Quantum Mechanics and Optics and Waves

School of Physics and Astronomy

College of Engineering and Physical Sciences


Code 19718

Level of study First Year

Credit value 10

Semester 1

Module description

Quantum Mechanics:

Experimental observations of atoms and their interactions with radiation provided the driving force for the invention of Quantum Theory. Quantum Mechanics offers the only model we have that explains the properties for atomic systems. Evidence will be reviewed that leads us to the need and use of Quantum Mechanics. We will see how Schrodinger's wave mechanics and Heisenberg's uncertainty principle can help us to understand atoms. This module concentrates on the concepts and avoids a full mathematical treatment.

Optics and Waves:

The study of wave motion underpins our understanding of basic physics. We discuss the properties of waves, often taking as an example transverse waves in strings but also illustrating how the results are applicable not only to sound and light but also to quantum mechanics. The study of optics builds directly on our wave concepts. Applications and links to other branches of physics are emphasised.