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Applications of Quantum Physics

Unit code: PHYS30101
Credit Rating: 10
Unit level: Level 3
Teaching period(s): Semester 1
Offered by School of Physics and Astronomy
Available as a free choice unit?: N




To develop the basic concepts of quantum mechanics and apply them to a variety of physical systems.


Applications of Quantum Physics

Learning outcomes

On completion successful students will be able to:

  1. calculate the probability of tunnelling through a barrier,
  2. solve simple eigenvalue problems for trapped particles,
  3. solve eigenvalue problems for two-state systems,
  4. add angular momenta in quantum mechanics and calculate the fine-structure of atomic energy levels,
  5. calculate first-order shifts in energy levels produced by external fields,
  6. define entangled states in quantum mechanics and use these to describe simple ideas of quantum information.

Assessment methods

  • Written exam - 100%



Barriers and tunnelling
Applications to nuclear physics
Applications to layered semiconductors


Trapped particles
Quantum dots and artificial atoms
Quantum wires and quantum wells
First-order perturbation theory


Spin and other two-state systems
Angular momentum without angles
Spin and Pauli matrices
Adding angular momenta
Other two-state systems


Atoms in magnetic fields
Spin-orbit coupling and fine structure
Zeeman effect and Landé g-factor
Spectra and selection rules
Quantum dots in magnetic fields
Precession and NMR


Quantum information
Measurement in quantum mechanics
Quantum cryptography

Recommended reading


Recommended text:
Rae, A. I. M. Quantum Mechanics (Chapman and Hall)


Supplementary reading:
Gasiorowicz, S. Quantum Physics (Wiley)
Mandl, F. Quantum Mechanics (Wiley)
Miller, D.A.B. Quantum Mechanics for Scientists and Engineers (Cambridge)

Feedback methods

Feedback will be offered by tutors in examples classes. These classes will be based on weekly examples sheets; solutions will be issued. 

Study hours

  • Assessment written exam - 1.5 hours
  • Lectures - 22 hours
  • Independent study hours - 76.5 hours

Teaching staff

Sean Freeman - Unit coordinator

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