Department of Applied Mathematics
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario
Canada N2L 3G1
Fax: 519-746-4319
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Here are the Lecture notes: including all of Ch.6.
The exercises 2.1-2.6 are due on Thursday, Sep. 14, in class.
The exercises 2.7-3.5 are due on Thursday, Sep. 21, in class.
The exercises 3.6-3.22 are due on Thursday, Sep. 28, in class.
The exercise 3.23,3.24 are due on Thursday, Oct. 5, in class.
The exercises 3.25-5.2 are due on Thursday, Oct. 12, in class.
The exercises 5.3-5.7 are due on Thursday, Oct. 19, in class.
Midterm exam: Thu. 26 Oct. in class (extra office hours: Wed. 25 Oct. 10am-12pm).
Final exam: Saturday, December 9, 2017 12:30 PM to 3:00 PM. Room: TBA
Office hours with the TAs (Maria or Kai): Wednesdays 4:30-5:30pm in MC6334.
Office hours with Prof (Achim): Thursdays 11:30am-12:30pm in MC6322.
Exception: The office hour of Oct. 12 is moved to Oct. 13 at 11:30am-12:30pm.
The aim of AMATH 473 / PHYS 454 is to give a solid understanding of the mathematical structure and physical principles which underlie quantum theory. The course should provide a basis from which interested students can proceed, for example, to studies of quantum technologies, or to studies of the quantum theory of fields, which can then lead, for example, to particle physics and to quantum gravity and cosmology.
In AMATH 473 / PHYS 454, we will, therefore, study the internal workings of quantum mechanics, in its abstract formulations by Heisenberg, Schroedinger, Dirac and Feynman, as well as practical perturbative tools for applying quantum mechanics to real-live systems. We will investigate the relation between Bose-Einstein and Fermi statistics, symmetries and conservation laws, and we will cover Bell's paradox, open quantum systems, decoherence and thermal states.
Textbooks: Recommended are the modern texts by Griffiths, Cohen-Tannoudji, Shankar and Sakurai, as well as the classics by Feynman Hibbs (path integral, ingenious) and Messiah (operator formalism, very comprehensive: >1000 pages). The two classics are now very cheap (from Dover).
An essay should be a review of existing literature on a given topic. The sources can be textbooks, lecture notes or review articles or original articles or some of each. All and everything that is used needs to be cited. Most articles are now available online and for example "Google Scholar" can get you there quickly. Try for example searching for a few key words along with the words "review" or "introduction". Most electronic journals require a subscription, which the university library usually has. For the license to be recognized you may need to browse either from a university computer (the domain is what counts) or you log into the library website from home and go to an electronic journal through the library's electronic journal search engine.
In the essay, your task is to show that you have understood and critically reflected upon the material by making it your own. You make it your own by coming up with an original way for presenting the material that you are bringing together. Try to give it your own angle or spin. Wherever possible, try to put things into a larger context. Sometimes (hopefully very rarely) it may be necessary to stick quite closely to a source, e.g., when a calculation is to be presented and the source does it in a way that is just hard to improve upon. In this case, you can make it your own for example by filling in a few steps in the calculation that the author omitted. In this case, it is important that you point out at that place that you do so. Filling in steps obviously proves that you understood that calculation.
A good essay describes. An excellent essay explains.
No original research is expected. But, you are encouraged to make educated speculations about what interesting things could be done in this area. You have been a regurgitating undergraduate for a long time. This is an opportunity to show that you still have some creativity left in you! Don't worry, you are not expected to solve the problem of quantum gravity here. Just show that you are thinking for yourself.
Department of Applied Mathematics
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario
Canada N2L 3G1
PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader