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PHYSICS 65: Quantum and Thermal Physics

(Third in a three-part advanced freshman physics series: PHYSICS 61, PHYSICS 63, PHYSICS 65.) This course introduces the foundations of quantum and statistical mechanics for students with a strong high school mathematics and physics background, who are contemplating a major in Physics or Engineering Physics, or are interested in a rigorous treatment of physics. Quantum mechanics: atoms, electrons, nuclei. Quantization of light, Planck's constant. Photoelectric effect, Compton and Bragg scattering. Bohr model, atomic spectra. Matter waves, wave packets, interference. Fourier analysis and transforms, Heisenberg uncertainty relationships. Schrödinger equation, eigenfunctions and eigenvalues. Particle-in-a-box, simple harmonic oscillator, barrier penetration, tunneling, WKB and approximate solutions. Time-dependent and multi-dimensional solution concepts. Coulomb potential and hydrogen atom structure. Thermodynamics and statistical mechanics: ideal gas, equipartition, heat capacity. Pro more »
(Third in a three-part advanced freshman physics series: PHYSICS 61, PHYSICS 63, PHYSICS 65.) This course introduces the foundations of quantum and statistical mechanics for students with a strong high school mathematics and physics background, who are contemplating a major in Physics or Engineering Physics, or are interested in a rigorous treatment of physics. Quantum mechanics: atoms, electrons, nuclei. Quantization of light, Planck's constant. Photoelectric effect, Compton and Bragg scattering. Bohr model, atomic spectra. Matter waves, wave packets, interference. Fourier analysis and transforms, Heisenberg uncertainty relationships. Schrödinger equation, eigenfunctions and eigenvalues. Particle-in-a-box, simple harmonic oscillator, barrier penetration, tunneling, WKB and approximate solutions. Time-dependent and multi-dimensional solution concepts. Coulomb potential and hydrogen atom structure. Thermodynamics and statistical mechanics: ideal gas, equipartition, heat capacity. Probability, counting states, entropy, equilibrium, chemical potential. Laws of thermodynamics. Cycles, heat engines, free energy. Partition function, Boltzmann statistics, Maxwell speed distribution, ideal gas in a box, Einstein model. Quantum statistical mechanics: classical vs. quantum distribution functions, fermions vs. bosons. Prerequisites: PHYSICS 61 & PHYSICS 63. Pre- or corequisite: MATH 53 or MATH 63CM or MATH 63DM.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER: DB-NatSci, WAY-FR, WAY-SMA | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Gratta, G. (PI)
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