PHS3101 - Quantum mechanics - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

School of Physics and Astronomy

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Alexis Bishop


Associate Professor Meera Parish

Unit guides



  • First semester 2019 (On-campus)


PHS2061 and;

one of MTH2010, MTH2015 or ENG2005 and;

one of MTH2032 or MTH2040




This unit extends the basic quantum mechanics introduced in second year (PHS2061) to an intermediate level and introduces key concepts, such as Dirac notation, perturbation theory, and generalised scattering theory. Topics covered in the unit include:

Mathematical foundations of quantum mechanics, quantum states and the Dirac notation, operators, measurement and observables, the quantum harmonic oscillator, the hydrogen atom, angular momentum and spin, two-level systems, time evolution of states, Bloch's theorem and periodic Hamiltonians, perturbation theory, the WKB approximation, the variational principle, and scattering theory.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Describe concepts and perform calculations in quantum mechanics, using the Dirac and Schrodinger formalism, and apply this knowledge to the analytical solution of model quantum systems.
  2. Perform calculations using approximate methods used in quantum mechanics, such as perturbation theory, the variational approach, WKB method.
  3. Describe concepts and perform calculations based on scattering theory.
  4. Apply numerical modelling to solve problems in quantum mechanics.
  5. Demonstrate awareness of scientific computing methods and visualization.
  6. Demonstrate an ability to work in teams and to communicate and discuss physics concepts.
  7. Approach new problems and find solutions on the basis of general principles, and evaluate the appropriateness of their proposed models or solutions.


Examination (3 hours): 50%

In-semester assessment : 50%

Workload requirements

The workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours spread across the semester (approximately 12 hours per week) - approximately an even mixture of attendance at scheduled activities and self-scheduled study time. Learning activities comprise a mixture of instructor directed, peer-directed and self-directed learning, which includes face-to-face and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study