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NUS Physics Module Review: PC3130 Quantum Mechanics II

The course covers basically exactly what is in the description; unlike PC2130, where we focus on describing and solving the dynamics of highly artificial systems exactly, in this module we introduce a wide range of approximation techniques to come up with near-perfect solutions to real(er) life problems. Do know your harmonic oscillator and hydrogen atom inside out when you go into this course, because they will appear time and time again. In our term (being the special term and with less time), we mostly breezed through the WKB approximation (not really much in use nowadays), spending only an hour and half on it, and it was not examined (not that it can really be tested, either: it is a mountain of algebra).

I liked the lecture notes Dr. Wei Khim provided, they felt almost like a continuation of Valerio’s notes from 2130. His references list is good. I think Sakurai is a good companion — and regardless, I think every physics student should have a pdf of this — if you want extra problems/ a few extra topics to apply your brain to. The development in several chapters follows the book.

Most of the assignments were easy, bar the last one, which was meant to distinguish the A+ from the A students, and one on the variational theorem, which required hard work and a lot of Mathematica. But this was a special term in coronavirus times, so it is a highly irregular situation to say the least, and usually there is a final exam where you can flex your perturbation theory skills.

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