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Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Applications of Quantum Mechanics

Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX

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In this quantum physics course, you will learn about the primary perturbative methods in quantum mechanics: degenerate and non-degenerate time-independent perturbation theory, the semi-classical WKB approximation, time-dependent perturbation theory, the adiabatic approximation, and scattering theory. Together, these approximation methods represent a valuable set of tools that are broadly applicable across almost all of physics. We will use these methods to study a variety of systems that do not admit analytic solutions, including the fine structure of hydrogen, tunneling rates, radiative decay and molecules. We will also investigate the quantum mechanical description of a particle in a magnetic field, and discuss the symmetries associated with multi-particle systems in detail.

This is the final course of a series of courses on edX:

  • 8.04x Quantum Mechanics
  • 8.05x Mastering Quantum Mechanics
  • 8.06x Applications of Quantum Mechanics

The course is based on the MIT course, 8.06: Quantum Mechanics III. At MIT, 8.06 is the final course in a three-course undergraduate sequence in Quantum Mechanics. 8.06 is a capstone in the education of physics majors, preparing them for advanced and specialized study in any field related to quantum physics.

Image source: Gerd Altmann


Please note that edX, Inc. has recently entered into an agreement to transfer the edX platform to 2U, Inc., which will continue to run the platform thereafter. The sale will not affect your course enrollment, course fees or change your course experience for this offering. It is possible that the closing of the sale and the transfer of the edX platform will be effectuated sometime while this course is running. Please be aware that there could be changes to the edX platform Privacy Policy or Terms of Service after the closing of the sale, although 2U has committed to preserving robust privacy of individual data for all learners who use the platform. For more information see the edX Help Center. In order to continue in the course after the sale, you will need to opt into continuing to use the site under the new ownership. Future offerings of this course will be run on a new MIT platform instead of edX/2U, beginning in 2022-2023.


  1. Time-independent non-degenerate and degenerate perturbation theory
  2. The fine structure of the Hydrogen atom
  3. The semi-classical WKB approximation
  4. Time-dependent perturbation theory
  5. Atoms and light
  6. Charged particles in magnetic fields
  7. The adiabatic approximation
  8. Scattering
  9. Identical particles

Taught by

Barton Zwiebach and Jolyon Bloomfield


4.8 rating, based on 15 Class Central reviews

Start your review of Applications of Quantum Mechanics

  • Anonymous
    A wonderful course. Very intense. Lectures of Prof. Zwiebach are very inspiring and clear. The problems and exercises are made with lot of care. Each problem is a piece of art. The problems require involved and careful calculations. I almost completed...
  • Mauro Lacy completed this course, spending 35 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.

    It was real fun to do this marathonic course. Highly recommended, particularly if you have enough time to dedicate to it.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    This course certainly requires a good background on the basics of quantum physics, and then, as you walk through a large set of lectures you gradually increase your knowledge and get a better feeling of the quantum world (you might love it more, or get...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Hi, I was a student and staff member for the course. This course was intensive, designed as a follow-on course to the introductory MITx 8.04x quantum mechanics, and the 8.05x Mastering Quantum Mechanics courses. The course taught advanced areas of quantum...
  • Profile image for Purvaash Shankar
    Purvaash Shankar

    Purvaash Shankar completed this course, spending 16 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.

    Boon given by MIT! This course was the first time I paid for a course on edX, and it was worth the money, time and effort. I audited the previous to courses, whose concepts are required to understand this course better. This course is the same as taken...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    This is an excellent course: puts you on the edge of research in field of quantum sciences. The staff and TA community are helpful and thoughtful people: Thank you Jolyon, Jim and Mark.

    The idea of ending the course with a research paper is just unique and valuable experience. The only side effect is that the course is huge load (More than 30 hours/week for me), but it depends on your background.

    I'd recommend it for Senior undergraduate students.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Wonderful course, but it is not self passed as quoted. This is a drawback since it is 3.5 times more effort and time consuming than previous MITx QM courses. Actually the course took more 30 hr per week to many students. I will take it again, hope it will be self passed next time will run.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    The depth and quality of this course are outstanding. A lot of work from many very smart people has gone into making this class, as well as 8.04x and 8.05x, and the complete sequence of 8.04x, 8.05x and 8.06x is really all you need to master Quantum Mechanics. Completing this class will make you ready to tackle any historical or current paper in Quantum Mechanics.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    This course is excellent in terms of every quality. It is structured very well. I was able to follow the material when I study properly. TA's were very helpful. The homework exceeded my expectations and helped me learn much more than I thought it would do. The instructor, Prof. Barton Zwiebach, is a master at teaching and describing the material.

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    This is an excellent course. The videos, the notes, the attention provided in the forum, everything is superb. I highly recommend it. Before enrolling, you should know that the course is quite demanding. Firstly you need a rather strong background in...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    I think all of the opinions posted describe very well this course. (I'm sitill studying it as I couldn't finish it spending around 15 hours per week but I left university 40 years ago). Professor Barton is wonderful, the staff- Jolyon, Mark and Jim...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Excellent quantum mechanics course. The video lectures by Prof. Zwiebach is very clear, the exercises and weekly assignments are challenging but interesting, and the TAs in forum are extremely helpful. There is even a term paper assignment, where we need to use the skills we learn in this course to explain some quantum mechanics related phenomenon. The TAs help me a lot. I've learned much out of this online course. Also recommend 8.04x - 8.05x that are in the same MIT's quantum mechanics series.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    There is no better course than this. Aptly scheduled for quantum mechanics and related fields. Combined with 8.04x and 8.05x on edx, this course is one of the best courses to ever exists. Neatly developed lecture notes, videos, exercises and problems. Highly interactive discussion forum. Definitely recommended course, you can't miss it.
  • David Brahm completed this course, spending 15 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.

    This is a serious advanced undergrad (or early graduate) MIT-level physics course, but the lectures/notes are world-class, and you will learn a lot if you put in the effort. New this year: you do have to register ($99) to take the exams and get credit for your written paper, but it is well worth it.
  • Profile image for Fedor Indutny
    Fedor Indutny

    Fedor Indutny completed this course, spending 12 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.

    Fantastic course with well-written exercises and instructive video lectures. The material covered includes various applications of Quantum Mechanics, including: perturbation theory, hyper-fine splitting, Fermi's golden rule, and many other topics.

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