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Advanced & Further Quantum Mechanics - PHY00030M

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  • Department: Physics
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Rex Godby
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2019-20
    • See module specification for other years: 2018-19

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2019-20 to Spring Term 2019-20

Module aims

The overall aim of the module is to develop in students a knowledge of key advanced topics in quantum mechanics that bridge the gap between earlier courses and physics research. Specifically:

1. Advanced Quantum Mechanics: To study the consequences of the time-dependence of the wavefunction in quantum mechanics, the emergence of the basic laws of classical mechanics from quantum mechanics, the quantum mechanics of many-particle systems, and second quantisation.

2. Further Quantum Mechanics: To study the quantum theories of angular momentum and scattering, and the role of symmetries and the algebraic approach in quantum mechanics.

Module learning outcomes

Advanced Quantum Mechanics

  • Calculate the time-dependence of a wavefunction, and its consequences for observables.
  • Derive and apply the results of time-dependent perturbation theory up to first order.
  • Derive and apply Fermi's golden rule, and explain the relevance to selection rules for atomic transitions.
  • Explain the origin of the laws of classical mechanics using simple calculations of the types given in lectures.
  • Explain and apply the laws of quantum mechanics for many-particle systems and the main techniques used to study their implications.
  • Derive the main results of second quantisation.
  • Describe, and apply to unseen problems, all the topics in the syllabus.

Comprehensive lecture notes should be taken down from the blackboard during lectures, and will be supplemented by a one-page hand-out distributed on paper. This hand-out, together with audio recordings of lectures and a record of problems set, lecture rescheduling and similar information, will be made available through the VLE.

Further Quantum Mechanics

  • Illustrate the relation between symmetries and conservation laws.
  • Deduce and apply the general theory of angular momentum.
  • Deduce and apply the Born approximation and the method of partial waves in potential scattering theory.
  • Apply creation and annihilation operators of the harmonic oscillator.
  • Construct solutions to complex unseen problems in all of the aforementioned topics.

Comprehensive lecture notes should be taken down from the blackboard during lectures. Supplementary notes will be provided and made available through the VLE.

Module content


Advanced Quantum Mechanics

Time-dependence: Brief review of time-dependent Schrödinger equation; stationary states; time-evolution of general wavefunctions; time evolution operator; time-energy uncertainty relation. Time-dependent perturbation theory. Fermi's golden rule; selection rules for atomic transitions re-examined. Ehrenfest’s theorem. [5 lectures]

The classical limit: Classical mechanics of particles as a limit of quantum mechanics, mostly studied through wavepacket motion. [2]

Many-particle systems: Identical particles and exchange symmetry, fermions and bosons, the Pauli Principle; use of Slater determinants. Variational principle for many-electron systems; the Hartree and Hartree-Fock approximations. Density-functional theory and the local-density approximation. [5]

Second quantisation: Creation, annihilation and number operators; their use for many-particle systems; anti- commutation relations; field operators; Heisenberg picture. Introduction to many-body perturbation theory. Introduction to quantisation of the electromagnetic field. [6]

Further Quantum Mechanics

Symmetries and angular momentum: Symmetries and rotations • Angular momentum multiplets (Ladder operators) • Addition of angular momenta and selection rules including Parity (Clebsch-Gordan coefficients and the Wigner- Eckart theorem).

Potential scattering: Lippmann-Schwinger equation, scattering amplitudes and the Born approximation • Partial waves, phase shifts and resonances.

Quantum states of the harmonic oscillator: Creation and annihilation operators • Coherent states and squeezed states.


Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam
Advanced Quantum Mechanics
1.5 hours 50
Online Exam
Further Quantum Mechanics
N/A 50

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam
Advanced Quantum Mechanics
1.5 hours 50
Online Exam
Further Quantum Mechanics
N/A 50

Module feedback

Marks for the individual exams received from supervisor. Detailed model answers provided on the intranet.

Indicative reading

Advanced Quantum Mechanics

Rae A I M: Quantum mechanics (Taylor & Francis)***

Merzbacher E: Quantum mechanics (Wiley, 1998) **

Schiff L I: Quantum mechanics (McGraw-Hill) **

Ziman J M: Elements of advanced quantum theory (CUP)*

Further Quantum Mechanics

Weinberg S: Lectures on quantum mechanics (Cambridge, 2013)

Sakurai J J: Modern quantum mechanics (Addison Wesley, 1994)

Messiah A: Quantum Mechanics Volume II (Dover, 1999)

Landau L D and Lifshitz E M: Quantum Mechanics (Non-relativistic Theory) (Butterworth-Heinemann, 1977)

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