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PX262 - Quantum Mechanics and its Applications

  • Module code: PX262
  • Module name: Quantum Mechanics and its Applications
  • Department: Physics
  • Credit: 15

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

To introduce the mathematical structure of quantum mechanics and to explain how to compute expectation values for observable quantities of a system. To show how quantum theory accounts for properties of atoms, elementary particles, nuclei and solids.

Principal learning outcomes

At the end of the module you should: know the origin of the n,l,m and s quantum numbers and be able to use the Pauli exclusion principle to explain the periodic table; understand the significance of Hermitian operators and eigenvalue equations and be able to use the correspondence principle to find the form of a quantum mechanical operator; be able to use quantum mechanics to derive a description of the electron states of the hydrogen atom; be familiar with the free-electron model of a metal; be familiar with the concepts of energy bands and how these can be used to explain the properties of metals and semiconductors; be able to describe the elements of the standard model and to apply simple ideas from quantum theory to explain phenomena observed in particles and nuclei.

Timetabled teaching activities

about 40 Lectures + 20 problems classes

Departmental link

http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/physics/teach/syllabi/year2/px262

Other essential notes

Initially quantum theory was needed to understand the emission and absorption spectra of atoms. Since then many phenomena have been understood using quantum theory. Examples include nuclear fusion, which provides all our energy one way or another (fossil fuels are just solar energy captured by plants), semiconductor devices (computers, phones, LEDs), the properties of materials (do they conduct, are they transparent), the elementary particles and their interactions. This module covers the mathematical tools used in quantum mechanics and the fundamental postulates of quantum theory. It then applies these to explain, amongst other things, the structure of the periodic table, the conductivity and heat capacity of metals, and how semiconductor devices work. Using ideas from quantum mechanics, the module also shows how it is possible to explain a number of aspects of particle physics such as antiparticles and particle oscillations.

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
15 CATS (Module code: PX262-15)
D (Assessed/examined work) Assessed work as specified by department 15%
  2 hr exam (Summer) Quantum Mechanics and its Applications 85%
VA (Visiting students only) 100% assessed (visiting/exchange) PART YEAR 100%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:

Core
  • Undergraduate Physics (BSc) (F300) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Physics (MPhys) (F303) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Physics (BSc MPhys) (F304) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Physics and Business Studies (F3N1) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (MMathPhys) (FG31) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (BSc MMathPhys) (FG33) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (BSc) (GF13) - Year 2
Optional Core

N/A

Optional
  • Undergraduate Mathematics (BSc) (G100) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Mathematics with Intercalated Year (G101) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Mathematics (MMath) (G103) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Master of Mathematics (with Intercalated Year) (G105) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Mathematics (MMath) with Study in Europe (G106) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Business Studies (with Intercalated Year) (G1N2) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Business Studies (G1NC) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Economics (GL11) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Economics (with Intercalated Year) (GL12) - Year 2