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PHS2011 - Physics: quantum concepts and technologies

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Science

Leader: Dr Greg Jakovidis


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)


  1. Quantum Physics: the domain of quantum mechanics; particle and wave description; Schrodinger's equation, energy and momentum as operators, expectation values and stationary states; tunnelling; Heisenberg's uncertainty principle.
  2. Atomic and nuclear physics: hydrogenic atoms; multi-electron atoms, binding energy and ionisation; atomic spectroscopy; vector model of the atom; x-rays; nuclear structure, radioactive decay; fission and fusion.
  3. Solid State physics; structure of solids, x-ray diffraction, the free electron theory; energy bands, conductors, insulators and semiconductors, Fermi level, Fermi-Dirac distribution; the solar cell, light emitting diodes; photodetectors.


On completion of this unit, students will be able to explain and apply the key concepts of quantum physics to a variety of quantum systems including particle in a box and hydrogenic systems; explain nuclear binding energy and stability; predict the most likely decay mode of a nuclide based upon its relative position to the ridge of stability; describe the transition from atomic orbitals to energy bands; explain the principle of operation and perform simple calculations for a range of contemporary quantum devices; acquire, manipulate and interpret physical data; write scientific reports at a level suitable for publication.


Examinations (3
2 hours): 50%
Assignments: 16%
Practical work: 34%
Students must achieve a pass mark in the practical component to achieve an overall pass grade.

Contact hours

Three 1-hour lecture/problem classes and one 3-hour laboratory class per week


PHS1011 or PHS1080, PHS1022 and MTH1030