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PHS3142 - Theoretical physics II

6 points, SCA Band 0 (NATIONAL PRIORITY), 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Science

Leader(s): Associate Professor Andrei Nikulin


Clayton Second semester 2009 (Day)


This unit provides part of a major in theoretical physics. It consists of two 12-lecture sub-units, Advanced Quantum Mechanics and Computational Physics and a 12-hour seminar sub-unit. The key areas of study are:

  1. Advanced Quantum Mechanics: spin angular momentum, perturbation theory, scattering theory and the quantum theory of radiation;
  2. Computational Physics: discrete arrays to model the space and time evolution of functions or physical systems; a hands-on approach is used throughout to develop confidence and competency in using a computer to solve physical problems; includes a computer based assignment and short computational physics project; and
  3. Theoretical Seminar: seminar participation in theoretical problems, projects and presentations.


On completion of this unit students will be able to understand fundamental Quantum Mechanics concepts and their application, including the Dirac notation, angular momentum and spin, perturbation theory and scattering theory; apply appropriate theoretical relationships relevant to the above areas; compare approaches to a variety of physics problems by computer simulation, numerical or analytic solution of the defining equations; write short reports on selected theoretical physics topics of current interest; present a seminar and a poster on a topic in theoretical physics.


Examination (3 hours): 25%
Tests (3 x 1/2 hour): 15%
Assignments & project: 26%
Seminar contributions: 34%

Contact hours

An average of 2 hours lectures, one 1-hour tutorial and one 1-hour seminar per week


PHS3131, PHS3031

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