Physics 390 Quantum Mechanics I

Instructor: Bruce Craver
Office: Sherman 101D
Phone: x92219 (229-2219 from off campus)
Home Page:

Text: Introduction to Quantum Mechanics by David J. Griffiths

This is the first of a two-semester course in quantum mechanics. It is an introduction to the wave function and its statistical interpretation, the Schroedinger equation, and the formalism of quantum mechanics as expressed in terms of linear operators acting in linear vector spaces. The emphasis here is on learning how to use the machinery of quantum theory and developing a quantum physical intuition , which clearly is not always consistent with our classical intuition.  This is done largely by studying the behavior of several model systems as predicted by quantum theory.

Grading:  Grades are based on  two hourly exams, a comprehensive final and regular homework assignments equal to one exam.  Classes are largely based on lectures, but students are encouraged to ask questions about and discuss any of the material or problem assignments.  I always try to provide enough guidance to get students started on problems but leave the details to the student.  It is in solving these assignments that students learn a lot about conceptual issues and also develop increasing mathematical sophistication.   Occasionally assignments will require students to use a mathematical package such as MathCad or Maple.  For those unfamiliar with these handouts and individual assistance are provided.


The wave function (Chapter 1 in text)

Schroedinger equation
The statistical interpretation, probability and normalization
Momentum and the Uncertainty Principle

Time-independent Schroedinger equation (Chapter 2 in text)

Stationary states
superposition of states and probability amplitudes
Infinite square well
Harmonic oscillator
Free particle
Delta function potential
Finite square well

Formalism (Chapter 3 in text)

Linear vector spaces
Function spaces
Dirac notation
Generalized statistical interpretation
Uncertainty Principle

Quantum Mechanics in Three Dimensions (Chapter 4 in text)

Schroedinger equation in three dimensions
Hydrogen atom
Angular momentum

Craver Homepage

UD Physics Homepage