Physics 215C (Spring 2012)

Physics 215C, Graduate Quantum Mechanics, Spring 2012


Prof. Matthew Fisher 

Office: 6105 Broida Hall 
Phone: 893-3247 
Lectures: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:00-11:50 am, Girvetz 2120
Office Hours: Wed 3:30-5:00pm, Thur 3:00-4:00pm


TA: Christian Griset 


Office: 6224 Broida Hall, 909-996-7983

Office Hours: Tues 11:00am-12:00pm, Fri 2:00-3:00pm




Physics 215A and 215B usually cover a standard "core" set of topics.  But quantum mechanics is an extremely broad field with ongoing new developments that have yet to make it into the textbooks.  For this reason, the topics addressed in 215C tend to be rather open ended, and variable.  Subject to revision as the quarter proceeds, below are some of the topic I would like to touch upon: 



  • Landauer Transport theory for electrical conduction
  • Elastic and Inelastic scattering (dynamical structure factor)


  • Entanglement and Bell's Inequality 
  • Quantum Computation (in brief)
  • Feynman path integrals (instantons and tunneling)

 Many-body Topics:

  • Quantum Transverse Field Ising Model (Jordan-Wigner in 1d)
  • Second quantization for non-relatvistic Bosons/Fermions (revisited) 
  • Weakly Interacting Bosons; Superfluidity and Symmetry breaking
  • Non-relativistic Fermi gas (continuum and tight-binding model)
  • Quantized Electromagnetic field
  • Dirac Theory in 1d, 2d and 3d


Textbooks: The book by Sakurai used in 215A and 215B will be helpful when we discuss scattering, and the second edition of Sakurai has an extended chapter 7 including second quantizations, and an 8th chapter touching upon the Dirac equation.  But no single textbook covers the breadth of topics that we might discuss. I will try to make suggestions for textbooks/reading which might be helpful as we go along. 

Homework:  Roughly 5-7 homeworks throughout the quarter, available on the course web site.  Homework solutions also posted online.

Exams:  Probably a take-home final.

Grades:  Homeworks 75% and Final 25%

  • Homeworks available on this web site in pdf format, as will solutions
  • In addition to office hours, I would be happy to try and answer questions right after class. And we can always schedule a particular time. 
  • Feedback on any aspect of the course greatly appreciated.