Grad Quantum

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cato88
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Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:46 am

Grad Quantum

Postby cato88 » Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:35 pm

Is 1st semester grad quantum really 70% stuff you have seen as undergrad?

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dlenmn
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Re: Grad Quantum

Postby dlenmn » Sat Jan 03, 2009 1:02 am

No.

cato88
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Re: Grad Quantum

Postby cato88 » Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:09 am

could you be specific about what was different. For example is the material completely different , is it the same material with more rigor, mix, other? What book are you using? I know it could be different at different schools.

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dlenmn
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Re: Grad Quantum

Postby dlenmn » Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:15 pm

My guess is that grad QM is fairly similar at different schools. What I know (by comparing notes with my fellow first years) is that undergraduate preparation varies a great deal. People took between 1 and 3 QM classes, with different books, and teacher qualities. I'd say that repeat material ranged between 10% and 60% depending on the person.

As an undergrad, I took 2 10 week quantum courses. One was from Griffiths (isbn=0131118927), and the other was half from Sakurai (isbn=0201539292) and half from Griffiths.

The grad QM class was mostly from Sakurai (although Shankar (isbn=0306447908) was pretty useful. Sakurai will often comment on things which are completely obvious ("that's just the identity matrix divided by two." No ***.) but won't comment or provided examples on things which are very not obvious).

I'd say that there was maybe 50% overlap. Most of the stuff I'd seen from Sakurai, I saw again (mostly the formalism stuff like Dirac notation, and some other odds and ends like the path integral). However, there was less overlap with the Griffiths stuff -- Sakurai sticks all the wave function stuff in an apendix and expects you to know it already. So although we saw square wells, SHO, hydrogen atom, it was really building on what we knew already and there wasn't much overlap. The most direct overlap came when we did WKB. Most of the stuff in the last half of the grad class was all new to me (symmetries, spherical tensor operators, lots of angular momentum stuff (although a bit was in Griffiths), etc.)

I'll be taking grad QM II next term, and that may have more overlap with the second half of my second undergrad class (because QM II is more about applications/approximations).

cato88
Posts: 420
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:46 am

Re: Grad Quantum

Postby cato88 » Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:55 pm

Thanks there was a good amount of detail. That sounds a bit like I thought it would be except for some reason I thought applications would be overflow in.




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