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PHYS 225 A: Introduction to Quantum Mechanics

Meeting Time: 
MWF 9:30am - 10:20am
PAA A118
Jason Detwiler

Syllabus Description:

MWF 9:30-10:20, PAA A118

Instructor: Jason Detwiler (
Office: PAB B444
Office hours: Mondays 1-2 pm and Thursdays 1:30-2:30 pm, PAB B444
When I'm available (most Mondays and some Thursdays), I will have my door open ~15 minutes early for ~5-minute one-on-one meetings.

TAs: Kade Cicchella, Steve French, Qianni Jiang, Shi Jin, Sam Kowash, John Lombard (office: PAB B422)

This course is an introduction to quantum mechanics. It will focus primarily on two-state systems because they are the simplest quantum systems that exhibit the quantum behavior that distinguishes quantum mechanics from classical mechanics.

Course goals:

  • Introduce you to the main features and calculations of quantum mechanics.
  • Prepare you for PHYS 324 (and to a lesser extent for PHYS 226).
  • Improve your ability to understand current physics in the news by laying a conceptual and mathematical foundation for understanding quantum behavior.

The textbook for this course is a special UW paperback set of selected chapters from David McIntyre's Quantum Physics, Pearson, 2012. Additional materials, including additional pages from McIntyre, will be posted as needed.

Poll Everywhere:
In-class questions (clickers) will use Poll Everywhere. 80% of your score is based on completeness / participation, while the remaining 20% is based on correctness. You only need to get 80% of the total available points to receive full credit. This is to accommodate technical difficulties, absences, etc.

Your course grade will be computed from the following elements:

  • Two midterm exams: 19% each
  • Final exam: 22%
  • Six homework assignments: 20%
  • Pre-lecture quizzes, surveys, and other online assignments: 10%
  • In-class assignments (such as clicker questions and worksheets): 10%

Homework Policy:
Homework is due at the start of class on the assigned due date. You may either hand in a hardcopy at the start of class, or post a pdf or photos of your solutions to Canvas. You may also submit a hardcopy of your homework early to Prof. Detwiler's department mailbox at any time up to 15 minutes before the start of the lecture during which it is due. Late homework may only be submitted online and is penalized at 25% per day for two days (including weekends and holidays), after which no further credit is available.

Catalog Description: 
Emphasizes two-state systems. Introduces spin and applications in nuclear magnetic resonance. Prerequisite: either a minimum grade of 2.0 in PHYS 227; or a minimum grade of 2.0 in PHYS 123 and MATH 136; or a minimum grade of 2.0 in PHYS 123, and minimum grade of 2.0 in either MATH 307 or AMATH 351, and minimum grade of 2.0 in either MATH 308 or AMATH 352. Offered: WS.
GE Requirements: 
Natural World (NW)
Section Type: 
Last updated: 
March 31, 2019 - 9:21pm