The microscopic world is fundamentally different from the macroscopic one we encounter on a daily basis. The classical view of particles, mass, and even location break down at the smallest scales. The development of quantum mechanics as a field in the 1920s was a fundamental leap forward for our understanding of atomic physics. Countless current technologies and scientific disciplines rely on the principles predicted by the quantum model. Despite this, quantum mechanics is deeply weird. Particles do not exist solely as particles, but also as waves. Fundamental physical properties such as position, momentum, energy, and time are subject to uncertainties that have nothing to do with measurement precision and everything to do with fundamental universal limits. In this course, we will discuss atomic physics, the wave-particle duality, the uncertainty principle, the application of Schröedinger equation, and quantum mechanical models of atoms.
While this course is intended as an upper level physics course, students with significant Chemistry backgrounds may find the material interesting and valuable.