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Quantum mechanics governs the structure of atomic, molecular and condensed matter state systems, the nature of light and charge, and the interactions between these systems. Whereas earlier subjects detailed the principles and foundations of quantum mechanics, this subject details properties of real systems and discusses applications of this fundamental field of enquiry. The necessary use of quantum ideas in developing an understanding of the structure of matter is emphasised.
Topics covered include:
- the one-electron approximation, diatomic molecules
- basic crystal structures and bonding, reciprocal lattices
- periodic systems, phonons, free-electron model, band structure, insulators, conductors and semi-conductors
- the variational method, helium atom, basic density functional theory
Intended learning outcomes
To challenge students to expand their knowledge of fundamental physics principles and develop their capacity to:
- explain the role that quantum mechanics plays in a range of real physical systems
- apply quantum mechanics to solve problems in a variety of physical systems
- interpret the solutions to these problems.
A student who completes this subject should be able to:
- analyse how to solve a problem by applying simple fundamental laws to more complicated situations
- apply abstract concepts to real-world situations
- solve relatively complicated problems using approximations
- participate as an effective member of a group in tutorial discussions
- manage time effectively in order to be prepared for tutorial classes, undertake the written assignments and the examination.
Last updated: 22 November 2023