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Unit information: Advanced Quantum Physics in 2016/17

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Unit name Advanced Quantum Physics
Unit code PHYSM3416
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Antognozzi
Open unit status Not open

Normally PHYS30030 Core Physics 303 or the equivalent taken as part of a Year in Industry or Year in Continental Europe.



School/department School of Physics
Faculty Faculty of Science


The course examines advanced topics in Quantum Physics which have a central role in modern theoretical physics. These include advanced concepts of wave packet propagation and spreading, including Feynman’s path integral formulation, elementary ideas of scattering theory, and the semi classical WKB method and its implications. The concepts of adiabatic evolutions are developed further to introduce gauge invariance, coupling to magnetic fields, including implications for Landau levels, quantum Hall and Josephson effects, the Aharonov Bohm effect and a brief discussion of Berry's geometric phase. The theory of quantum spin is extended with advanced methods for representing spins (eg Bloch sphere) and a complete discussion of addition of angular momenta using Clebsch Gordan algebra, with physical applications including as LS coupling and Zeeman splitting.

Intended learning outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • solve wave packet scattering and propagation problems in one dimensional problems.
  • reproduce simple proofs given in lectures, and explain quantum mechanical concepts such as diffraction using Feynman's path integral picture.
  • to use the WKB method in practical one-dimensional potential problems, such as tunnelling through a barrier.
  • solve problems involving magnetic fields, including Landau levels
  • explain the significance of the Aharonov Bohm effect and Berry phase and some of their physical consequences.
  • represent arbitrary spin states on the Bloch sphere and to compute states of added angular momenta for cases such as LS coupling in multi-electron atoms.

Teaching details

Lectures and associated problem classes and practice question sheets.

Assessment Details

Formative assessment is through problem sheets discussed in problems classes. Summative assessment is through a 2 hour written examination (100%)

Reading and References

Advanced Quantum Physics, J.J. Sakuri, (Addison-Wesley, 1967) Quantum Mechanics and Path Integrals, Feynman and Hibbs (Dover) Selected sections from the Feynman Lectures in Physics Volumes I, II, III., Feynman, R. P.: (Addison-Wesley, 1964)