33-755 QUANTUM I Fall 2015

Class meets MWF 9:30 AM and F 3:30 PM, in Wean Hall 7316
Professor: Mike Widom, Office 6305 Wean Hall, e-mail: widom@andrew.cmu.edu, phone: 268-7645
Office Hours: Any time when my door is open and I am not busy.

This course introduces quantum mechanics at a first-semester introductory graduate level. Prior familiarity with fundamental principles and applications of quantum mechanics will be assumed at an advanced undergraduate level. Special attention will be paid to fundamental postulates of quantum mechanics and their consequences, in addition to practical applications to physical phenomena. A course web site at http://euler.phys.cmu.edu/widom/teaching/33-755 contains the syllabus plus links to day-by-day lecture coverage and weekly homework assignments.

Books: Several books are available in the E&S library.
1. Cohen-Tannoudji, Diu and Laloe, Quantum Mechanics, vols. 1 and 2 (QC174.12 .C6313)
2. Griffiths, Consistent Quantum Theory (QC174.12 .G752). Available online at http://quantum.phys.cmu.edu/CQT
3. Shankar, Principles of quantum mechanics (QC174.12 .S52 1994)
4. Le Bellac, Quantum Physics (QC174.12 L43)

The principal content of the course will be drawn from Cohen-Tannoudji and from Griffiths, both available in the bookstore. Shankar is an excellent and clear presentation covering much of the same material. Le Bellac was the main text in a previous year.

Class Notes: Properties and physical variables; Unitary time development; Stochastic processes; Probabilities for Quantum Histories I. The Born Rule; A short and simplified summary of the consistent histories approach

Grading: Letter grades will be based on weekly homework assignments (20%), two midterms (20% each) and a final exam (40%). Students are welcome to collaborate on homework but the final solutions must be your own work, written up separately. Homework assignments are listed at http://euler.phys.cmu.edu/widom/teaching/33-755/hw.html. Dates for midterm and final exams will be announced as they become available. The first midterm will be held in class on Monday, Oct. 5.

Course outline: We will cover the topics listed below in approximately the given time frames. Detailed class coverage can be found at http://euler.phys.cmu.edu/widom/teaching/33-755/coverage/html.