Available in 2018

Course handbook


The concepts of Quantum Mechanics lie at the heart of what we understand science to be. The first part of this course will explain and describe the fundamental mathematical and scientific framework that underpins Quantum Mechanics. The study of atomic physics has led to many present day technological wonders such as lasers and medical imaging. The second part of this course will describe the structure of atoms, and the interactions between atoms, as well as the effects of electric and magnetic fields on atomic and molecular structure, leading to a discussion of modern laser based spectroscopy.

Availability2018 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2018

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. To acquire knowledge of the fundamental physics underpinning quantum mechanics, and atomic and molecular physics

2. To understand the concepts and potential applications of quantum mechanics, quantum mechanical devices, and atomic and molecular physics

3. To develop analytical, laboratory and computing skills through problem solving, and laboratory and computer based exercises, which involve the application of physics to various model quantum mechanical systems

4. To successfully apply the theoretical techniques presented in the course to practical problems

5. To develop good writing and communication skills through working with peers and writing up the results of the assigned laboratory and computer exercises as reports

6. To learn how to prepare publications by casting the reports in the form of a scientific paper.


  • Revision of Classical Mechanics.
  • Historical perspective of Quantum Mechanics (Classical vs Quantum Mechanics).
  • The basic concepts of Quantum Mechanics.
  • Principle of superposition and compatible observables in quantum mechanics.
  • Conservation theorems in Quantum Mechanics.
  • The harmonic oscillator and second quantisation.
  • Angular momentum.
  • Three dimensional systems.
  • The hydrogen atom.
  • Multiparticle systems.
  • Basic perturbation theory: atoms in electric and magnetic fields
  • Multi-electron atoms.
  • Light and radiative transitions.
  • Laser cooling and the Bose-Einstein Condensed Gas.
  • Modern spectroscopy.
  • Basic molecular structure.

Assumed knowledge

PHYS2170, PHYS2240, MATH2310

Assessment items

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Laboratory

Quiz: Quizzes (x5)

Written Assignment: Assignments

Formal Examination: Final exam

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

General Course Requirements:

  • Laboratory: Induction Requirement - Students must attend and pass the induction requirements before attending these sessions. - In order to participate in this course students must complete a compulsory safety induction.

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for 8 Weeks


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 18 hour(s) per Term Full Term

2 hours per week for 6 weeks and 1 hour per week for 6 weeks