Advanced Quantum Mechanics (Independent Study)

PHY 420 Selected Topics in Physics --- Spring 2004 Syllabus

Physics Department --- Mercer University


 Text: A Modern Approach to Quantum Mechanics, by John S. Townsend

 Class Meetings: TBA

 Instructor: Dr. Jose L. Balduz Jr


          phone: 301-2229

          office: Willet Science Center 110

          office hours: MTWRF 11am-Noon, or by appointment, or try your luck anytime...


This course is a continuation of PHY 450 Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, which served as a formal introduction to the subject. It continues the development of the theory with emphasis on less abstract examples, motivated by real physical systems like atoms and molecules. Calculational tools are introduced such as path integrals, symmetries and perturbation theory. Both bound states and scattering problems are considered, as well as the quantization of the electromagnetic field. It is intended primarily for physics majors, but should be of interest also to many other students, especially those majoring in math and chemistry.



•    PHY 450 Introduction to Quantum Mechanics

•    MAT 293 Multivariable Calculus

•    MAT 330 Introduction to Differential Equations.

•    MAT 340 Linear Algebra.


Text material to be covered (tentative):

•    Ch. 8  Path Integrals (21 pp.)

•    Ch. 9  Translational and Rotational Symmetry in the Two-Body Problem (37 pp.)

•    Ch. 10  Bound States of Central Potentials (32 pp.)

•    Ch. 11  Time-Independent Perturbations (35 pp.)

•    Ch. 12  Identical Particles (27 pp.)

•    Ch. 13  Scattering (31 pp.)

•    Ch. 14  Photons and Atoms (45 pp.)


Meetings: Although this is an independent study course, the student and instructor will meet regularly, for about two hours per week. During these times we will discuss the material in the current text, pick problems for the student to work out later, go over problems the student has already worked and discuss the student’s project. It is imperative that the student be adequately prepared for each meeting, by prior reading of the text and work on assigned problems. The grade determined from the quality of the meetings will be worth 80% of the total grade.


Project: The student will also produce a calculation of some sort using the methods studied in the course. This will have both analytical and computational aspects, and must be approved by the instructor. It must be written up and handed in to the instructor no later than the last day of the final exam period, Tuesday May 4. It will be worth 20% of the total grade.


Grading:  After each meeting the instructor will assign a grade to the student for that meeting, ranging from zero to ten. If the student failed to show up without proper excuse, or was completely unprepared, the grade will be a zero. If the student did what was expected, namely studied the text and worked the assigned problems correctly, the grade will be a ten. Partial results will yield a grade somewhere in between. The overall meetings grade will be determined as a percentage of the maximum possible grade. This will count for 80% of the final grade for the course. The project grade will count for 20% of the final grade for the course. Given the final percent grade, the final letter grade will be determined from the table below.



























Miscellaneous policies:


1.      All parts of this syllabus are tentative and subject to revision.

2.      There will be no extra-credit work.

3.       The College of Liberal Arts' academic misconduct policy will be followed. In addition, all students are bound by the Mercer University Honor Code.

4.       Students are strongly encouraged to discuss with the instructors all their work during the course, regardless of their grades. Questions about point awards should be brought up as soon as possible, as all grades will be final one week after the materials are graded and returned to the students.

5.       Students with a documented disability should inform the instructor at the close of the first class meeting.  The instructor will refer you to the office of Student Support Services (SSS) for consultation regarding evaluation, documentation of your disability, and recommendations for accommodation, if needed.  Students will receive from SSS the Faculty Accommodation Form.  On this form SSS will identify reasonable accommodations for this class.  The form must be given to the course instructor for signature and then returned to SSS.  To take full advantage of disability services, it is recommended that students immediately contact the Office of Student Support Services.  The office is located on the third floor of the Connell Student Center.

6.       All requests for reasonable accommodation are welcome also in regard to absence from class for school representation (i.e., athletic or other events) or personal/family problems. Let's talk about it...