & 32 of chapter 1 and 1, 3, 11, & 13 of
Solutions to the problems of the third homework assignment.
Fourth homework assignment due Wednesday, October 17th:
Problems 15, 18, 19, & 36 of chapter 2 and 1, 2, 3, 4 of
Hint on problem 3.4: look at problem 1.7a.
Solutions to the problems of the fourth homework assignment.
The video files of the lectures are 300 to 400 MB long despite the
intrinsic compression of the wmv format. It is best to download
them to your computer before trying to watch them.
The audio & video of lecture of 20 August was lost by an unnamed
Video of lecture of 22 August
Video of lecture of 27 August
First video of lecture of 29 August
Second video of lecture 29 August
Video of lecture of Wednesday, 5 September 2007.
Video of lecture of Monday, 10 September 2007.
Video of lecture of Wednesday, 12 September 2007. The audio was lost by an unnamed computer professional.
Video of lecture of Monday, September 17th
Video of lecture of Wednesday, September 19th
Video of lecture of Monday, September 24th
Video of lecture of Wednesday, September 26th
Video of lecture of Monday, October 1st
Video of lecture of Wednesday, October 3d
Video of lecture of Monday, October 8th
Video of lecture of Wednesday, October 10th
Video of lecture of Monday, October 15th
Video of lecture of Wednesday, October 17th
Video of lecture of Monday, October 22d
Video of lecture of Wednesday, October 24th
Video of lecture of Monday, October 29th
Video of Hallowe'en lecture
Video of lecture of Monday, November 5th
Video of lecture of Wednesday, November 7th
Video of lecture of Monday, November 12th, on Clebsch-Gordan coefficients, isospin, and the variational method.
Video of lecture of Wednesday, November 14th, on the variational method and on spin-orbit coupling.
Video of lecture of Monday, November 19th, on the Dirac equation
Video of lecture of Wednesday, November 21st, on the application of the Dirac equation to the hydrogen atom
Video of lecture of Monday, November 26th, on the interaction picture, the Dyson expansion, and the time-energy uncertainty principle
Video of lecture of Wednesday, 28 November, on applications of time-dependent perturbation theory, including detailed balancing
Video of lecture of Monday, December 3d, on the interaction of photons with atoms
Video of lecture of Wednesday, December 5th, on the absorption and emission of photons by atoms
Video of lecture of Wednesday, December 12th, on the lifetime of the 2p state of atomic hydrogen and on the ionization of hydrogen-like atoms