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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 17/05/2022 10:34:12

Title of Module: Quantum Mechanics

Code: PHYS09008 SCQF Level: 9
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:David  O'Donnell

Summary of Module

This module is core component of SCQF Level 9 core components of the BSc Honours Physics programme. This module is normally taken in the honours year 3. The module covers fundamental concepts as well as some applications of Quantum Mechanics. General Syllabus details of the module are as follows.

1. Elementary Quantum Theory: blackbody radiation, Planck formula, Einstein theory of photo effect, Bohr’s atom model, de-Broglie hypothesis.

2. The Wave Function: the Schrödinger equation, statistical interpretation, probability, normalization, momentum, the uncertainty principle.

3. The Time-Independent Schrödinger Equation: stationary states, infinite square well, harmonic oscillator, free particle, finite square well, introduction to one-dimensional scattering theory.

4. Formalism of QM:  observables, eigenfunctions of a hermitian operator, generalized statistical interpretation, generalized uncertainty principle.

5. QM in Three Dimensions: the Schrödinger equation in spherical coordinates and angular momentum.

6. Spin: Bosons and fermions.

  • We have defined a set of Graduate Attributes that are the skills, personal qualities and understanding to be developed through your university experience that will prepare for life and work in the 21st century ( The Graduate Attributes relevant to this module are listed below.

  • Graduate Attributes - Academic: critical thinker; analytical; inquiring; knowledgeable; digitally literate; problem solver; autonomous; incisive; innovative.

  • Graduate Attributes - Personal: effective communicator; influential; motivated.

  • Graduate Attributes - Professional: collaborative; research-minded; enterprising; ambitious; driven.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2


Term 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. To gain basic understanding of Quantum Mechanics - the foremost intellectual achievement of the 20th century that forms much of the foundation of Modern Physics.

L2. To be able to apply the principles of quantum mechanics to solve relevant problems in his/her further study, in particular, in atomic physics, in solid state physics, and in nuclear physics.

L3. To significantly improve and broaden his/her math knowledge, in particular, in differential equations and special functions.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 9.

• Demonstrate a broad knowledge of basic principles of quantum mechanics.

• Demonstrate a critical understanding of a selection of principles, concepts and terminology.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 9.

• Use a selection of the principal skills, techniques, practices enabling further studies of advanced subjects such as atomic physics, statistical physics, solid state physics, nuclear physics, etc.

• Practice up to date literature search on some unclear/hot topics in quantum mechanics.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 9.

• Present and evaluate arguments, information and ideas in physics

• Use a range of approaches to addressing problems and issues in physics

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 9.

•Use a wide range of routine skills and some advanced skills in physics. For example:
o convey ideas in well-structured and coherent form
o use standard applications to process and obtain a variety of information and data
o use a range of numerical and graphical skills in combination
o use numerical and graphical data

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 9.

• Exercise some initiative and independence in carrying out defined activities associated with the study of the module material

• Working towards deadlines

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Optics & Electronics
Oscillations, Waves & Fields
Properties of Matter
Mathematics for Physicists
Classical Mechanics and Special Relativity
Mathematics for Physicists 2
Other:or equivalent
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
The course material is primarily presented in lectures. The lecture material is supported by a range of classroom exercises to prepare the students for the final closed-book examination and to guide them appropriately through their coursework. The assignments are complex exercises which require private study and further literature research. Thus, in addition to the knowledge and understanding of the course material this module will provide skills development in areas such as independent thought and problem solving.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery24
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity12
Independent Study164
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

• Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, 2nd edition, by David J. Griffiths, Pearson, 2005
(primary text)

• Introduction to Quantum Physics, 2nd edition, by A.P. French and E.F. Taylor, Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1981

• Quantum Mechanics, 3rd edition, by Eugen Merzbacher, John Wiley and Sons, 1998

• Quantum Mechanics (2 vol. set), C. Cohen-Tannoudji et al., Wiley-Interscience, 2006

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardPhysical Sciences
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelPhysical Sciences
ModeratorNara Singh Bondili
External ExaminerD Faux
Accreditation DetailsInstitute of Physics
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Written examination-60%
Continuous assessment- 40%
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Unseen closed book (standard)check markcheck markcheck mark602

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Portfolio of written workcheck markcheck markcheck mark400
Combined Total For All Components100% 2 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
This module is appropriate for all students
UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.