Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

Recitations: 2 sessions / week, 1 hour / session

Topics Covered

  • General Structure of Quantum Mechanics
  • Quantum Dynamics
  • Two-state Systems
  • Angular Momentum and Spin
  • The Radial Equation and Operator Methods
  • Addition of Angular Momentum
  • Introduction to the Quantum Mechanics of Identical Particles

Topics covered, in detail (PDF)


Buy at Amazon Griffiths, David J. Introduction to Quantum Mechanics. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004. ISBN: 9780131118928.
(Required; useful for both 8.05 and 8.06.)

Buy at Amazon Ohanian, Hans. Principles of Quantum Mechanics. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1989. ISBN: 9780137127955.
(Recommended, complementary to Griffiths; more emphasis on operator methods but less depth on some other topics.)

Buy at Amazon Shankar, Ramamurti. Principles of Quantum Mechanics. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Plenum Press, 1994. ISBN: 9780306447907.
(Chapter 1 is particularly useful for the first part of 8.05, copies will be provided; rest of the book is recommended.)

Buy at Amazon Feynman, R. P. Feynman Lectures On Physics. Vol. 3. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley Longman, 1970. ISBN: 9780201021158.
(A useful supplement for much of 8.05. Chapter 9 on the ammonia maser is particularly useful and will be provided.)

Buy at Amazon Cohen-Tannoudji, Claude. Quantum Mechanics. 2 vols. New York, NY: Wiley, 1977. ISBN: 9780471164326.
(Some students find Cohen-Tannoudji useful for both 8.05 and 8.06; other students find it too encyclopedic.)

Buy at Amazon Sakurai, J. J. Modern Quantum Mechanics. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Pub., 1994. ISBN: 9780201539295.
(Good treatment of the two-state system - copies of this section will be provided - but this text is somewhat more advanced than 8.05 in other respects.)

Buy at Amazon Gasiorowicz, Stephen. Quantum Physics. 3rd ed. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2003. ISBN: 9780471057000.
(Familiar from 8.04.)

Prerequisites and Review Material

You must complete Quantum Mechanics I (8.04) with a grade of C or better before taking 8.05. Familiarity with Linear Algebra (18.06) will be very helpful. If you are rusty and would like to review material covered in 8.04, you should read Chapters 1-2 of Griffiths. If you want instead to review from a source that is more familiar from 8.04, reread Chapters 3, 4, 5, 7 of Liboff or Chapters 2-5 of Gasiorowicz.

Grading and Exams

Grades will be determined by a weighted average of problem sets, a midterm, and a final exam as shown in the table below:

Problem Sets 35%
Midterm 25%
Final Exam 40%


The faculty may alter grades to react class participation, improvement, effort and other qualitative measures of performance.

Problem Sets

Problem sets are a very important part of 8.05. We believe that sitting down yourself and trying to reason your way through a problem not only helps you learn the material deeply, but also develops analytical tools fundamental to a successful career in science. We recognize that students also learn a great deal from talking to and working with each other. We therefore encourage each 8.05 student to make his/her own attempt on every problem and then, having done so, to discuss the problems with one another and collaborate on understanding them more fully. The solutions you submit must reflect your own work. They must not be transcriptions or reproductions of other people's work.