Quantum Physics

University of Queensland

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Quantum Physics

  • Host University

    University of Queensland

  • Location

    Brisbane, Australia

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    MATH1051 + PHYS1001 + PHYS1002
    Assumed Background:
    A knowledge of first year mainstream physics, in particular, PHYS1001 and the PHYS1002 course on electromagnetism, optics, special relativity and modern physics. Mathematics at the level of MATH2000 is assumed.
    A student entering the course is expected to have the following skills:
    Conceptual understanding
    Understanding of classical mechanics (Newtons laws, conservation of momentum, angular momentum, and energy). Understanding of the concepts of kinetic energy and potential energy, and the dynamics of a classical particle in a spatially inhomogeneous potential. Basic understanding of electrostatics and electrodynamics (Coulombs law, Electromagnetic waves as a solution to Maxwell?s equations). Familiarity with wave optics, interference phenomena, and phase. Characteristics of light ? wavelengths, frequency
    Mathematical skills
    Able to integrate and differentiate common functions such as powers, log, exp, sin, etc. Definite integrals. Manipulation of complex numbers (absolute value, complex conjugates). Manipulation of complex functions (exp ix), trigonometric functions (sin A+B). Understand what a differential equation is, and be able to solve, or at least recognise the solution to simple differential equations (eg, exponential decay/growth, simple harmonic motion). Basic linear algebra: Matrix-vector manipulation, calculating eigenvectors and eigenvalues of a matrix. Be familiar with a summation. Be able to sketch common mathematical functions (Exp, Gaussian, trig, polynomials, products of these). Integration by parts.
    Problem solving and analysis
    Be comfortable with deriving a differential equation describing the motion of a particle beginning with Newton?s laws.
    Able to design and conduct simple experiments. Able to estimate uncertainties and propagate uncertainties through calculations. An understanding of how to write a laboratory report.

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Host University Units

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Description
    Experimental bases & general features of quantum physics. Selected topics from atomic, nuclear & solid state physics; laboratory experiments crucial to the development of modern physics.
    Course Introduction
    Quantum physics is a radical departure from the classical physics known up until the start of the 20th century. This course introduces the fundamental concepts of quantum physics, and aims to introduce students to the main ideas and basic mathematical methods and techniques. Examples of phenomena not explained by classical physics, such as the photo-electric effect, the double slit experiment, atomic spectra, quantum tunneling, matter-wave interference, and spin, are investigated using quantum theory. Some of the "spooky" problems of quantum physics, which are still unresolved to this day, are also described. The course focusses on developing techniques for solving problems in quantum physics. The laboratory work covers a range of modern physics experiments.
    Learning Objectives
    After successfully completing this course you should be able to:
    • Recognise the areas in which classical physics fails and how these failures can be overcome by quantum concepts. Recognise the similarities and differences between the classical and quantum treatments of the motion of a particle. Recognise the key concepts of quantum physics and be able to apply them to a variety of problems, both theoretical and experimental.
    • Correctly apply the postulates of quantum mechanics to physical situations.
    • Understand the meaning of the Schrodinger equation, and be able to solve it in simple situations.
    • Understand the concept of, and be able to solve simple eigenvalue problems.
    • Calculate probabilities and expectation values of physical quantities in quantum mechanics.
    • Understand the role of observable quantities and uncertainty in quantum mechanics.
    • Be able to perform separation of variables in 3 dimensions, and understand the concepts of angular momentum and spin in quantum mechanical systems.
    • Understanding of basic numerical techniques and their application to problems in quantum mechanics. Basic use of MATLAB software.
    • Apply general laboratory techniques such as data acquisition, data reduction, and linear regression to experimental analysis, and be able to produce a self-contained written report about a scientific experiment which clearly explains the experimental methods, results, data analysis and estimation of uncertainties, and which also discusses results and conclusions in context.
    • Prepare posters for scientific communication.
    Class contact
    3 hours Lecture and 3 hours Practical
    Assessment Summary
    Laboratory: 20%
    Problem Set(s): 30%
    Poster: 10%
    Final Exam: 40%

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.