Physics 480 - Quantum Mechanics
Fall Semester, 2006

Classes meet Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 11:00 - 11:50 am, in Physics 0043.
Office hours:  Monday and Wednesday, noon - 1 pm, Room A417,  Zaffarano.

Course Web site:

Grading Scheme:
Problem Sets:                      10 %
Midterm Exams I and II:      25 % each [Example Physics 480 exams: midterm 2004, midterm I 2005, midterm II 2005]
Final Exam:                          40 % [Example Physics 480 exams: final 2004, final 2005]

Instructor:  Professor Soeren Prell
My research is in experimental elementary particle physics.  I am a member of the BABAR collaboration at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, an international, 600-person collaboration studying fundamental differences between the way matter and antimatter evolve in time (CP violation). I have been on the faculty at Iowa State University since Fall 2002. I have taught Physics 480 in 2004 and 2005. This is my third time teaching Physics 480.

Campus Location:  Room A417, Zaffarano.
Telephone: 294-3853
Office hours:  Monday and Wednesday,  noon - 1 pm, Room A417,  Zaffarano.

Grader:  Wanyu Ye

Required Textbook:  Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (second edition), David J. Griffiths, Prentice Hall, 2004.
In the Fall semester, we will cover Chapters 1 through 4 and 6. For an approximate schedule and homework problems see here.
This book will also be the text for the first part of Physics 481 next spring. There will be additional supplements for Physics 481.

Other Recommended Textbooks for Reference:
I highly recommend that you read other quantum mechanics texts to get a different perspective on the same material.  You should peruse several of the text books listed below to find the style that suits you best. We will sometimes use supplementary material from the second book in the list (Cohen-Tannoudji), especially in Physics 481.

A better understanding of the mathematical methods used in Quantum Mechanics can be obtained from books such as the ones listed below.

Useful Resources for Physical Constants and Integral Tables:

You are encouraged to look up complicated integrals in integral tables or use a computer to solve them.

  1. "Mathematica" software is installed on the computers in room 53 for you to use. If you are unfamiliar with Mathematica the basic commands are described e.g. at
  2. "Table of Physical Constants" (from the Particle Data Group web site):
  3. Table of Basic Integrals:
  4. "The Integrator" web page from Mathematica: alternative to mathematical tables of integrals)
  5. Look-up Table of Integrals:
  6. Pocket Book of Integrals and Mathematical Formulas (Third Edition), byRonald J. Tallarida (Amazon Price:$25.00)


If you have a disability and require accommodations, please contact me early in the semester so that your learning needs may be appropriately met. You will need to provide documentation of your disability to the Disability Resources (DR) office, located on the main floor of the Student Services Building, Room 1076, 515-294-6624.

Page Author:  Soeren Prell
Last Significant Update:  August 9, 2006