20320 Quantum Mechanics and Atomic Structure 1

Credits: 4 advanced credits in Physics

Prerequisites: Differential and Integral Calculus I (or Infinitesimal Calculus I), Differential and Integral Calculus II (or Infinitesimal Calculus II + Infinitesimal Calculus III), Linear Algebra I (or Linear Algebra for Natural Science Students), Modern Physics and Mechanics. Students must also fulfill all English requirements and take bibliographic instruction in the Library.

Recommended: Quantum Theory I, Linear Algebra II, Introduction to Ordinary Differential Equations

Authors: Joseph Dotan, Yoram Kirsh, Yosef Verbin, Aharon Kapitulnik, Jacob Shaham

Objectives: To acquaint students with the principles of quantum mechanics; To demonstrate how these principles are reflected in the characteristics of simple quantum systems; To teach students to apply the principles to the solution of physics problems.

Topics: The Schroedinger equation; The uncertainty principle; The harmonic oscillator; Matrix mechanics and measurement in quantum theory; Piecewise-constant potentials; Angular momentum commutation relations and eigenvalues; Angular momentum matrix elements and eigenstates; The hydrogen and hydrogen-like atoms.

The Open University offers three courses in quantum theory: Quantum Theory I (20522), Quantum Theory II: Chemical Bond (20523), and this course, Quantum Mechanics and Atomic Structure. Quantum Theory I is designed as the first course in quantum theory for Physics and Chemistry students and accordingly requires only basic prior knowledge. It begins with a presentation of the principles of quantum theory alongside a review of the required basic background material. Students are therefore advised to take Quantum Theory I before enrolling in this course. The current course reviews and expands on several of the topics and discusses more advanced topics as well. Quantum Theory II: Chemical Bond is a continuation of Quantum Theory I in a different direction, focusing on the principles of molecular structure and on chemical bonding theory.


1There is some overlap in the content of this and other courses. For details, see Overlapping Courses.