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Unit of study_

PHYS3034: Quantum, Statistical and Comp Physics

Quantum statistical physics has revolutionized the world we live in- providing a profound understanding of the microscopic world and driving the technological revolution of the last few decades. Modern physics increasingly relies on solving equations using computational techniques, for modelling anything from the big bang to quantum dot lasers. Building on 2000-level physics, this unit will develop the full formalism for deriving properties of individual atoms and large collections of atoms, and introduce advanced numerical techniques. You will start from Schroedinger's equation and derive the full properties of hydrogen atoms, and systems of particles. You will study perturbation techniques qualitatively, including for the interaction of radiation with atoms. You will study the theoretical foundation of statistical mechanics, including both classical and quantum distributions. You will apply a variety of numerical schemes for solving ordinary and partial differential equations, learn about the suitability of particular methods to particular problems, and their accuracy and stability. The module includes computational lab sessions, in which you will actively solve a range of physics problems. In completing this unit you will gain understanding of the foundations of modern physics and develop skills that will enable you to numerically solve complex problems in physics and beyond.

Code PHYS3034
Academic unit Physics Academic Operations
Credit points 6
(PHYS2011 OR PHYS2911 OR PHYS2921) AND (PHYS2012 OR PHYS2912 OR PHYS2922)
PHYS3934 or PHYS3039 or PHYS3939 or PHYS3042 or PHYS3942 or PHYS3043 or PHYS3943 or PHYS3044 or PHYS3944 or PHYS3090 or PHYS3990 or PHYS3991 or PHYS3999 or PHYS3099
Assumed knowledge:
(MATH2021 OR MATH2921 OR MATH2061 OR MATH2961 OR MATH2067)

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. demonstrate an understanding of key concepts in two foundation areas of physics – quantum mechanics of atoms and statistical physics
  • LO2. apply these concepts to develop models, and to solve qualitative and quantitative problems in scientific contexts, using appropriate mathematical and computing techniques as necessary – Compare and critique different models in quantum and statistical physics
  • LO3. design computer programs to solve physical problems
  • LO4. compare and critique different approaches to numerically solving physical problems
  • LO5. communicate scientific information appropriately, through written work
  • LO6. analyse a physical problem in quantum physics and statistical physics and develop a formalism appropriate for solving it
  • LO7. demonstrate a sense of responsibility, ethical behaviour, and independence as a learner and as a scientist.