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PH20013: Quantum & atomic physics

[Page last updated: 20 April 2021]

Academic Year: 2021/2
Owning Department/School: Department of Physics
Credits: 6      [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Intermediate (FHEQ level 5)
Period:
Semester 1
Assessment Summary: EX 100%
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Requisites: Before taking this module you must ( take PH10001 OR take PH10048 ) AND ( take PH10005 OR take PH10053 ) AND ( take PH10007 OR take MA10230 OR take MA10208 )
Description: Aims:
The aims of this unit are to introduce the Schrödinger equation and its solution in one and three dimensions, and to discuss the interactions responsible for the electronic structure of atoms.

Learning Outcomes:
After taking this unit the student should be able to:
* explain the significance of the wavefunction in determining the physical behaviour of electrons;
* show how quantisation arises from boundary conditions and calculate energy levels in simple model systems;
* discuss the energy levels, angular momenta and spectra of atoms, taking into account screening and magnetic interactions.

Skills:
Numeracy T/F A, Problem Solving T/F A.

Content:
Basic assumptions of quantum mechanics (4 hours): Wave functions, probability density and normalisation. Observables; position, momentum and energy. Schrödinger's equation; time dependence of the wavefunction, stationary states, superposition and measurement, time-independent Schrödinger equation.
Motion in one dimension (6 hours): Eigenfunctions of the infinite square well, parity of solutions, superposition states. Dirac notation. Bound states of the finite square well. Motion of free particles. Reflection and transmission at a step. Tunnelling through a barrier. The harmonic oscillator. Time-independent perturbation theory.
The Schrödinger hydrogen atom (4 hours): Angular wavefunction, radial wavefunction, full solutions, energy and atomic spectra, electronic states of many electron atoms.
Angular momentum in atoms (4 hours): Orbital angular momentum, spin angular momentum, Dirac notation, superposition, Pauli spin.
Magnetic properties of atoms (4 hours): Magnetic moments, total angular momentum, spin-orbit interaction, perturbation theory, Zeeman effect and Stern Gerlach experiment.

Programme availability:
NB. Postgraduate programme information will be added when the postgraduate catalogues are published in August 2021

PH20013 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Physics
  • USPH-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Physics (Year 2)
  • USPH-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • USPH-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Year long work placement (Year 2)
  • USPH-AFB10 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics (Year 2)
  • USPH-AAB10 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • USPH-AKB10 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Year long work placement (Year 2)
  • USPH-AFM02 : MPhys(Hons) Physics (Year 2)
  • USPH-AFM04 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Research placement (Year 2)
  • USPH-AAM03 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • USPH-AAM12 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • USPH-AKM03 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Professional Placement (Year 2)
  • USPH-AKM04 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Professional and Research Placements (Year 2)
  • USPH-AFM10 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics (Year 2)
  • USPH-AFM11 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Research placement (Year 2)
  • USPH-AAM10 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • USPH-AAM14 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • USPH-AKM10 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Professional Placement (Year 2)
  • USPH-AKM11 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Professional and Research Placements (Year 2)
  • USPH-AAM15 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Study year abroad and Research Placement (Year 2)
  • USPH-AAM13 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Study year abroad and Research Placement (Year 2)

PH20013 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Mathematical Sciences
  • USMA-AFB15 : BSc(Hons) Mathematical Sciences (Year 3)
  • USMA-AAB16 : BSc(Hons) Mathematical Sciences with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USMA-AKB16 : BSc(Hons) Mathematical Sciences with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • USMA-AFB13 : BSc(Hons) Mathematics (Year 3)
  • USMA-AAB14 : BSc(Hons) Mathematics with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USMA-AKB14 : BSc(Hons) Mathematics with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • USMA-AFM14 : MMath(Hons) Mathematics (Year 3)
  • USMA-AKM15 : MMath(Hons) Mathematics with Year long work placement (Year 4)
Department of Physics
  • USXX-AFB03 : BSc(Hons) Mathematics and Physics (Year 2)
  • USXX-AAB04 : BSc(Hons) Mathematics and Physics with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • USXX-AKB04 : BSc(Hons) Mathematics and Physics with Year long work placement (Year 2)
  • USXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Mathematics and Physics (Year 2)
  • USXX-AAM01 : MSci(Hons) Mathematics and Physics with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • USXX-AKM01 : MSci(Hons) Mathematics and Physics with Year long work placement (Year 2)

Notes:

  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2021/22 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2022/23 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2021/22.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.