Quantum Mechanics I

A Problem Text

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The goal of Quantum Mechanics I, A Problem Text, is to enable students to solve problems appropriate to their first course in quantum mechanics. Significantly detailed solutions to traditionally posed problems dominate. Theory and rationale are addressed in prescript and postscript narratives and/or within the solved problems to guide students; and clarify vocabulary, symbology, and terminology. Applications of the postulates are presented initially using arguments from linear algebra appropriate to discrete systems with low-dimensional vectors and matrix operators, introducing orthogonality, orthonormality, Hermiticity, eigenvectors, eigenvalues, probability, expectation value, and degeneracy. These arguments blend into infinite-dimensional vectors and operators, and calculus-based arguments for continuous systems where delta functions, theta functions, and Fourier transforms are initially discussed. Dirac notation is fully developed within these first five chapters. Chapter six discusses Ehrenfest’s theorem, the Heisenberg uncertainty relations, and Gaussian wave functions and wave packets. Increasingly sophisticated potential energy functions are then treated to include the free particle, the infinite square well, the one-dimensional scattering state, the simple harmonic oscillator, the finite square well, orbital angular momentum, and the hydrogen atom. Ladder operators are featured in the developments of the simple harmonic oscillator and orbital angular momentum. The diversity of narratives and detailed solutions intend to allow students to solve comparable unsolved exercises at the end of each chapter/section whether used as a primary text, a supplementary text, or for self-study.

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