Old and new: (Left) Picture of the 5th Solvay Conference in Oct. 1927 showing many of the founders of quantum mechanics. Of the 29 attendees, 17 won Nobel Prizes. (Right) Image of atomic orbitals in a hydrogen atom [adapted from Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 213001 (2013)].
PHYS 4310: Quantum Mechanics I
Quantum mechanics is the study of phenomena when the action (the time integral of the Lagrangian) is on the order of Planck's constant. At these scales, particles are best described using wavefunctions, which satisfy boundary conditions defined by electrical potentials. In Quantum Mechanics I, we will study methods for solving Schrodinger's equation using different (electrostatic) boundary conditions, the meaning of the wavefunction and expectation values, quantized angular momentum, the WKB approximation method, and spin angular momentum. This junior/senior-level course uses advanced mathematics techniques and methods, so students should have either taken or be concurrently enrolled in partial differential equations. The workload in this course is significant: weekly homeworks, bi-weekly quizzes, two mid-term exams, and a final exam. That being said, the payoff in physical insight, appreciation of nature, and understanding of quantum-based processes and devices will be enormous.