MP363 - Quantum Mechanics I

Autumn of 2020   [semester 1 of 2020-21]

Lecturer:   Masud Haque   (

Lectures and Tutorials

Lecture schedule:   (1) Wednesdays 09:05, JHL7.   (2) Fridays 12:05, Hall D (Arts Block).

Many aspects are uncertain due to the Covid19 situation.
In particular, the mode of classroom attendance is unclear.
Will try to provide updated information on this page as things get clarified.

Tutorial times:   Unclear as of now.

Tutor:   Aonghus Hunter-McCabe  

Continuous Assessment

Assignments are to be uploaded electronically via the moodle page. Hopefully, you are used to this procedure from the last part of the Spring 2020 semester.
(The drawer system for submitting assignments has been suspended due to the pandemic.)

We may not be marking all the assignments. This means, some assignments will go un-marked, but we will not announce beforehand which. Also, for those assignments which are marked, we might mark either the complete assignment, or some fraction selected randomly.

The primary purpose of the problem sets is really that they should help you learn quantum mechanics at an optimal rate. It will be assumed that you are attempting every problem set including the problems marked [SELF]. If you are comfortable doing all the problems including [SELF]'s during the week and then want to tackle additional problems, please let me know with a brief email and I will send you some further optional problems to work on.

Problem sets

Problem set 01.
Due on Friday, October 2nd, at the end of the first week of semester.

Scanned lecture notes

Scanned lecture notes, part A.

Textbooks and other Sources

Quantum mechanics is counter-intuitive. There will be confusing aspects; you will need to invest time and effort to clear up these confusions.

Do not expect to get comfortable with QM unless you do a fair amount of reading and problem-solving.

It is strongly recommended that you work through one or more texts. Working through Prof. Nash's lecture notes is an absolute minimum. It would be a very good idea to read a couple of sections every week.
Additional texts are listed below, and there are links to lecture notes etc. There are many textbooks on introductory quantum mechanics (e.g., carried by the Maynooth library, physically and as e-books). Textbooks have differences in ordering and notation, but you should benefit by reading any text.

Please let me know if any of the links below are broken.

Overviews of Introductory Quantum Mechanics:

Dirac notation (bra-ket notation) and properties of bra's and ket's:

Please get comfortable with this mathematical formulation. Chapter 2 of Nash notes introduces most of the notation. Here are some more references:

Spin-1/2 systems:

This topic is not covered in Nash's notes. We will use the spin-1/2 system for many examples; so it is important that you get familiar through other sources. Some links below.

Postulates of Quantum Mechanics:

Not covered in Nash's notes. The numbering of postulates varies (is not standardized), but each treatment covers very similar statements.

The Dirac delta function:

Sources for other topics:


There are many textbooks available on introductory quantum mechanics. I list some sources below.
(I omit publisher and year of publication: the author and title should be enough to identify each textbook.)

Problem bank

Here is a large collection of problems, which I call `problem set 12'.

You might benefit from trying your hand at them, even before the semester ends.

(It's not due for submission but we are happy to discuss any attempts at solving them.)

Handouts: some notes/comments

The formal definition of hermitian conjugates.

Averaging continuous vs discrete variables.

A listing of the basic rules (`postulates') of quantum mechanics.

A discussion of one way to think of wavefunctions as vectors.

Notes on Exam

The exams are TWO HOURS long.

The exam will NOT have a choice of M questions out of N, as was common a few years ago.
You will be asked to answer ALL questions.

Assignment marks (`continuous assessment') will be counted toward the final module mark only if they are to the students' advantage.
(The policy is module-dependent and varies within the Theoretical Physics department. In some modules, continuous assessment is `compulsory'.)

Previous Exams

Here are solutions to repeat exam for 2017-2018 (August 2018 exam).

Here are solutions to the January 2018 finals.

Here are solutions to repeat exam for 2016-2017 (August 2017 exam).

Here are solutions to the January 2017 finals.