Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

Recitations: 2 sessions / week, 1 hour / session

Topics Covered

  • Natural Units
  • Degenerate Fermi Systems
  • Charged Particles in a Magnetic Field
  • Time-independent Perturbation Theory
  • Variational and Semi-classical Methods
  • The Adiabatic Approximation and Berry's Phase
  • Scattering
  • Time-dependent Perturbation Theory
  • Quantum Computing

Topics covered, in detail (PDF)


Griffiths, David J. Introduction to Quantum Mechanics. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004. ISBN: 9780131118928. (Required)

Cohen-Tannoudji, Claude. Quantum Mechanics. 2 vols. New York, NY: Wiley, 1977. ISBN: 9780471164326. (Required)

Sakurai, J. J. Modern Quantum Mechanics. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Pub., 1994. ISBN: 9780201539295. (Recommended if you like it; somewhat advanced)

Shankar, Ramamurti. Principles of Quantum Mechanics. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Plenum Press, 1994. ISBN: 9780306447907. (Recommended if you like it; somewhat advanced)

Ohanian, Hans. Principles of Quantum Mechanics. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1989. ISBN: 9780137127955.


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


Grades will be determined by a weighted average of problem sets, a Midterm that will be held in class, a Term Paper, and a Final Exam. The faculty may alter grades to reflect class participation, improvement, effort and other qualitative measures of performance.

Problem Sets 30%
Midterm Exam 15%
Term Paper 20%
Final Exam 35%


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 8.06 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. Plagiarism is a serious offense and is easy to recognize. Don't submit work which is not your own.

Term Paper

Everyone in 8.06 will be expected to research, write and "publish" a short paper on a topic related to the content of 8.05 or 8.06. 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 8.06 students. Writing, editing, revising and "publishing" skills are an integral part of the project, which is described in full in the projects section.

Because 8.06 is a CI-M (Communication Intensive in the Major) Subject, in order to pass 8.06 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.