PHYS 405
Fundamentals of Quantum Theory I
Fall 2012 Syllabus

Instructor: Carlo Segre segre [at]
166a Life Sciences Building 312.567.3498
Office hours:   14:00-15:00 Monday & Wednesday
Schedule: Posted at
Meetings: Monday & Wednesday 11:25-12:40, 220 Stuart Building
Textbook: Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, Second Edition, David J. Griffiths, (Pearson Prentice Hall 2005).
Mathematica: To request a download and get started using Mathematica:
  1. Log into the myIIT portal (
  2. Select the Training and Support tab
  3. In the Office of Technology Services channel, in the center of the screen, click the link: "NEW! Get Mathematica Software".
  1. Understand the interpretation of the Schrodinger equation and the wave function.
  2. Understand the solution of the time-independent Schrodinger equation for one-dimensional potentials.
  3. Understand quantum formalism including operators and the Dirac notation.
  4. Understand the solution of three-dimensional potentials.
  5. Understand how systems of identical particles are solved.
  6. Be able to solve quantum mechanics problems in one and three dimensions and with identical particles.
  • The wave function
    • Schrodinger equation
    • statistical interpretation
    • probability and normalization
    • the uncertainty principle
  • Time-independent Schrodinger equation
    • stationary states
    • infinite and finite square wells
    • harmonic oscillator
    • free particles and delta function barrier
  • Quantum formalism
    • Hilbert space
    • observables
    • Hemitian operators and their eigenfunctions
    • Dirac notation
  • Three dimensional quantum mechanics
    • solution in spherical coordinates
    • hydrogen atom
    • angular momentum and spin
  • Identical particles
    • two particle systems
    • atoms and solids
    • quantum statistical mechanics
  • Other topics as appropriate
Homework:      Homework will be assigned weekly or bi-weekly, due as shown on the schedule. All homework assignments will be collected except as announced. Homework will be due at the beginning of the class period, prior to the start of the lecture unless otherwise stated. No late homework assignments will be accepted unless prior arrangements are made.
Exams:      There will be three examinations: two midterms and one final examination. Policies for the examinations will be set as the semester progresses.
Grading:      The percentage weighting for each component are shown below. The final letter grades will be awarded on a scale as shown below. This scale may vary up or down slightly, depending on the difficulty of the examinations.
Homework 15%
Midterm Exam 1 25%
Midterm Exam 2 25%
Final Exam 35%
Max % Grade Min %
100 A 88
88 B 75
75 C 62
62 D 50
50 E 0
Academic Honesty Policy: IIT has a Code of Conduct which is available at (see page 31). All students in this course are expected to follow this code. The first violation will result in a grade of "zero" for that assignment (exam or quiz). Subsequent violations will result in a failing grade in the course.
Accomodation for Disabilities: Reasonable accommodations will be made for students with documented disabilities. In order to receive accommodations, students must obtain a letter of accommodation from the Center for Disability Resources in Life Sciences Building, room 218, 312-567-5744 or
Important Dates:
  • Aug 31 - Last Day to Add Courses, Change Sections, etc.
  • Oct 29 - Last Day for Official Withdrawal
  • Dec 04 - Final Examination 08:00-10:00 in 220 SB