Course Overview

Welcome to PHYS 5382, Introduction to Quantum Mechanics. This course, and its spring successor 5383, may be the most intellectually stimulating and demanding of your undergraduate career. Quantum mechanics is humanity's most sophisticated and successful theory of how the physical universe behaves. Acquiring a non-trivial understanding of the theory is a significant cultural achievement and something you should take pride in. Quantum mechanics is difficult to learn because, aside from its own technical jargon and mathematical formalism, it requires you to develop a new kind of physical intuition.

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We are very used to the classical world of accelerations, collisions and parabolic trajectories. We see these effects in our daily life. But quantum mechanics deals with phenomena very far removed from daily experience, and so the physical intuition we have developed in the course of our daily lives is not necessarily useful for understanding the quantum behavior of the universe. This failing of our mundane intuition will typically lead to some frustration when you try to understand "what is really going on" with quantum mechanics and when you try to solve the homework problems. You should not be overly concerned with this frustration. If you apply yourself, you will slowly find that quantum mechanics is indeed intelligible, if still somewhat mysterious.


Homework & Solutions