Quantum Mechanics I (PHYS*3230)

Code and section: PHYS*3230*01

Term: Fall 2019

Instructor: Michael Massa


Course Description

This course is intended to provide you with a basic understanding of the similarities and differences in the behavior of particles in the large (classical mechanics) and small (quantum mechanics) limit.  Thus, on one hand you are expected to learn the fundamental postulates of quantum mechanics and some of the more elementary mathematical techniques of quantum mechanics and to appreciate the very peculiar predictions and observations on the small.  On the other hand you are also expected to understand the many similarities in the behavior of quantum particles with the macroscopic particles of common everyday experience.



Monday, Wednesday, Friday 
8:30a - 9:20a 
MCKN 227


7:00p - 7:50p 
MCKN 232


  • Midterm 1 - Friday Oct. 11, 8:30-9:20 (in class)
  • Midterm 2 - Monday Nov. 4, 7:00p - 9:00p (Room TBA)

Final Exam

Thursday, December 12, 2019
7:00p - 9:00p
Room TBD

Instructional Support

Instructor:  Michael Massa
Email:  massam@uoguelph.ca
Telephone:  +1-519-824-4120 x52625
Office:  MACN 328
Office Hours:  
TBA, and will be arranged at the first lecture

TA: Simon Alexandre Pekar
Email:  simonale@uoguelph.ca


Assessment % of Grade Due Date
Assignments 25% TBA:  Late submissions will be accepted within one day, with a 20% late penalty.
Midterm 1 10% Friday Oct. 11, 8:30-9:20 (in class)
Midterm 2 25% Monday Nov. 4, 7:00p - 9:00p (Room TBA)
Final Exam 40% Friday, December 6, 2019, 11:30a - 1:30p (Room TBA)


  1. Review of mathematical tools required for the course.  Wave function, Schrodinger equation.  Statistical interpretation of the wave function.
  2. One-dimensional quantum mechanics:  Free particle and a wave packet; finite and infinite potential wells; bound states and quantization; scattering states; potential barrier tunneling; reflection and transmission; delta-potential.
  3. Mathematical formalism of Quantum Mechanics; observables and Hermitian operators; eigenvalue-eigenfunction problem; operators of position and momentum and the uncertainty principle; momentum representation; Dirac notation.
  4. One-dimensional quantum mechanics, additional topics, which may include Kronig-Penney potential and energy band structure of solids; the harmonic oscillator, ladder operators, coherent states.
  5. Three-dimensional quantum mechanics:  Coulomb potential and hydrogen atom; angular momentum.  If time permits:  Symmetries and Conservation Laws in Quantum Mechanics; Spin; identical particles; exchange interactions.

Learning Resources

Required Resources

  • CourseLink (Website)
    The course website can be found by logging into Courselink.uoguelph.ca
  • Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (Textbook)
    D.J. Griffiths and D.F. Schroeter (Cambridge Press, 3rd edition, 2018)

Recommended Resources

  • Essential Mathematical Methods for Physicists (Textbook)
    H.J. Weber and G.B. Arfkin (Elsevier Academic Press, 2004)
  • Modern Physics for Scientists and Engineers (Textbook)
    J.R. Taylor, C.D. Zafiratos and M.A. Dubson (Pearson, 2nd edition, 2003)

University Statements

Email Communication

As per university regulations, all students are required to check their e-mail account regularly: e-mail is the official route of communication between the University and its students.

When You Cannot Meet a Course Requirement

When you find yourself unable to meet an in-course requirement because of illness or compassionate reasons please advise the course instructor (or designated person, such as a teaching assistant) in writing, with your name, id#, and e-mail contact. The grounds for Academic Consideration are detailed in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Drop Date

Students will have until the last day of classes to drop courses without academic penalty. The deadline to drop two-semester courses will be the last day of classes in the second semester. This applies to all students (undergraduate, graduate and diploma) except for Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Associate Diploma in Veterinary Technology (conventional and alternative delivery) students. The regulations and procedures for course registration are available in their respective Academic Calendars.

Copies of Out-of-class Assignments

Keep paper and/or other reliable back-up copies of all out-of-class assignments: you may be asked to resubmit work at any time.


The University promotes the full participation of students who experience disabilities in their academic programs. To that end, the provision of academic accommodation is a shared responsibility between the University and the student.

When accommodations are needed, the student is required to first register with Student Accessibility Services (SAS). Documentation to substantiate the existence of a disability is required; however, interim accommodations may be possible while that process is underway.

Accommodations are available for both permanent and temporary disabilities. It should be noted that common illnesses such as a cold or the flu do not constitute a disability.

Use of the SAS Exam Centre requires students to book their exams at least 7 days in advance and not later than the 40th Class Day.

For Guelph students, information can be found on the SAS website.

Academic Integrity

The University of Guelph is committed to upholding the highest standards of academic integrity, and it is the responsibility of all members of the University community-faculty, staff, and students-to be aware of what constitutes academic misconduct and to do as much as possible to prevent academic offences from occurring. University of Guelph students have the responsibility of abiding by the University's policy on academic misconduct regardless of their location of study; faculty, staff, and students have the responsibility of supporting an environment that encourages academic integrity. Students need to remain aware that instructors have access to and the right to use electronic and other means of detection.

Please note: Whether or not a student intended to commit academic misconduct is not relevant for a finding of guilt. Hurried or careless submission of assignments does not excuse students from responsibility for verifying the academic integrity of their work before submitting it. Students who are in any doubt as to whether an action on their part could be construed as an academic offence should consult with a faculty member or faculty advisor.

Recording of Materials

Presentations that are made in relation to course work - including lectures - cannot be recorded or copied without the permission of the presenter, whether the instructor, a student, or guest lecturer. Material recorded with permission is restricted to use for that course unless further permission is granted.


The Academic Calendars are the source of information about the University of Guelph’s procedures, policies, and regulations that apply to undergraduate, graduate, and diploma programs.


Please note:  This is a preliminary web course description. The department reserves the right to change without notice any information in this description.  An official course outline will be distributed in the first class of the semester and/or posted on Courselink.