Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

Recitations: 2 sessions / week, 1 hour / session


To register for this course, students must have completed 8.04 Quantum Mechanics I with a grade of C or higher.

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

Required Textbooks

Griffiths, David J. Introduction to Quantum Mechanics. 2nd ed. Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004. ISBN: 9780131118928.

Shankar, Ramamurti. Principles of Quantum Mechanics. 2nd ed. Plenum Press, 1994. ISBN: 9780306447907.


Cohen-Tannoudji, Claude. Quantum Mechanics. 2 vols. Wiley, 2006. ISBN: 9780471164326. (Useful for 8.05 and 8.06: Some students find it too encyclopedic.)

Dirac, P. A. M. The Principles of Quantum Mechanics. 4th ed. Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1958. (Quantum mechanics from the Master. Deep, hard and rewarding to read, but probably in the summer.)

Feynman, R. P. Feynman Lectures On Physics. Vol. 3. Addison Wesley Longman, 1970. ISBN: 9780201021158. (Ch. 6 on spin and Ch. 9 on the ammonia maser are particularly useful.)

Ohanian, Hans. Principles of Quantum Mechanics. Prentice Hall, 1989. ISBN: 9780137127955. (More emphasis than Griffiths on operator methods but less depth on some other topics.)

Sakurai, J. J. Modern Quantum Mechanics. Addison-Wesley Pub., 1993. ISBN: 9780201539295. (A revision of the text by Sakurai. Advanced for 8.05.)

Axler, Sheldon. Linear Algebra Done Right. 2nd ed. Springer, 1997. ISBN: 9780387982595. (A conceptual introduction to vector spaces and linear operators.)

Problem Sets

There is a problem set every week. The main purpose of the problem sets is to help learn quantum mechanics, not to grade performance. They are included in the final grade as a safety net in the event exams do not consistently reflect a student's understanding.

Sitting down by yourself and reasoning your way through a problem will help you learn the material deeply, identify concepts that are not clear, and develop the analytical skills needed for a successful career in science. If you can solve the problems by yourself, you can expect to do well on the exams. After trying to solve a problem without success, seek help from staff or classmates. Many students learn a great deal from talking to each other. Identify what was preventing you from solving the problem and write up the solution 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. The graders are instructed not to give credit for unclear or illegible solutions.


Cumulative mastery of homework is intended to be the primary learning tool in preparation for exams. There will be an hour and a half closed-book test during the normal lecture time. There will be a three-hour final exam scheduled during the final exam period.


The relative weighting of exams and problems sets will be as follows:

Midterm Exam 25
Final Exam 45
Problem Sets 30