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04 - Modern Physics

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Modern Physics

Masayasu AOTANI

One session / week
1.5 hours / session

Highlights of this Course

This course is designed to help the students acquire a situated and contextualized knowledge framework in the domain of quantum mechanics. Embedded problem solving sessions will help them apply the framework to actual physical systems by developing necessary analytical skills.

Course Description

This is an introductory course of quantum mechanics. After a brief discussion of the breakdown of classical theories in the microscopic world, we introduce the notion of quantization and wave-matter duality. The Schrödinger Equation is “derived” from scratch in order to understand how one exploits old theories to create a new theory. Solutions of the Schrödinger Equation are considered for various standard systems such as an infinite square well potential, a barrier potential, and the simple harmonic oscillator. The course culminates in a full solution for the hydrogen atom. Lectures and problem sessions alternate to provide an opportunity to apply the concept to real physical systems. By seeing in action what they have just learned, the students can further digest the content of the lecture and solidify their understanding of the material. During the course of the semester, mathematical tools and techniques are introduced as necessary. This includes spherical coordinates and techniques to solve linear partial differential equations, so that the course is accessible to a broad audience including freshmen.

Technical Requirements

Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to run the .pdf files found on this course site.