Alexander L. Rudolph    Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Cal Poly Pomona
Physics 401 is an upper division physics course on the topic of quantum mechanics.




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Fall Quarter, 2014

  • Welcome to the Web page for PHY 401 - Quantum Mechanics.
  • Course Description

    Physics 401, Quantum Mechanics is the first quarter of the two-quarter sequence of senior level quantum mechanics (QM), the foundation and explanatory framework of much of modern physics. We will cover the basic ideas of QM, solutions of Schrodinger's equation in 1-dimension, and the formalism and postulates of QM. If there is time, we will also consider solutions in 3-dimensions, in particular the hydrogen atom. (4 credits).

    • I will communicate with you frequently via your Cal Poly e-mail address, so read your e-mail regularly (at least once per day!)
  • Reading Assignments

    Quantum Mechanics is a challenging topic, because it combines advanced mathematics with counter-intuitive ideas about how the universe works.  Therefore, to fully understand the in-class lectures and activities, to do the homework successfully, and ultimately to do well on the exams, you must do the reading!  If you come to class unprepared, and then try to do the reading just to do the homework problems, you will not succeed in this class.  It is that simple. It is your responsibility to do the reading and make sure you understand it. 

    All reading should be done before the date indicated (i.e., before the class in which we will discuss the topic).  All the reading assigments are from Griffiths. Though they may look short, they are dense! You will almost certainly want to reread the chapter when you go to work on the related homework assignment.  This is difficult technical material, and you will need to read it more than once to fully understand it.  Reading the same material multiple times is the norm in Physics!

Assn.# Due Date      Reading Assignment (subject to change, especially later in the quarter) 

1 M, 9/29 Chapter 1.1-1.4, Complex numbers and waves review


M, 10/6

Chapter 1.5-1.6


M, 10/13

Chapter 2.1-2.2


M, 10/20

Chapter 2.3


M, 11/3

Chapter 2.4


M, 11/10



M, 11/17

Chapter 2.5-2.6


F, 11/21

Chapter 4.1


M, 12/1

Chapter 4.2

  • Homework Assignments

Homework assignments will be handed out in class the week before they are due. Assignments will be due at the beginning of the class period on the due date. Late homework will not be accepted!

Assn.# Due Date     Homework Assignment 


F, 10/3

HW Assignment #1, P235 Review Assignment


F, 10/10

HW Assignment #2


F, 10/17

HW Assignment #3


F, 10/24

HW Assignment #4


F, 10/31

HW Assignment #5


F, 11/14

HW Assignment #6


M, 11/24

HW Assignment #7


W, 12/3

HW Assignment #8

©2011 by Alexander L. Rudolph

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The space for this page is provided by Cal Poly Pomona and is subject to its policies. Nevertheless, the opinions expressed here are my own and do not necessarily represent official policy of the University. I take full responsibility for the information presented and will appreciate being informed of errors or inaccuracies.

Last modified on 5 December, 2014