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PHSI331 Quantum, Atomic and Particle Physics

Introduction to formal quantum theory: state preparation, measurement, two-state systems, angular momentum, perturbation theory. Atomic physics: multi-electron atoms, Zeeman effect, atom-radiation interaction, molecules. Particle and nuclear physics.

This paper presents the foundational theory for three major topics in physics. The quantum mechanics section introduces the formal framework of quantum mechanics and illustrates its application to the quantitative description of real physical systems. The particle physics section introduces the 'standard model' of particle physics, with a primarily qualitative approach. The atomic physics section covers quantitative models of multi-electron atoms and interactions of atoms with electromagnetic fields.

Paper title Quantum, Atomic and Particle Physics
Paper code PHSI331
Subject Physics
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,141.35
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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MATH 140 and PHSI 221
Recommended Preparation
MATH 202
Schedule C

Teaching staff

Dr Jonathan Squire
Dr Amita Deb
Dr Danny Baillie


Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, David Griffiths.

Introduction to Elementary Particles (2nd Edition), David Griffiths.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Information literacy, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
After completing this paper students will be able to:
  1. State and apply the postulates of quantum mechanics to predict the outcome of measurement on archetypal model systems
  2. Understand the techniques for finding solutions for the hydrogen atom and be able to apply perturbation theory to obtain fine-structure corrections
  3. State concisely the main complexities in finding states of multi-electron atoms and calculate approximate solutions for symmetrised helium states
  4. Describe how the standard model of particle physics explains the composition of all known particles in terms of quarks and leptons
  5. Analyse relativistic dynamics of particle collisions and apply conservation rules of the standard model to analyse particle reactions
  6. Understand how quantum mechanics provides a quantitative description of the phenomena of atomic and particle physics

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 10:00-10:50 28-34, 36-41
Wednesday 10:00-10:50 28-34, 36-41
Thursday 10:00-10:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Thursday 13:00-13:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 14:00-15:50 28-34, 36-41