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Monash University Handbook 2010 Undergraduate - Unit

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

FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedClayton First semester 2010 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Greg Jakovidis


Quantum physics is at the core of physics and this unit provides a basis for understanding key quantum concepts, applications and associated phenomena in the realm of atomic, nuclear, condensed matter physics and related technologies.
(1) Quantum Physics: the domain of quantum mechanics; particle and wave description; Schrodinger's equation, energy and momentum as operators, expectation values and stationary states; tunnelling; Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. (2) Atomic and nuclear physics: hydrogenic atoms; multi-electron atoms, binding energy and ionisation; atomic spectroscopy; vector model of the atom; x-rays; nuclear structure, radioactive decay; fission and fusion. (3) Condensed matter physics: structure of solids, x-ray diffraction, the free electron theory; energy bands, conductors, insulators and semiconductors, Fermi level, Fermi-Dirac distribution; the solar cell, light emitting diodes; photodetectors.


On completion of this unit students will be able to explain and apply the key concepts of quantum physics to a variety of quantum systems including particle in a box and hydrogenic systems; explain nuclear binding energy and stability; predict the most likely decay mode of a nuclide based upon its relative position to the ridge of stability; describe the transition from atomic orbitals to energy bands; explain the principle of operation and perform simple calculations for a range of contemporary quantum devices; acquire, manipulate and interpret physical data; write scientific reports at a level suitable for publication.


Examinations (One x 3 hours and One x 2 hours): 50%
Assignments: 16%
Practical work: 34%
Students must achieve a pass mark in the practical component to achieve an overall pass grade.

Chief examiner(s)

Dr. Greg Jakovidis

Contact hours

Three 1-hour lecture/problem classes and one 3-hour laboratory class per week


PHS1011 or PHS1080, plus PHS1022 and MTH1030