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Applications of Quantum Mechanics

This course focuses on essential techniques needed for practical applications and research in Quantum Mechanics. We introduce a variety of approximation methods to understand systems that have no analytic solutions.

Applications of Quantum Mechanics

There is one session available:

7,725 already enrolled! After a course session ends, it will be archived.
Started Sep 29
Ends Feb 2, 2022
Estimated 19 weeks
12–16 hours per week
Instructor-led on a course schedule
Optional upgrade available

About this course

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In this quantum physics course, you will learn about the primary perturbative methods in quantum mechanics: degenerate and non-degenerate time-independent perturbation theory, the semi-classical WKB approximation, time-dependent perturbation theory, the adiabatic approximation, and scattering theory. Together, these approximation methods represent a valuable set of tools that are broadly applicable across almost all of physics. We will use these methods to study a variety of systems that do not admit analytic solutions, including the fine structure of hydrogen, tunneling rates, radiative decay and molecules. We will also investigate the quantum mechanical description of a particle in a magnetic field, and discuss the symmetries associated with multi-particle systems in detail.

This is the final course of a series of courses on edX:

  • 8.04x Quantum Mechanics
  • 8.05x Mastering Quantum Mechanics
  • 8.06x Applications of Quantum Mechanics

The course is based on the MIT course, 8.06: Quantum Mechanics III. At MIT, 8.06 is the final course in a three-course undergraduate sequence in Quantum Mechanics. 8.06 is a capstone in the education of physics majors, preparing them for advanced and specialized study in any field related to quantum physics.

Image source: Gerd Altmann


Please note that edX, Inc. has recently entered into an agreement to transfer the edX platform to 2U, Inc., which will continue to run the platform thereafter. The sale will not affect your course enrollment, course fees or change your course experience for this offering. It is possible that the closing of the sale and the transfer of the edX platform will be effectuated sometime while this course is running. Please be aware that there could be changes to the edX platform Privacy Policy or Terms of Service after the closing of the sale, although 2U has committed to preserving robust privacy of individual data for all learners who use the platform. For more information see the edX Help Center. In order to continue in the course after the sale, you will need to opt into continuing to use the site under the new ownership. Future offerings of this course will be run on a new MIT platform instead of edX/2U, beginning in 2022-2023.

At a glance

  • Institution: MITx
  • Subject: Physics
  • Level: Advanced
  • Prerequisites:

    Learners should be familiar with quantum mechanics at the level of 8.05x

  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English

What you'll learn

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In this course you will:

  • Model complicated systems using quantum mechanics
  • Construct various approximation schemes in quantum mechanics
  • Develop your understanding of the time dependent processes in quantum mechanics
  • Explain a quantum phenomenon in a written paper
  1. Time-independent non-degenerate and degenerate perturbation theory
  2. The fine structure of the Hydrogen atom
  3. The semi-classical WKB approximation
  4. Time-dependent perturbation theory
  5. Atoms and light
  6. Charged particles in magnetic fields
  7. The adiabatic approximation
  8. Scattering
  9. Identical particles

Learner testimonials

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“I have completed more than 30 MOOCs and 8.04x/8.05x are among the very best I have done. Clear, organized lectures and accompanying lecture notes, challenging but doable problems, and a helpful discussion forum. This series provides an excellent and accessible introduction to Quantum Mechanics. I am eagerly awaiting 8.06x!”

About the instructors

Frequently Asked Questions

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I’ve taken 8.04x. Will I be able to do this course?

We recommend taking 8.05x the next time it runs, and then joining us for 8.06x afterwards. It would be difficult to successfully pass this course without all of the prerequisite knowledge.

Who can take this course?

Unfortunately, learners residing in one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this course: Iran, Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine. While edX has sought licenses from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer our courses to learners in these countries and regions, the licenses we have received are not broad enough to allow us to offer this course in all locations. edX truly regrets that U.S. sanctions prevent us from offering all of our courses to everyone, no matter where they live.

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