Quantum Mechanics I, 2013

Canvas and rope
Lecture days
Usually Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:30 AM; starting on August 13, 2013.
Drop test
Everyone should consider taking the drop test. You lose nothing by taking it.
Problem solving sessions will be taken
Assignments will be due from time to time. Please see the page on assignments.
Mid sem: September 28, 2013. End sem: November 16, 2013.

Quantum Mechanics I, 2013

Home: Quantum Mechanics I, 2013

Purpose of the course

This is the first course in quantum mechanics. The purpose of this course is to introduce basic quantum phenomena and understand its ramifications. At the end of this course you should be able to reason about any quantum system, and to solve simple systems.

Many students are expected to know most of this material. They can skip the drudgery of sitting through a course by opting to take a drop test. Please ask the course coordinator about how to register for this test.


Pre-requisites for this course are the ability and inclination to read books and solve problems; reading class notes is not enough. Students are assumed to know all the material taught in B.Sc. courses.

Ancillary skills

You will have to learn to use Mathematica. Here is a quick tutorial introduction to Mathematica: download it and try it out. In order to do this you will need an account on the servers in the computer center.

You'll spend a lot of time writing up accounts of your work. The best system for doing this is TeX. Here is an example file which some have found useful: compare the source and the pdf output to see what construct gives rise to which effect.


Performance evaluation will be based on assignments and tests. Tests will be given in the middle and end of the semesters (dates on the calendar at the left), and regularly throughout the course.

Course outline

Setting up quantum mechanics

  1. Basic quantum phenomena and their consequences: uncertainty and superposition [3 hours]
  2. The mathematics of superposition: basic linear algebra [4 hours]
  3. A 2-state system; density matrices [3 hours]

Simple applications

  1. Simple examples: free particle, harmonic oscillator, 1d wells; bound states and scattering [4 hours]
  2. Three dimensions: central forces; radial wavefunction and angular momentum [4 hours]
  3. Hydrogen atom: generating multiple energy scales [2 hours]

Multi-particle systems

  1. Bosons and fermions, chemical bonds, black-body radiation [5 hours]
  2. Quantum information: reasoning about quantum mechanics [2 hours]
  3. Density matrices [3 hours]

More realistic systems

  1. Path integrals: simple examples [2 hours]
  2. Time-independent perturbation theory [8 hours]

Copyright: Sourendu Gupta; Last modified on 16 Oct, 2017.