PHGN 521: Quantum Mechanics II (FALL 2012)

Prof. Zhigang Wu
Office: 443 Meyer Hall
Phone: (303) 2733068

Lecture Location and Time
357 Meyer Hall, Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays @ 02:00-02:50 PM

Teaching Assistant
Torey Semi, 475 Meyer Hall, E-Mail:

Office Hours
  • Mondays @ 3:00-4:00 PM
  • Tuesdays @ 2:00-3:00 PM
  • Fridays    @ 4:00-5:00 PM
  • You need to make an appointment for other time slots.

  • Syllabus
    Here you can find the lecture schedule, handouts, assignments, solutions, etc.

    This is an advanced course in quantum mechanics, focusing on the applications of the basic theory and practical methods introduced in QMI to optics, nuclear physics, particle physics, condensed matter physics, etc.

    The main topics are:
  • Electromagnetic radiation
  • Scattering theory, Born series, partial wave analysis
  • Symmetry
  • Addition of angular momenta, Wigner-Eckart theorem
  • Many-particle systems and second quantization
  • Quantum entanglement

  • PHGN 507: Electromagnetic Theory
  • PHGN 520: Quantum Mechanics I

  • Class Policies and Suggestions
  • I expect all students to attend every class. The statistics show that those seldom attend often get low scores.
  • If you have anything unclear, raise your hand and interrupt me immediately. You cannot afford failing to understand any derivations or concepts. Do not let your confusion build up, go to my office and ask me; otherwise you will get totally lost.
  • Ipads, laptops, cell-phones, and other electronics are strictly forbidden during the class. Students using these devices frequently in classes performed poorly.
  • Please go to my office often, not merely for homework problems.
  • I expect you to spend about 12 to 15 hours weekly to study the contents (5-7 hours) and finish homework (6-8 hours). If you use a lot more than 15 hours per week, please let me know and I will try to help you out.
  • If you have any suggestions, concerns, worries, frustrations, etc, please let me know as soon as possible. You may send me email, talk to me personally, or contact the class coordinator.
  • The class coordinator is responsible for contacting me immediately if she/he has any feedback from the class. She/he will meet me in the middle of September, October, and November.

  • Homework Assignments
  • Homework will be assigned on every Tuesday (except for the test weeks), due on the next Wednesday at 2 PM.
  • Late due homework will get ZERO point, so just submit even incomplete.
  • But you can turn in homework late (up to 2 days before 5 PM Friday) twice during the semester without any reasons.
  • You need extraordinary reasons to get my permission to turn in late more than twice or two days each time.
  • You need to let me know 24 hours before the due time for any delay and get permission beyond the limit.
  • Totally there are about 12 assignments, and your lowest homework score will be dropped.
  • Clear and detailed derivations are crucial to get good scores.
  • It is totally fine to use Mathematica, but I encourage you to do derivations by hand.
  • I will try to inspect the graded homework as much as possible.
  • Go to my office to get homework grading errors corrected.

  • Academic Integrity
    Homework assignments have to be done INDEPENDENTLY. Group discussions are encouraged but you still need to finish the problems by yourself, and report it in your notes. If you use any materials from papers, online resources, and books other than the textbook, please also report in your notes. No deduction will be made if you report; otherwise I treat it as an academic integrity violation.

    Exams and Quizzes
  • Two exams will be scheduled: a one-hour mid-term and a two-hour final.
  • You will have three 20-minute quizzes over the semester, with problems soly from homework assignments.
  • Quizzes are closed-book, with essential equations and formulae provided.
  • Exams are closed-book, but you can bring a piece of A4 paper with equations on one side.
  • If you have hard time memorizing an equation or formula, it means they will be given in the test if used.

  • Grading
    Homework (50%) + Quizzes (3 × 4%) + Midterm Exam (14%) + Final Exam (24%)
    A: ≥ 95%, A-: 90-94%; B+: 87-89%, B: 83-86%, B-: 80-82%
    C+: 77-79%, C: 73-76%, C-: 70-72%; D: 60-69%; F: 0-59%

    In practice, the class is graded on a modified curve, so that the average is about 85% or better. Any modifications will be only upwards, and be applied to everyone equally. Specifically, the average of every exam (120 points each) and the sum of quizzes (30 points each) will be adjusted at least equal to 80 by adding a same number to everyone. The homework average is expected to be over 80 (last semester is 87), so normally no adjustment is required. If necessary, more points will be added to your total score until about 2/3 are B or better (including B, B+, A- and A).

  • A: understanding the contents very well, excellent in both exams and homework assignemnts.
  • B: understanding the contents well, good in both exams, and homework is about the average.
  • C: understanding the contents poorly, exams are way below average, and homework is below average.
  • D: I won't normally give you a D. C is awful already. I give a D only if you seldom finish homework and hardly work out any problems in the tests.

  • Textbook
    Quantum Mechanics with Basic Field Theory, by B. R. Desai, Cambridge University Press, 2009.

    Reference Books (reserved in library)
  • Modern Quantum Mechanics, by J. J. Sakurai and J. J. Napolitano, Addison Wesley, 2nd Edition, 2010.
  • Quantum Mechanics in a Nutshell, by G. D. Mahan, Princeton University Press, 2008.
  • Principles of Quantum Mechanics, by R. Shankar, Springer, 2nd Edition, 1994.
  • Quantum Mechanics, by L. D. Landau and L. M. Lifshiz, Butterworth-Heinemann, 3rd Edition, 1981.