Introduction to Quantum Physics (F3241)

15 credits, Level 4

Autumn teaching

This module gives you an introduction to the foundations of modern physics. It covers the following topics:

  • The historical context, including physics in the 19th century.
  • Black-body radiation, Planck's quanta, photons, photoelectric effect and the Compton effect.
  • Atoms, atomic spectra, Franck-Hertz and the Stern-Gerlach experiments.
  • The Bohr theory of the atom.
  • De Broglie waves.
  • Heisenberg uncertainty principle
  • Bosons and Fermions, antimatter and Bose-Einstein condensates.
  • The periodic system of elements.
  • Relativity from a historical perspective.
  • Inertial frames and transformations amd Newton's laws in inertial frames.
  • The Michelson-Morley experiment - observed constancy of speed of light and Einstein's assumptions.
  • Lorentz-Einstein transformations, Minkowski diagrams, Lorentz contraction and time dilation.
  • Transformation of velocities - stellar aberration, variation of mass and mass-energy equivalence.
  • Lorentz transformations for momentum and energy.

Teaching and assessment

We’re currently reviewing teaching and assessment of our modules in light of the COVID-19 situation. We’ll publish the latest information as soon as possible.

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 44 hours of contact time and about 106 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2021/22. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. However, we are constantly looking to improve and enhance our courses. There may be changes to modules in response to student demand or feedback, changes to staff expertise or updates to our curriculum. We may also need to make changes in response to COVID-19. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: