Course Info


For this course you will need the Paradigms in Physics “Quantum Mechanics Course Packet”, Taylor (T), and Riley, Hobson, & Bence (RHB). Alternative reading assignments may be found in Griffiths, Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (GQM); Goswami, Introductory Quantum Mechanics (G); and Liboff, Introductory Quantum Mechanics (L).


45% required homework
55% final exam

Group activities and computer lab activities will usually be accompanied by a handout. You should complete the handouts and keep them in a notebook, to be turned in at the final exam. Your work on these handouts will contribute to your grade. I will be looking, in particular, for a clear coherent statement of what you learned in the activity. Practice problems provide simple examples for you to check whether or not you understand the material as you go along. They will not be graded. Sometimes solutions will be posted. At a minimum, you should read each practice problem and make sure that you know how to do it. If you can't, ask for help!

Required problems will be graded. Solutions will be posted online. Assignments turned in after solutions are posted can earn at most 50% of the total points. Very late assignments will earn less. It is a good idea to turn in what you have done by the due date, and, if necessary, the rest later.

Because this is a 400/500 level class, some of the required problems and probably one problem on the final exam will be marked as “Challenge” problems. 500-level students are required to do these Challenge problems. 400-level students are not necessarily expected to do them. However, those students who hope to get an A are encouraged to do so. While it may be possible for a 400-level student to get an A without doing any Challenge problems, it may be difficult. Grading of the Challenge problems will be quite strict; they must be clearly written, coherent, complete, and essentially correct.

Paradigms Ground Rules

Science is inherently a social and collaborative effort, each scientist building on the work of others. Nevertheless, each student must ultimately be responsible for his or her own education. Therefore, you will be expected to abide by a number of Ground Rules:

  1. We strongly encourage students to work with each other, more advanced students, the TA, and the professor, when they get stuck on assignments (including computer work). However, each student is expected to turn in assignments that have been independently written up. In other words, the final synthesis must be entirely your own. This applies also to, and especially to, computer generated worksheets. If you work with someone on a computer project, do not get locked in to writing the solution together. You will end up turning in the same assignment.
  2. Homework solutions from previous years are very strictly off limits. You are on your honor not to use them, and not to share your homework solutions with other students. Allow faculty to use their time interacting with you, rather than continually thinking up new assignments. Besides, if you don't do the work yourself, it will show up very clearly on exams later. Likewise, the solutions are for your use only. You may make one copy and keep it in your personal files.
  3. Sources must be appropriately documented. If you find a homework problem worked out somewhere (other than homework solutions from previous years), you may certainly use that resource, just make sure you reference it properly. If someone else helps you solve a problem, reference that too. In a research paper, the appropriate reference would be: Jane Doe, (private communication).
  4. Plagiarism – representing someone else’s work as your own – is unethical, but collaboration and exchange of ideas is healthy. You can avoid collaborative efforts taking on the look of plagiarism by acknowledging sources and by writing up your work independently.
  5. If you find that you have worked on a problem for 1/2 hour without making any forward progress, it would be a good idea to stop and seek help.


The final exam for this course will occur on the regularly announced date and time for exam week: Monday, March 14th, 2pm. More information about the exam is on the final exam page.

Special Needs

Students with documented disabilities who may need accomodation, who have any medical information which the instructor should know of, or who need special arrangements in the event of evacuation, should make an appointment to discuss their needs with the instructor as early as possible, no later than the first week of class.

Further Information

Additional information is available on the Paradigms in Physics webpages.


The image in the top left corner of this website is courtesy of the The Orbitron Gallery" which contains 3d renderings of atomic orbitals.

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