Physics 221B

Quantum Mechanics

Spring 2008

University of California, Berkeley

Instructor:  Robert Littlejohn
Office:  449 Birge
Office Hours:   Thu 3-4
Telephone:  642-1229
TA:  Badr Albanna
TA Office Hours:  Fri 12-1; Location: Oppenheimer Room
Lecture:  247 Cory
Time:  TuTh 8-9:30
Discussion Section 1:   W 2-3, 75 Evans
Discussion Section 2:   to be cancelled
Texts:   J. J. Sakurai, Modern Quantum Mechanics, Revised Edition (Addison-Wesley, New York, 1994);    J. J. Sakurai, Advanced Quantum Mechanics.

The 221A web site for Fall 2007 is here.
The materials linked to in this web page are out of date. For current course materials (academic year 2011-2012), please look here.

Final Exam:  Wednesday, May 21, 2008, 8-11am

Organization and Logistics

The email address for this course is    If you are registered for Physics 221B, you will automatically be on the mailing list. Otherwise, if you wish to be included on the mailing list for course announcements, homework notices, etc., send an email to this address with your name. (You don't have to be enrolled.) If you drop the course or don't want to receive any more announcements, send an email to this address with a request to be dropped. 

The course web site (this site) will be used to post lecture notes, special notes, homework assignments, and homework solutions.

I will probably cancel the Tuesday discussion section, and rely on the Wednesday section plus office hours to cover your needs. I will schedule my office hour and, if necessary, the discussion section so the maximum number of students can attend at least one.

I will be out of town the week of March 17-21. I will either have a substitute lecturer that week, or else schedule makeups.

Prerequisites for this course include graduate standing and Physics 221A or equivalent course. Students who do not have this background are required to get instructor's approval before enrolling. In particular, this applies to all undergraduates wishing to take the course.

The grade will be based on homework and the final exam, with some fractions to be determined. The final exam will either be in-class, take-home, or oral; I haven't decided which yet, but I will let you know by the middle of the semester. In the meantime, please keep the in-class exam time open (plan to be in Berkeley).

Homework policy is the same as last semester. Weekly homework assignments will be made available on this web site by Friday morning of each week, and will be due at 5pm on Friday afternoon of the following week. Homework should be turned in in the 221B homework box in 251 LeConte (the reading room).

Late homeworks will be accepted up to one week late at 50% credit. Homeworks more than one week late will not be accepted. Please do not ask the reader to take late homeworks. Exception: Each student is allowed one free late homework (up to one week late) during the semester, no questions asked.

Students are encouraged to work together on homework, and to trade ideas. There is no better way to learn. However, it is expected that the work you turn is in your own words and that it reflects your own understanding of the problem. It is not legal just to copy someone else's solutions. It is also strictly illegal to look at or use solutions from any previous version of this course from earlier years. You can't find those solutions anyway without going to some extra trouble.

In the first part of 221B we will continue with the text we used in the fall semester, Modern Quantum Mechanics, by J. J. Sakurai. Later we will switch to the second text, Advanced Quantum Mechanics, also by J. J. Sakurai.

Physics 221B will cover atomic physics, time-dependent perturbation theory and scattering theory, quantization of the electromagnetic field, and an introduction to relativistic quantum mechanics including the Dirac equation, first and second quantized.

Lecture notes will be available in one of two forms. For some lectures I have typed-up notes. There will not be as many of these as there were in the Fall semester. For those lectures without typed notes, I will usually try to supply hand-written notes, although I don't guarantee how closely they will follow the actual lectures. Nevertheless, it should be possible to get by without taking notes in class. Please do not be afraid to interrupt the lecture to ask questions in class.

Homework assignments will normally be made available on this web site by Friday of each week, and will be due at 5pm on Friday of the following week in the 221B homework box in 251 LeConte (the reading room). 

Typed lecture notes are available for some lectures, not others. (These notes have been updated somewhat since the end of the 07-08 academic year. See the 2011-2012 course web site for the most up-to-date set of notes.)

Homework Solutions.


Extra Notes.