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Quantum Mechanics I - MAT00024H

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  • Department: Mathematics
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Daniel Siemssen
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21

Related modules

Co-requisite modules

  • None

Prohibited combinations

Additional information

Pre-Requisites for Natural Sciences Students:

  • MAT00036I Applied Mathematics Option I
  • MAT00041I Linear Algebra for the Natural Sciences

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2020-21

Module aims

This module aims to deepen students’ understanding of quantum mechanics, which they started learning at the Second Stage. In particular, it shows how classical mechanics can be understood as a limit of quantum mechanics and introduces students to the mathematical foundation of quantum mechanics.

Module learning outcomes

  • Understand the wave-mechanics description of quantum mechanics and its classical limit.

  • Understand the abstract operator formalism of quantum mechanics and its application to simple harmonic oscillator and angular momentum.

  • Appreciate features of quantum mechanics distinguishing it from classical mechanics, such as tunnelling and Heisenberg’s uncertainty relation.

Module content


  • The time-dependent Schrödinger equation: the general solution in terms of the energy eigenstates; continuity equation for the probability.

  • The space of wave functions: the position, momentum and energy as Hermitian operators; commutation relations; the Fourier transform of the wave function as the momentum representation; measurement postulates for energy, position and momentum; Heisenberg’s uncertainty relation between the position and momentum without proof.
  • Free quantum particle on a line: momentum eigenstates; the propagator and the evolution of the Gaussian wave packet.

  • Ehrenfest’s theorem and the classical limit.
  • Scattering problem in one dimension; discussion of tunnelling..

  • Dirac's bra-ket notation; the simple harmonic oscillator with ladder operators.

  • The angular momentum: the representation of the angular-momentum algebra; spherical harmonics in the context of angular-momentum representation.

Academic and graduate skills

  • Academic skills: students will learn a fundamental theory describing the physical world through combining their mathematical skills learned in earlier Stages.

  • Graduate skills: through lectures, problems classes and seminars, students will develop their ability to assimilate, process and engage with new material quickly and efficiently.They develop problem-solving skills and learn how to apply techniques to unseen problems.


Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam
Quantum Mechanics I
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam
Quantum Mechanics I
N/A 100

Module feedback

Current Department policy on feedback is available in the undergraduate student handbook. Coursework and examinations will be marked and returned in accordance with this policy.

Indicative reading

R Shankar, Principles of Quantum Mechanics, Springer (U 0.123 SHA)

L I Schiff, Quantum Mechanics, McGraw-Hill (U 0.123 SCH)

S Gasiorowicz, Quantum Physics (2nd edition), J. Wiley (U 0.12 GAS)

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.

Course changes for new students