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PX3A2-10 Quantum Physics of Atoms

Department
Physics
Level
Undergraduate Level 3
Module leader
Martin Lees
Credit value
10
Module duration
10 weeks
Assessment
Multiple
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

The principles of quantum mechanics are applied to a range of phenomena in atomic physics including the operation of a laser. The module also covers perturbation theory and variational methods.

Module web page

Module aims

To develop the ideas of quantum theory

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

Revision of 2nd year quantum theory

  1. Approximation methods in quantum mechanics. Time-independent perturbation theory, non-degenerate case, ground state of helium atom, degenerate case, Stark effect in hydrogen. Variational methods: Rayleigh - Ritz, ground state of helium atom

  2. Spin-orbit coupling and the Zeeman effect. Effects of spin-orbit coupling, and the strong and weak field Zeeman effect using time-independent perturbation theory

  3. Many electron effects-indistinguishability of identical particles. Identical particles and spin; symmetric and anti-symmetric states; discussion of periodic table, ionisation energies

  4. Time-dependent perturbation theory and lasers. Derivation of Fermi's golden rule; radiation from atoms; operation of the laser. Two-level driven system near resonance

  5. Two-level systems. Examples to include some of the ammonia clock, Rabi oscillations, qubits, magnetic resonance

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Use the approximate methods of quantum theory – perturbation theory (time-dependent and time-independent), variational methods
  • Explain the role of spin and the Pauli exclusion principle
  • Explain atomic spectra and the structure of the periodic table
  • Describe resonance in 2-level systems
Indicative reading list

F Mandl, Quantum Mechanics, Wiley;
A.I.M. Rae, Quantum Mechanics, IOP, 2002;
S. Gasiorowicz, Quantum Physics, Wiley, 2003;
S.M. McMurry, Quantum Mechanics, Addison-Wesley 1994

View reading list on Talis Aspire

Subject specific skills

Knowledge of mathematics and physics. Skills in modelling, reasoning, thinking.

Transferable skills

Analytical, communication, problem-solving, self-study

Study time

Type Required
Lectures 20 sessions of 1 hour (20%)
Private study 80 hours (80%)
Total 100 hours
Private study description

Working through lecture notes, solving problems, wider reading, discussing with others taking the module, revising for exam, practising on past exam papers

Costs

No further costs have been identified for this module.

You do not need to pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Assessment group D1
Weighting Study time
Coursework 15%

Tests

In-person Examination 85%

Answer 2 questions


  • Answerbook Green (8 page)
Assessment group R1
Weighting Study time
In-person Examination - Resit 100%

Answer 2 questions

Feedback on assessment

Personal tutor, group feedback

Past exam papers for PX3A2

Courses

This module is Core for:

  • UPXA-FG31 Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (MMathPhys)
    • Year 3 of FG31 Mathematics and Physics (MMathPhys)
    • Year 3 of FG31 Mathematics and Physics (MMathPhys)
  • UPXA-F300 Undergraduate Physics (BSc)
    • Year 3 of F300 Physics
    • Year 3 of F300 Physics
    • Year 3 of F300 Physics
  • UPXA-F303 Undergraduate Physics (MPhys)
    • Year 3 of F300 Physics
    • Year 3 of F303 Physics (MPhys)
  • UPXA-F3F5 Undergraduate Physics with Astrophysics (BSc)
    • Year 3 of F3F5 Physics with Astrophysics
    • Year 3 of F3F5 Physics with Astrophysics
  • Year 3 of UPXA-F3FA Undergraduate Physics with Astrophysics (MPhys)

This module is Option list B for:

  • UPXA-GF13 Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (BSc)
    • Year 3 of GF13 Mathematics and Physics
    • Year 3 of GF13 Mathematics and Physics
  • Year 4 of UPXA-GF14 Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (with Intercalated Year)