Quantum Mechanics II -- Physics 501 -- Spring 2020
Lecturer: W. Unruh.
Tel: 604 7365745
Teaching Assistant: Fan Yang
Web Site: www.theory.physics.ubc.ca/501-current
(For Assignments, Solutions, extra notes, this blurb, etc.)
Text:There is no "official" text book. The course will consist of
the lectures and reading which I will post.
Course Times: Lectures MW 12:30-2:00 by Zoom.
Course components: (The mark distributions are approximate)
I have not made the above mark distribution definite as I want freedom
to be able to adjust marks to take into account happenstances of the year.
- Midterms=about 20%
The midterm will take place
- Assignments= about 25%
There will be about 6 assignments throughout the term. It is important
that these be done on time. Solutions will be posted here on this web site
(www.theory.physics.ubc.ca/341-current ) Assignments will be due about 7 days after they are assigned
and solutions will be posted about three days later.
Late assignments will loose 5% per day, until the solutions are posted,
at which time you will get 0 for that assignment if it has not been handed in.
The solution posting time is the
time of appearance of the solutions on the course web page, which can be
accurately determined to the second. Note that assignments put into the box
outside my office after I have left for the day should be date-stamped by
some other responsible, disinterested person, so I know when it was put into
the box. DO NOT put them into the metal racks outside 311B as I do not look
for them there.
You may discuss the problems with each other, and approach either
me with questions (we will not solve the problems for you,
but will try to provide guidance as to how to think about the problems)
However, I expect all of you to write up and
understand your own solutions. Copying someone else's solutions will
not be looked on with favour. (Plagiarism-- the use of someone elses
material as if it were your own-- is a high offence in the university.
This includes copying other people's solutions to assignments
someone else do your work for you. People have been barred from the
university for such offences.)
I do encourage you to work together on assignments and on trying to understand the
questions, the course material or even how to do the problems by working
together. However you must write up your own solutions, using your own
understanding of the solutions in writing it up.
- Essay= about 25%
Due: Last day of classes.
Length: 10 pages.--ie, 3000 words
Format: Up to you. (Eg, if a web page would be more
suitable to the way you want to make your point, use that, or
if a tape, CD, DVD, MD would be useful, I can read those-- but
do not send me the computer files from proprietary editors
(MS Word, etc) assuming that I can read them on my computer. I
cannot. Of course you may use whatever document processor you
wish to in order to produce a printed paper copy, which I can read. I can
also accept postscipt or PDF documents for electronic submission.
If in any doubt, ask me.)
Make sure you reference your sources.
The essay topic is up to you to decide. It can be on any topic in the
Quantum Mechanics. This should be a chance for you to study in more depth some topic
which you would be interested in knowing more about.
Please make sure that you have an idea of what you want to write on by
the time of the midterm. You are expected to do your own (secondary
source) research on your topic, and any indication of a "canned" essay
(Ie, any essay written in whole or in part by someone else)
will be regarded with great disfavour by both me and the University.
(See the University Policy on Plagiarism in the calendar.)
(Students have been expelled for handing in essays written by others, or where
major sources were not attributed).
You are required to state your sources for the material you use with an
appropriate bibliographical reference. The format of the Bibliographical
reference I leave up to you, as long as it allows me to find the location of
You can use the Web as a bibliographical source, but treat it with
appropriate suspicion. Anyone can post anything on the web. Truth or
validity need not be a criterion for posting material on the internet.
Re the length. By 10 pages I mean about 3000 words, Title page, blank
inside pages do not count as "pages". The shorter the essay, the more
important the words contained in it are and it is hard (though not impossible)
to make a 2000 word essay so compelling that this makes up for its length.
Furthermore, very very few pictures
are worth 1000 words. While the use of pictures is encouraged, they should be
relevant and contribute to the understanding of the essay, and should be
minimal size to convey what they are meant to convey.
Essays over 4000 words annoy me, as I have to read them under time pressure at
the end of term. Annoying the
marker is never a good tactic. (Of course, if the
essay is so brilliant that I just cannot put it down, I might well not notice its
Line spacing should be 1.5 to double space.
Late essays will loose 5% of the maximum mark per week (or part of a week)
late. Thus if the essay is marked out of 20 marks, each week late will loose 1
mark. The maximum possible loss is 20%, but by that time the marks have to be in to the
dean, and you will get an Incomplete on the course. If that lasts long enough
the mark you get will be as if the essay had gotten 0.
- Final= about 30%
The final exam will consist of a number of questions of which you
will not have to answer all for maximum marks (ie, there will be some choice). It will test a
combination of your knowing the material and your ability to use it to
think about the world of sounds and music.
I expect everyone to pass, although offer no guarantees.
Purpose of the Course
The purpose of the course is to study some advanced topics In Quantum
mechanics. These will include topics in the interpretation of Quantum
Mechanics, Quantum Field theory, and time dependent perturbation theory, the
meaning of particles, Black hole evaporation, particle detectors and other
topics to be decided on later.
Copying, Plagiarism, etc
As you should know by now, copying and plagiarism are frowned up very
strongly by the university. I also get upset. I am perfectly fine with you working
together on the assignment but everyone should make sure that they write
up the solutions separately. Simply copying your friends assignment can
land you in very hot water-- i.e., do not do it. Working together on the
exams (Mid Term or final) is not acceptable.
Similarly, plagiarism is also
not to be done. This includes using an essay you have already used for
another course, copying other people's essays, buying essays
off the web or elsewhere, having someone else write your essay for you,
using material from the web or elsewhere without properly
referencing it, etc.
The Calendar has an extensive section on
Plagiarism and Citation described and
Discipline for Academic Misconduct and especially
Calendar entry on Academic
Please read them. Violation of these rules can lead to
disciplinary actions, ranging from a mark of 0 on the assignment/essay, failure of
the course, or expulsion from the university.
I do not pass essays through TurnItIn because I feel that their appropriation of your work
to further they own commercial interests without permission or compensation
makes my using it hypocritical. I do however have a fair knowledge of the
material on the web and in books, and have often been able to identify when people have
simply copied something. If I am very suspicious of a paragraph or so from
your essay, I might submit it on its own to TurnItIn without any reference to
you or the context of the larger essay.
Statement re Course content,Covid, and foreign laws
During this pandemic, the shift to online learning has greatly altered teaching and studying at UBC,
including changes to health and safety considerations. Keep in mind that some UBC courses might cover
topics that are censored or considered illegal by non-Canadian governments. This may include, but is not
limited to, human rights, representative government, defamation, obscenity, gender or sexuality, and
historical or current geopolitical controversies. If you are a student living abroad, you will be subject to the
laws of your local jurisdiction, and your local authorities might limit your access to course material or take
punitive action against you. UBC is strongly committed to academic freedom, but has no control over
foreign authorities (please visit http://www.calendar.ubc.ca/vancouver/index.cfm?tree=3,33,86,0 for an
articulation of the values of the University conveyed in the Senate Statement on Academic Freedom).
Thus, we recognize that students will have legitimate reason to exercise caution in studying certain
subjects. If you have concerns regarding your personal situation, consider postponing taking a course
with manifest risks, until you are back on campus or reach out to your academic advisor to find substitute
courses. For further information and support, please visit: http://academic.ubc.ca/support-
Note that I do not expect that the material of this course is considered
controvertial by any any government, but I do not know that. You will have to
come to a decision re that for yourself.
Copyright William Unruh 2021