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NUS Physics Module Review: PC2130 Quantum Mechanics I

A not so gentle introduction to Quantum Mechanics. Content is difficult and unintuitive, but there isn’t very much of it. Our year covered Six Quantum Pieces, Operators on Vector Spaces (and all the associated math), Two State Systems, One Dimensional QM, Angular Momentum, and Three Dimensional QM.

6QP is basically a book for the layman to learn a little about what people are doing with QM in real laboratories. For the purposes of PC2130, it basically introduces the big picture. The first test is on this, so it is actually kinda important, but it’s a very light read.

The real fun begins after this. IMO it is very important to spend hours understanding the mathematical description of the quantum system; once you get this, the rest of the content just feels like a extension of this basic structure. Another difficult jump is the description of the material point, from discrete structures to continuous ones (not least because the mathematics is kinda shady). If you get these down, the rest of the content is not too troublesome. But getting this stuff perfectly is no small matter 🙂

The tests and exams our year were not particularly hard, but Valerio has a reputation for difficult exams and ours was the Corona year, so maybe he just gave us some chance HAHA

As for textbooks, I didn’t really use any. I used Ballentine to learn about Symmetries, but other than that, his lecture notes should have most things covered.

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