Thursday, 3 October 2013

Exam Time again

Well it's that time of year again for me (twice in one year) I have my quantum mechanics exam on Monday
I did my first practice past paper under exam conditions today and got borderline grade3/grade2 part of the problem is there is just not enough time available. For part 1 you have to answer 10 so called short questions in 1 hour and 30 minutes and then there are three long questions which you are supposed to allocate 30 mins to. This means that you almost have to download the already prepared answers in your head if you are to stand any chance of a grade 2.

The short questions seem to range over a variety of topics whereas the long questions can be grouped into 3 quite distinct groups

PArt 1 A question on a particle in a potential usually square but sometimes they will throw a wobbly and ask about a non square potential or just some general type questions. This is a banker question

Then there appears to be a choice between a question involving Transmission or reflection at a boundary or one on Harmonic oscillator raising and lowering operators. Will hope the question on potential is reasonable

Part 2 A question on spin states in a magnetic field again a banker question the alternative is usually a question on the Bell inequalities

Part 3 A question on hydrogen atom wave functions which could get messy however it's a topic I feel reasonably confident in although in my trial I couldn't for the life of me see how to get the normalisation of a given hydrogen atom wave function correct.

The second question is usually on something involving molecules, solid state physics, perturbation theory or Transistions induced by radiation. I've not paid much attention to this part which comes at the end of the course so I'll go for the question on Hydrogen atom wavefunctions. If it looks really tough then if a question on perturbation theory comes up I'm reasonably confident I could tackle that one.

In part 1 typical questions include normalising a wave function via the coefficient rule. Calculating a probability density function from Born's rule. A bit on hermitian operators, one or two questions on the Bell Inequalities and spin states, Then a whole bunch of questions on either molecular or atomic orbitals
Selection rules between states induced by radiation one or two waffly questions on solid state physics and so forth

Ok prediction top end of grade 3 or if I'm lucky grade 2

On another note I've got the material for Number Theory and Logic which has officially started  but so far apart from a quick glance I've not had any chance to look at it. The first unit looks reasonably straightforward covering Triangular numbers, Induction and Divisibilty some of which was covered in the last unit of MST221 so hopefully I will be able to get up to speed,

Post match analysis on Tuesday till then that's all folks

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