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School of Science
Course unit
SCP4068139, A.A. 2018/19

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2016/17

Information on the course unit
Degree course First cycle degree in
SC1160, Degree course structure A.Y. 2008/09, A.Y. 2018/19
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 7.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination QUANTUM PHYSICS (MOD. A)
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Physics and Astronomy
Mandatory attendance
Language of instruction Italian

Teacher in charge ALBERTO AMBROSETTI FIS/03

Integrated course for this unit
Course unit code Course unit name Teacher in charge

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses FIS/03 Material Physics 7.0

Course unit organization
Period Annual
Year 3rd Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 7.0 56 119.0 No turn

Start of activities 01/10/2018
End of activities 28/06/2019
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2008 course timetable

Examination board
Examination board not defined


Common characteristics of the Integrated Course unit

Prerequisites: Calculus 1 and 2. Geometry. Physics 1 and 2.
Target skills and knowledge: Basic knowledge of statistical mechanics, modern and quantum physics. Knowing how to use the Schroedinger's equation for solving simple problems. Knowing how to describe with quantum mechanics physical phenomena at the atomic scale.
Examination methods: Written exam with exercises and oral exam about the topics of the program.
Assessment criteria: Knowing topics and methods of quantum mechanics and their application to physical phenomena discussed in the course.

Specific characteristics of the Module

Course unit contents: A) Statistical Mechanics.
1) Random walk, binomial distribution, normal distribution, kinetic theory of gases, free mean path.
2) Postulates of classica statistical mechanics, micro-canonical ensamble,
3) Conditions for thermal equilibrium, canonical ensemble, definition of temperature, examples with non-interacting gases.
4) Applications: Maxwell-Boltzmann velocity distribution law, harmonic oscillator, partition function, equipartition of energy theorem, specific heat.
5) Generalised forces, entropy, thermodynamic limit, entropy in the micro-canonical ensemble.
6) Gibbs paradox, partition function for indistinguishable particles, 3rd principle of the thermodynamics, application to specific heats.

B) Quantum nature of light.
1) Black body radiation, absorbing and emitting power, Rayleigh-Jeans formula,
Planck's hypothesis, Planck's formula, photon energy.
2) Photoelectric effect, Einstein's explanation, photon momentum.
3) Compton's effect.

C) From Bohr's atom to de Broglie's hypothesis.
1) Emission and absorption spectra of atomic gases, emission spectrum of H, Balmer's formula, Rydberg's formula, atomic model of Thomson, Rutherford's experiment.
2) Bohr's postulates, Bohr's atomic model, Franck and Hertz experiment.
3) De Broglie's hypothesis, experiment of Davisson and Germen, Bragg's law.
4) Physical meaning of the wave function, Fourier transforms, waves in a dispersive medium, wave packet, group velocity, Dirac function, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle.

D) The equation of Schroedinger.
1) Construction of the equation of Schroedinger, step potential: reflection and transmission coefficients, tunnel effect.
2) Stationary states, bound states, degenerate states, infinite potential well, rectangular potential well.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Theoretical lectures and discussion of exercises. Lectures are given in Italian.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Lecture notes "Dispensa del corso Fisica Quantistica (Mod. A)" available through the website of the course on the e-learning platform of the Department of Physics and Astronomy "G. Galilei" (
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)