Physics 451


Quantum Mechanics I

Fall 2012

 Instructor: Karine CHESNEL


Instructor and TA contacts

Karine Chesnel

Office: N319 ESC


phone: 801-422-5687

Office hours: MWF 10 to 11am


Teaching assistant:

Muxue Liu (preferred)


Course objectives



This class provides a solid introduction to the concepts and fundamentals of Quantum Mechanics. With this course, you will learn the following concepts and will apply them to solve the following situations:

1. The Schrodinger equation.
2. Probability, measurement outcomes, expectation values and standard deviation.
3. Heisenberg uncertainty principle
4. Time-Independent Schrodinger equation, and stationary states
5. Eigenstates and eigenvalues of an operator
6. Simple Harmonic Oscillator
7. Infinite square well and finite barrier potential
8. Free particle
9. Schrödinger equation in spherical coordinates
10. Hydrogen Atom and spherical harmonics
11. Angular Momentum and Spin
12 Two particles systems, atoms and solids

Course materials

Textbook: David J. Griffiths, Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, 2nd ed.

We will follow this class schedule


CID/ Iclicker

You can get your course ID here . Remember to indicate your CID on each piece of work you submit.

In order to answer in-class quizzes, you need to get your own I-Clicker and register it here.     



Here you will find your homework assignments, normally due twice a week: T and Th by 7pm.

There will be helping sessions on T and Th nights, room N337 ESC (undergraduate lab): - time to adjourned -

Submit your homework in the reserved slots "Phys 451" across N373 ESC

For best learning results and to get best scores, I strongly encourage you to explain your reasoning, method and findings in sentences as much as possible, together with your calculation.  


Group presentations

There will be a few assignments throughout the semester where students will have the opportunity to present as groups.

The first group presentation will happen on Wednesday Sep 5th, and will focus on the famous scientists who contributed to the foundation of quantum mechanics. The assignement consist in gathering information about the chosen scientist (life and contribution to quantum mechanics) and prepare a 5 min presentation as a group in class on Sep 5th.

Other group presentation will happen later in the semesters and will mostly focus on preparing for exam and presenting solutions for practice tests.

Points will be assigned for group presentations, either as homework points or as quizzes points, as specified on the assignment.



There will be 3 mid-term exams and one final exam. The exams are generally time limited to 3 hours, closed books, closed notes.

Midterm 1: Sep 24 - Sep 27, testing center

Midterm 2: Oct 22 - Oct 25, testing center

Midterm 3: Nov 26 - Nov 30, testing center

Final exam: Wed Dec 12, 2012, 7am, in classroom C285 ESC



In-Class Quizzes on Reading (10% of grade)

Homework (40% )

Exams (30%)

Final (20%)

You can check your grades here


Grading Policy

Asssignments should be submitted on time.

Under exceptional circumstances, assignments may be submitted late. Please contact the instructor before the deadline of the specific assignment, to explain your situation and the reason why you can not submit it on time.

If an assignment is submitted late, with a valid excuse, and is submitted within a reasonable time,  it will be graded according to the regular scale, based on full credit.

If an assignment is submitted late, with no valid excuse, it will receive a penalty, which will increase with the number of late days (typically loosing 2pts per late weekday)

One assignement (with the lowest score) will be dropped at the end of the semester when calculating final grade.

Quizzes will weight 10% of the final grade. Two of the quizzes (with lowest score) will be dropped at the end of the semester when calculating final grade.


Lecture notes

You may review some of my lecture notes below.

Part I                            Part II                            Part III                        Part IV

Aug 27                        Sep 26                            Oct 29                        Nov 26

Aug 29                        Sep 28                            Oct 31                        Nov 28

Aug 31                        Oct 1                               Nov 2                        Nov 30

Sep 5                          Oct 3                               Nov 5                         Dec 3

Sep 7                          Oct 5                               Nov 7                        Dec 5 - Final Review

Sep 10                        Oct 8                               Nov 9

Sep 12                        Oct 10                            Nov 12

Sep 14                        Oct 12                            Nov 14

Sep 17                        Oct 15                            Nov 16

Sep 19                        Oct 17                           Review 3

Sep 21 Review 1         Oct 19

.                               Review 2

Useful material

Practice exam 1; solutions to Pb1, Pb2, Pb3Pb4Pb5

Practice exam 2 : solutions to Pb1, Pb2 (graph), Pb3, Pb4, Pb5

Practice exam 3 : teacher's solution (guide for answers); Pb1, Pb3, Pb 4, Pb5

F2012 exam 3 and solution

Practice final exam F2010, F2011 & solution

Final 2012 - solution

Quantum applet simulations:

Quantum Physlet®   animations