Physics 221B

Quantum Mechanics

Spring 2011

University of California, Berkeley

Instructor:  Robert Littlejohn
Office:  449 Birge
Office Hours:   Friday 12-1
Telephone:  642-1229
TA:  Austin Hedeman, Office Hours Thursday 2-3, Room 432 Birge

Lecture:  9 Lewis
Time:  MWF 9-10
Discussion Section 1:   cancelled
Discussion Section 2:   Th 3-4, 105 Latimer
Recommended text:   J. J. Sakurai, Advanced Quantum Mechanics.

The 221A web site for Fall 2010 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The materials linked to in this web page are out of date.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:  Monday, May 9, 7-10pm
Location: TBA

Organization and Logistics

The email address for this course is   Use this to send me emails if you have any questions etc. Also, I maintain an email mailing list for the course, and use it to send out announcements, corrections to homework assignments, etc back to you. If you were on the email list last semester, you will continue to be on it this semester. If you 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.

Discussion section time and office hour will remain as they were last semester.

Prerequisites for this course include Physics 221A or equivalent. 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 a final exam. I may decide to give an oral final exam instead of a written one, or not to give a final at all. I will let you know by roughly the middle of the semester.

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

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 in is your own work in your own words. 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 trouble.

The text for the course, Modern Quantum Mechanics, by J. J. Sakurai, was chosen because of its good selection of topics and because of the generally deep perspective it takes in developing the subject. Unfortunately, the explanations in the book are often poor and sometimes wrong; this seems to be due to the fact that Sakurai died before he could put his book into order. (His other book, Advanced Quantum Mechanics, which we will use in Physics 221B, is much better.) To make up for these deficiencies, most weeks there will be lecture notes made available which will supplement the readings from the text.

The content of Physics 221A is mostly a review of undergraduate quantum mechanics, presented from a deeper point of view and with a different emphasis. Some new topics are also presented. Physics 221B presents much new material, including an introduction to field theory and relativistic quantum mechanics. The course will have an emphasis on atomic physics that gradually turns into particle physics.

Lecture notes will be available in one of two forms. For some lectures I have typed-up notes. 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. Do not be afraid to interrupt the lecture to ask questions.

Unfortunately, Daniel and Greg are no longer available to take videos of the lectures, so there will be no videos this semester.

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

Typed lecture notes are available for some lectures, not others.

Homework Solutions for Fall 2010 and Spring 2011.