PHSI 424: Advanced Quantum Mechanics II (PHSI)

Two level atom coupled to a single mode of the Electromagnetic field.

This course presents a treatment of non-relativistic many-body theory with applications to quantum optics and degenerate quantum gases.

PHSI 423. PHSI 336 strongly recommended.
Ashton Bradley. Room 416. Ph 4794121.
  • Monday 2pm - 2.50pm, G400
  • Tuesday 10am - 10.50am, G400
  • Thursday 2pm - 2.50pm, 314
30% assignments, 70% Exam (Closed book).


No lecture Monday 14 August (Hons talks).

No lecture Wednesday 23 August.

Workshop on 24 August will focus on understanding and using the master equation.

Lecture break for Hons projects: next lecture Monday 25th September

Exam session: 2pm on 26 October, room 311

Exam study tips

Finding Past Exams: and search for PHSI 453, 424, 405.

There were a couple of embargoed years. Anything pre 2009 is not immediately relevant (old paper structure).

Exam Format

  • 2 hours, closed book
  • 3 questions of equal weight. Choose 2.

Question format

  • questions begin with a qualitative/descriptive component, then lead into applications.
  • Because it is closed book, and only 2 hours, questions will generally involve quite a bit of "scaffolding", that is, you won't be asked to reproduced a large proof, but rather to work your way through one or two problems, in several parts.
  • To avoid early "sudden death", some key steps will be of the form: "show that ..." with the equation given.
  • It will be assumed you are very familiar with chapters 2,3.
  • For applications, focus on chapters 4,6,7,8,9. Problems could be closely related to an assignment question you have done, to other problems in the notes, or to an example we discussed in lectures.

Key concepts

  • Pictures of time evolution
  • Simple quantum systems: two-level atom, simple harmonic oscillator
  • Interactions between light and matter
  • Fundamentals processes in quantum optics and open quantum systems
  • Born approximation and scattering theory

Course notes

Assignments (problems are from version 1 course notes linked above)

  • Assignment 1, due 12 noon, Friday 11th August:

Problems 3.9, 3.10, 4.5, 5.4, 5.5

  • Assignment 2, due 5pm Monday 11th September:

Problems 6.1, 7.6, 8.5

  • Assignment 3, due 5pm Wednesday 11th October:

Problems 9.4, 9.6, 9.7 [Hint: use the Born approximation, section 9.1.8],

Edit: let's drop problem 9.8 (not of high value at this stage in the course).