FYS2140 – Quantum Physics

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Changes in the course due to coronavirus

Autumn 2020 the exams of most courses at the MN Faculty will be conducted as digital home exams or oral exams, using the normal grading scale. The semester page for your course will be updated with any changes in the form of examination.

See general guidelines for examination at the MN Faculty autumn 2020.

Course content

This course gives an elementary introduction to quantum physics, starting with a historical description of the developments of early last century which made it necessary to use a quantum mechanical description for phenomena such as black-body radiation, the photoelectric effect, and Compton scattering. From this starting-point we then develop a more formal quantum mechanics, and learn how to perform calculations on simple systems using the Schrödinger equation; we introduce Heisenbergs principle of uncertainty, the concept of spin and the Pauli principle. Finally, we look at uses of quantum mechanics to describe phenomena such as tunnelling, the properties of atoms and molecules, as well as some elementary nuclear and particle physics.

Learning outcome

After completing this course:

  • you will be familiar with the main aspects of the historical development of quantum mechanics and be able to discuss and interpret experiments that reveal the wave properties of matter, as well as how this motivates replacing classical mechanics with a wave equation.
  • you will understand the central concepts and principles in quantum mechanics, such as the Schrödinger equation, the wave function and its statistical interpretation, the uncertainty principle, stationary and non-stationary states, time evolution of solutions, as well as the relation between quantum mechanics and linear algebra. This includes an understanding of elementary concepts in statistics, such as expectation values and variance.
  • you will be able to solve the Schrödinger equation on your own for simple systems in one to three dimensions, both analytically and by using robust numerical methods. You will be able to use these solutions to calculate their time evolution, associated probabilities, expectation values, and uncertainties, as well as give concise physical interpretations and reasoning underlying the mathematical results.
  • you will have mastered the concepts of angular momentum and spin, as well as the rules for quantisation and addition of these. You can account for the phenomena involved in the Zeeman effect and spin-orbit coupling, what is meant by identical particles and quantum statistics, and you are able to perform calculations on systems of identical particles, for example to determine the symmetry properties of the wave function and total spin.
  • you can explain the physical properties of elementary particles, nucleons, atoms, molecules and solids based on quantum mechanics.
  • you will have developed your ability for independent analytical work in physics through a large mid-term project.
  • you will have developed an understanding of why both analytic and numerical solutions are important in quantum mechanics, and have acquired experience in using both types of methods on quantum mechanical problems.

Admission to the course

Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

Special admission requirements

In addition to fulfilling the Higher Education Entrance Qualification, applicants have to meet the following special admission requirements:

  • Mathematics R1 (or Mathematics S1 and S2) + R2

And in addition one of these:

  • Physics (1+2)
  • Chemistry (1+2)
  • Biology (1+2)
  • Information technology (1+2)
  • Geosciences (1+2)
  • Technology and theories of research (1+2)

The special admission requirements may also be covered by equivalent studies from Norwegian upper secondary school or by other equivalent studies (in Norwegian).


The first lecture is mandatory. If you are unable to attend, the Department has to be informed in advance (e-mail studieinfo@fys.uio.no), or else you will lose your place in the course.

The course extends over a full semester with 8 hours of teaching per week:

  • 4 hours of lectures
  • 2 hours of group sessions
  • 2 hours of problem solving

The course includes 11 weekly assignments, of which at least 6 must be submitted and approved to take the final exam.

Regulations for mandatory assignments can be found here.


To be eligible for the final exam, a minimum of 6 weekly assignments must be approved. 

The final grade is based on a written home assignment (weighted 20%) and the final written exam (weighted 80%).

Examination support material

  • Approved calculator
  • Rottman: "Matematisk formelsamling"
  • Øgrim and Lian or Angell and Lian: "Fysiske størrelser og enheter"
  • One A4 sheets of paper with notes (both sides)

Language of examination

The examination text is given in Norwegian. You may submit your response in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Resit an examination

This course offers both postponed and resit of examination. Read more:

Special examination arrangements, use of sources, explanations and appeals

See more about examinations at UiO

Last updated from FS (Common Student System) Nov. 28, 2020 5:11:37 AM

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