FUNDAMENTALS OF QUANTUM PHYSICS
Learning outcomes of the course unit
Applying knowledge and understanding of 1) the phenomena which brought to the classical electromagnetism crisis, 2) the simplest formalisms of quantum-mechanics, 3) their application to systems of relevance to electronic and telecommunication engineering, 4) the electrons behaviour in solids, 5) the role played by defects and lattice vibrations on the optical and electrical properties of solids, and 6) the derived technological applications.
Ability to apply the knowledge and understanding of the above issues related to simple, but basic systems 1) to the study of electronic devices, 2) to extend them to more complex systems which will be encountered by the engineer in view of new technological developments, and 3) to use properly and profitably the results offered by the experimental techniques for material characterization.
Mathematics. General Physics.
Course contents summary
Introduction to modern physics topics and their applications, including a) the experiments which brought to the quanta theory, b) the quantum-and wave-mechanical approach. The quantum-mechanics is applied to simple systems, but of relevance to understand the microscopic mechanisms which 1) determine the properties of materials and 2) originate the experimental investigation techniques of specific interest for electronic and telecommunication engineering.
A-Experiments which brought to the quanta theory. Gas discharge. Ions and mass spectrometer. Compton and photoelectric effects. Atomic and X-ray spectra. Stern-Gerlach experiment. X-ray and particle diffraction experiments. Electron microscope. Blackbody emission.
B-Quantum Mechanical approach to simple systems. Uncertainty, correspondence, and complementarity principles. Vibrating string equation. Eigenfunctions and eigenvalues. Quantum mechanics postulates. Free particle in a box: Schrödinger equation. Energy levels. Probability density. Application to metals, quantum wells, colour centres. Harmonic oscillator: Schrödinger equation. Energy levels. Probability density. Vibrational spectra of molecules. Hydrogen and hydrogenoid atoms: Schrödinger equation. Energy levels. Probability density. Rigid rotor, as simpler case. Rotational spectra of molecules. Potential wall and tunnel effect. Tunnel junctions and microscope (STM).
C-Solid State Physics. Aggregation states of matter. Periodic structures: direct and reciprocal lattices. Lattice vibrations: monatomic and diatomic linear chains. Acoustic and optical branches. Phonons. Inelastic scattering by photons and neutrons. Energy bands in crystalline solids. Kronig-Penney model. Dispersion curves. Classification of solids. according to band theory. Atomic force microscope. Electron dynamics. Effective mass. Fermi-Dirac statistics. Optical properties of semiconductors (direct and indirect gap), insulators, and metals. Photonic crystals. Lattice defects: vacancies, interstitials, impurities. Dislocations and grain boundaries. External surface. Thermodynamic equilibrium defects. Role of defects on physical properties of solids. Electrical conductivity: isoenergetic surfaces, role of lattice vibrations and defects.
Eisberg R., Resnick R. Quantum Physics of Atoms, Molecules, Solids and Nuclei, John Wiley ed. (New York), 1985.
Kittel C., Introduction to Solid State Physics, VI edition, John Wiley ed. (New York), 1986.
Capelletti R., Fisica Generale III, Notes of the course (in italian), Santa Croce ed. (Parma), 1997
Capelletti R., Fisica Moderna, Notes of the course (in italian), 2012 (Power Point file), available to students at the beginning of the course.
Lectures integrated by a limited number (4-5 hours) of exercises presented by the teacher to clarify some mathematical issues.
Assessment methods and criteria
The test is verbal.
The student is required to expose in concise, but comprehensive way, the program subject proposed by every question. The presentation should prove that the student has assimilated the related basic concepts and is able to present them in autonomous, clear, and correct manner. The recitation of the argument learned by heart in uncritical way is not admitted. As a rule three subjects are proposed to the student, every of them related to one of the three main topics of the program (A, B and C items of the extended program, respectively).