8.06 | Spring 2016 | Undergraduate

Quantum Physics III

Instructor Insights

Course Overview

This page focuses on the course 8.06 Quantum Physics III as it was taught by Professor Aram Harrow in Spring 2016.

This course is a continuation of 8.05 Quantum Physics II. Topics include units, time-independent approximation methods, the structure of one- and two-electron atoms, charged particles in a magnetic field and time-dependent perturbation theory. Students research and write a paper on a topic related to the content of 8.05 and 8.06.

Course Outcomes

Course Goals for Students

  • Interpret and analyze a wide range of quantum mechanical systems using both exact analytic techniques and various approximation methods.
  • Gain an introduction to important model systems studied in contemporary physics, including white dwarf stars, two dimensional electron systems, the fine structure of Hydrogen, lasers, and particle scattering.

Curriculum Information


8.05 Quantum Physics II

Requirements Satisfied



Every spring semester

Instructor Insights

"I’ve to come to realize there are three things I need to teach related to each topic: the physical principle, the technique related to the principle, and an application of the technique."
— Aram Harrow

In the following pages, Aram Harrow describes various aspects of how he teaches 8.06 Quantum Physics III.

Student Information


41 students

Breakdown by Year

Mostly juniors

Breakdown by Major

Mostly physics and math majors


Grade Breakdown

The students’ grades were based on the following activities:

  • 25% Problem Sets
  • 15% Midterm
  • 25% Term Paper
  • 35% Final Exam

Instructor Insights on Assessment

Please see Prof. Aram Harrow’s instructor insights about providing students with feedback on their writing.

How Student Time Was Spent

During an average week, students were expected to spend 12 hours on the course, roughly divided as follows:


Met 2 times per week for 1.5 hours per session; 27 sessions total.


Met 2 times per week for 1 hour per session; 25 sessions total.

Out of Class

  • Problem sets
  • Term paper
  • Exam preparation

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2016
Learning Resource Types
Problem Sets
Lecture Notes
Written Assignments
Instructor Insights