Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

Recitations: 2 sessions / week, 1 hour / session

Course Goal

By the end of this course, you will be able to interpret and analyze a wide range of quantum mechanical systems using both exact analytic techniques and various approximation methods. This course is a continuation of 8.05 Quantum Mechanics II, and will introduce some of the important model systems studied in contemporary physics, including two-dimensional electron systems, the fine structure of Hydrogen, lasers, and particle scattering.


You must complete 8.05 Quantum Mechanics II with a grade of C or better before attempting 8.06.


The only required text is:

  • Griffiths, D. J. Introduction to Quantum Mechanics. 2nd ed. Pearson, 2014. ISBN: 9789332535015.

Other books which you may find helpful in understanding quantum mechanics are:

  • Cohen-Tannoudji, C. Quantum Mechanics. Vol. 2. Wiley-VCH, 1991. ISBN: 9780471164357. (Strongly Recommended).
  • Shankar, R. Principles of Quantum Mechanics. Springer, 2013. ISBN: 9781461576754. (Strongly Recommended).
  • Sakurai, J. J. Modern Quantum Mechanics. Addison Wesley, 1993. ISBN: 9780201539295.
  • Feynman, R. The Feynman Lectures on Physics. Vol. 3. Paperback, 2003. ISBN: 9788131792131.
  • Ohanian, H. Principles of Quantum Mechanics. Prentice Hall, 1989. ISBN: 9780137127955.


The relative weighting of problem sets, exams, and the term paper is as follows:

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

The lowest Problem Set grade will be dropped.

Problem Sets

Problem sets are a very important part of 8.06. 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 student to make their own attempt on every problem and then, having done so, to discuss the problems with one another and collaborate on understanding them more fully. After you have understood the problem, it is essential for your understanding to write up the solution completely by yourself. It is a breach of academic integrity to copy any solution from another student or from previous years solutions. Your solutions should be logical, complete and legible. If you cannot present a solution clearly, it is likely that you do not understand it adequately.


Cumulative mastery of homework is intended to be the primary learning tool in preparation for exams, and past years’ exams will be provided for further study. An excellent study strategy is to concoct and solve exam problems of your own making. You may bring two double-sided sheets of handwritten notes to the midterm and four sheets to the final exam.

Term Paper

The true highlight of this course is the term paper, which offers an opportunity to study in depth a quantum mechanical system not covered in the regular coursework. Every student will be expected to research, write, and “publish” a short paper on a topic related to the course content. The paper can explain a physical effect or further explicate ideas or problems covered in the courses. It can be based on the student’s own calculations and / or library research. The paper should be written in the style and format of a brief journal article and should aim at an audience of your fellow students. Writing, editing, revising, and publishing skills are an integral part of the project, which is described in full in a separate handout.

Because this course is a CI-M Subject, in order to pass the course you must obtain a grade of C or better on your term paper. If you do not succeed in this, you will get a grade of Incomplete until you revise your term paper sufficiently to earn at least a C, and only at that time you will be assigned a final grade based on the breakdown given above.

Course Info

Learning Resource Types

assignment Problem Sets
notes Lecture Notes
assignment Written Assignments
co_present Instructor Insights