Physics 460: Quantum Physics I

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Sonoma State University

Fall 2017

Class: M W 9:20-10:35 am, Darwin 38

Instructor: Dr. Hongtao Shi

Phone: 664-2013


Office: Darwin 300J

Office Hours: M Tu 2-3:30 pm, and by appointment

Course Description: We will devote this semester to learning how nonrelativistic quantum mechanics works while applying it to some relatively simple systems. We will examine the Schrödinger equation and its solution for free particles, potential wells (infinite and finite), simple harmonic oscillators, central potentials, and the hydrogen atom.

Course Objectives: By the end of the semester, you are required to demonstrate (a) knowledge, understanding and use of the principles of physics, (b) ability to use reasoning and logic to define a problem in terms of physics principles, and (c) ability to use mathematics and computer applications to solve physics problems.
It is to be expected that you have deepened your understanding of the following topics: the Schrödinger equation, coordinate and momentum representations, harmonic oscillator, angular momentum and spin, Hilbert space, Dirac notation, eigenvalues and eigenfunctions, completeness relations, central potentials, and the hydrogen model.

Prerequisites: Physics 314: Introduction to Physics III and Physics 325: Introduction to Mathematical Physics

Required Textbook: Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, 2nd ed., by David J. Griffiths (Prentice Hall, 2005). Buy it at a bookstore or online.

Other useful books: A Quantum Mechanics Primer by Daniel T. Gillespie and Primer of Quantum Mechanics by Marvin Chester for added insight (These are not for solving specific problems). Volume III of the Feynman Lectures on Physics by Richard P. Feynman, Robert B. Leighton, and Matthew Sands is also well worth reading.

Course Schedule

Grading Policy:
Homework, Quizzes and Exams 30% Final Exam, Wednesday, 12/13, 8-9:50 am
  20% Test 1
  20% Test 2
  30% Homework Assignments
Course Grade Percent Course Grade Percent Course Grade Percent























Below 60




1. Do NOT stop attending class (see policy). If you have any problems which affect your performance in this course, please contact me ASAP.
2. There is no tolerance for late homework submission without a legitimate reason, as solutions will usually be posted the day after due date.
3. The lowest homework grade will be dropped when I compute your term grade.
4. You are encouraged to work in a study group in doing the homework, discussing the problems, but I expect you to write up your own solutions handed in for grading.
5. All exams are closed book/notes and must be taken at the assigned time. You can bring one (1) index card to the class with equations and formulas, which should not have problems worked out or text excerpts. No makeup will be given without a legitimate reason such as medical emergency. So arrange accordingly. Be aware the makeup exam may be entirely different from the original one.
6. I reserve the right to raise your grade if exceptional effort and class participation are observed through the semester.

Disability: If you have a disability and need special consideration, please contact the Office of Disabled Student Services ( DSS ), located in Salazar Hall, Room 1049, Phone 664-2677.

Important University policies, such as add/drop classes, cheating and plagiarism, grade appeal procedures, can be found at

Email me if you have questions or comments.

Last updated August 15, 2017