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Courses Classes for QM

  1. Aug 3, 2016 #1
    So, I'm a undergraduate student. And I want to know what classes should I take to work with Quantum mechanics or Particle Physics in the future.
    I want a good general physics knowledge too.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 3, 2016 #2
    Nice choice, I like that too.
    Take some Quantum Mechanics courses as a starter. A university may for example have QM 1, QM2, QM3, with QM1 covering the basics of wave mechanics in one dimension, solving Schrodinger equation, scattering, basics of spin, then in 3D angular momentum, the hydrogen atom. QM2 may cover addition of angular momentum, perturbation theory, and lots of applications and approximation methods. QM3 may cover relativistic QM, with an introduction to Feynman diagrams, the Klein Gordon equation, and the dirac equation and perturbative scattering theory.

    For the mathematical tools that you will need, taking a course that talks about classical lagrangian and hamiltonian mechanics is helpful. Also you definitely need linear algebra and vector calculus. Also you should know well classical electromagnetism and special relativity if you want to get into Particle Physics. Many applications of QM are also within the real of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, so those subjects will solidify your understanding. Obviously for QM, you will need to have a good understanding of classical mechanics too. I expect universities will teach those subjects anyway.

    There are a couple of relevant courses for Particle Physics. A university may have a course called Elementary Particle Physics, which talks about the standard model at an introductory level. To get more advanced take courses with titles like 'Symmetry and Group theory'. This will be the foundations to your particle physics knowledge. Also take courses in Quantum Field Theory. These may only appear at the master and PhD level though and there will also be many, like QFT1, QFT2, QFT3. At a more advanced level for people who know some QFT, there may be classes in Particle Physics which really delve into the subject and maybe in the end you will study Physics beyond the Standard Model.

    Of course you can't take all the classes you want, but particle physics is related to other areas too. For example if you want to study the early universe you can take general relativity, cosmology and particle physics. Many other applications in astrophysics require particle physics. If you want to work on quantum gravity and theories of everything, you also should know particle physics well.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2016
  4. Aug 3, 2016 #3
    Wow, thanks! You gave me a nice overview!
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