Academic year
2018/2019 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
CM1303 (AF:281992 AR:158622)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
1st Semester
Course year
The course is one of the alignment courses, and is mainly meant for students having a biological curricula, which do not usually foresee the study of quantomechanics. It is an introduction to quantum physics that aims to give the basis needed to follow some of the later courses. The course introduces quantum physics by tracing its historical development, starting form the first experiments that undermined classical physics at the beginning of the XX century, and ending with the description of the one-electron atom by the Schroedinger equation.
The course makes use of simple mathematics, which can be dealt without gig effort also by students with a previous curriculum with low mathematical profile. The course Mathematical Methods for Physics, which runs in parallel to the present one, will give the students the tools to follow later courses where more abstract versions of quantomechanics are used.
By tracing the historical development, the student will be able to understand where classical physics showed its limits and which difficulties the scientists of the XX century needed to tackle in order to come up with a new scientific paradigma. This historical approach based on the description of the key experiments, will give the student a more tangible vision of quantomechanics, which will allow her/him to deal with the more abstract methods used in the later course with greater awareness.
Basic Mathematics and Physics: vectors, complex numbers, derivatives, integrals, classical mechanics, thermodynamics, electromagnetism, waves. Knowledge of relativity theory is not required, but the students is invited to read the Appendix on this subject present in the textbook, in order to put into context the few equations that will be used.
Waves' particle properties
- Young experiment
- Back body radiation
- photoelectric effect
- Bragg equation
- Compton effect

Particles' wave properties
- De Broglie waves
- phase and group velocity
- Heisenberg indetermination principle

Quantum mechanics
- Schrödinger's equation, expected values
- time-independent Schrödinger's equation, eigenfunctions' properties
- Zero potential, squared and well potential, finite and infinite, tunnel effect, simple harmonic oscillator

One electron atom
- Schrödinger equation for the hydrogen atom
- eigenvalues, quantum numbers and degeneration
- Probability density
- Orbital angular momentum
R. Eisberg, R. Resnick, Quantum Physics, John Wiley & Sons, USA, 1985
The progress in learning will be checked through the oral discussion of specific topics pertaining to the theory developed during the classes. The discussion will last about 45 minutes. The student will have to show that she/he understood the topic and that she/he is able to present ii in a formal way using the appropriate scientific language and following a logical consequent way.
The topics are presented by using a power point presentation only when images are needed (pictures of the scientists, sketches and photos of the historical experiments), otherwise the theory is developed on the chalkboard.
Accessibility, Disability and Inclusion

Accommodation and support services for students with disabilities and students with specific learning impairments:
Ca’ Foscari abides by Italian Law (Law 17/1999; Law 170/2010) regarding supportservices and accommodation available to students with disabilities. This includes students with mobility, visual, hearing and other disabilities (Law 17/1999), and specific learning impairments (Law 170/2010). In the case of disability or impairment that requires accommodations (i.e., alternate testing, readers, note takers or interpreters) please contact the Disability and Accessibility Offices in Student Services:
Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 30/09/2018