PHY 409 Quantum Mechanics: Spring 2024

MWF 1:45pm - 2:50pm in Bracy 237

Instructor Information

Course Description and Learning Objectives

Historical introduction, uncertainty principle, barrier penetration, Hilbert space, Schrodinger formulation, Heisenberg formulation, SU groups, operator concepts, Poisson, Lagrange, and commutator brackets, Dirac four-vectors, introduction to field quantization, and perturbation theory are among the topics presented.

Below are the broad learning objectives for the course. More specific learning objectives will be provided on a chapter-by-chapter basis. This course will cover at least the first seven chapters of Quantum Mechanics (3rd ed.) by David Griffiths and Darrell Schroeter. Additional content may be added due to student interest.

Course Policies


Percentage grades can be converted to an A-B scale using the following:


There will be seven homework assigned throughout the semester. 

A physical copy of your completed homework is due on their due dates at the start of class. Graded homeworks will be returned within one week of their due date.

All resources are available for your use on the homework (notes, book, other students, internet, chatbots, etc.). However, you must list any external sources (besides notes and book) you use on a question. You are encouraged to collaborate with other students on the homework, but you must list the names of your collaborators.

The homeworks are not timed, but I ask that you record roughly the time taken to answer each question.


There will be four non-cumulative, take-home exams throughout this course. The release dates and due dates of the exams are listed below. A physical exam copy must be handed to me or left in my office before the listed due date and time.

Each exam will have five questions; four must be answered for full credit. I will base your score on the highest four if you answer all five questions.

You can use your notes and the course textbook for the exams. You are not allowed to use the internet, other resources, or other people. The only internet resource allowed on the exams is Wolfram Alpha or Symlab, and you must state where these were used.

The exams are timed. You can only spend five hours working on the exam, but this can be non-consecutive. You are to record the dates and times you work on the exam on the cover sheet.

You can ask me for assistance on the exam, but you have to trade exam points for assistance. For example, I may offer 3 points to tell you if part (a) of a question is correct. If you take me up on the offer, the highest you can score on the exam is a 97. The more assistance you ask for, the more points I will require.

Late Policy

Late work is only accepted if late days are used. You have five late days that you can use throughout the semester only on the homeworks. Each late day gives you a 24-hour extension on the deadline. Exams must be turned in before the deadline. Situations that require extended deadlines (serious illness, death in the family, etc.) will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Schedule and Suggested Readings

This schedule is subject to change.

Week 1 (January 8-12, 2024)

Week 2 (January 15-18, 2024)

Week 3 (January 24-26, 2024)

Week 4 (January 29 - February 2, 2024)

Week 5 (February 5-9, 2024)

Week 6 (February 12-16, 2024)

Week 7 (February 19-23, 2024)

Week 8 (February 26 - March 1, 2024)

Week 9 (March 11 - March 15, 2024)

Week 10 (March 18-22, 2024)

Week 11 (March 25-29, 2024)

Week 12 (April 1-5, 2024)

Week 13 (April 8-12, 2024)

Week 14 (April 15-19, 2024)

Week 15 (April 22-26, 2024)

Week 16 (April 29 - May 3, 2024)