Physics III: Quantum Mechanics. Spring 2007. College of the Atlantic

Course Overview

Instructor: Dave Feldman
Email: dave_at_h0rnacek-dot-c0a-dot-edu
Office: Second Floor, Turrets Annex
Phone: x249, 276-5284
Mailing List: physics3_at_h0rnacek-dot-c0a-dot-edu
Office Hours: By appointment. Feel free to email or call to set up a time.
Tutors: None
Help Sessions: Wed, 6:30 - 8:00, TAB

As our text we will use The Strange World of Quantum Mechanics by Dan Styer. I expect that we'll cover most of the chapters in this book.

We will also make use of Spins and Quantum Measurement. This is a short book written by Professor David McIntyre. These materials have been developed for Spins and Quantum Measurement, an innovated course offered at Oregon State University for physics majors. I'll give you photocopies of these in a few weeks.

There will also be a number of photocopied articles that we'll read.

I have several goals for this course:

  1. I want you to gain a firm understanding of the main ideas of quantum mechanics. In particular, I want you to leave this course with an understanding of how quantum mechanics differs from classical mechanics.
  2. I want to help you improve your quantitative reasoning, problem solving skills, mathematical confidence, and analytical thinking.
  3. I want you to think critically about science and reality.
  4. I want you to gain experience writing and explaining physical and mathematical phenomena carefully and precisely.

Your evaluation will be roughly based on the following:

I will assign grades (for those who so opt) by following the guidelines in the COA Course Catalog. I do not have any quota of A's, B's, etc.

Policies and Stuff: First Draft

  1. The final version of this and related documents can be found on the course web page,
  2. Homework will be due Fridays at the end of the day. More than one unexcused late homework assignment will likely result in me mentioning this in your narrative evaluation and may result in a lowering of your grade.
  3. If your HW is substantially late, I may not be able to grade it fully. I'll check off that you did it, but I might not have time to make as many comments and suggestions as I normally do.
  4. You are strongly encouraged to work together on homework. You can also consult me, class tutors, other faculty, friends, and family. However, the homework you hand in should represent your own understanding. This means that if your friends get a homework problem and you don't understand how they did it, you shouldn't photocopy their solution and turn it in.
  5. You will do some sort of a final project. It could be a synthetic final problem set, a final paper, or something else. I'm pretty flexible as to the format and topic. We will discuss this sometime around week 3.
  6. I will almost always assign reading for each class. You should do the reading, and come prepared with written questions. Click here for details.
  7. More than two missing homework assignments will result in a grade no higher than a C.
  8. As I plan on sending out homework assignments and other information via email, it is important that you check your email regularly.
  9. I expect you to attend class.
  10. Academic misconduct -- cheating, plagiarizing, etc. -- is bad. Any cases of academic misconduct will result in a judicial hearing, as per pp. 14-15 of the COA handbook. Possible consequences range from failure of the assignment to expulsion.