Teoretisk fysiks kursutväderingar

 

Resultat av: Advanced Quantum Mechanics, SI2380, HT2011

Status: Avslutad
Publicerad under: 2011-11-04 - 2011-11-22
Antal svar: 21
Procent av kursdeltagarna som svarat: 70%
Kontaktperson: Edwin Langmann

What is your general opinion about the course?

21 svarande

Very good9 42%
Good8 38%
Average4 19%
Bad0 0%
Very bad0 0%

- Very good and one of the most challenging courses. (Very good)
- Course was really interesting and useful. (Very good)
- The only major qualm was that Edwin was not around for the actual exam and would not respond to emails in the exam period. Overall however a engaging and challenging course. (Good)
- As part of International Master program, I think it should involve more relativistic quantum mechanics. (Good)
- More examples! Sometimes too much time spent on proving mathematical relationships, but without necessarily understanding the physical significance of the equations. (Good)
- The topics at the end are not very well covered, yet they are the most difficult ones. More time should be spent on scattering. (Good)


What is your opinion about the lectures?

21 svarande

Very good9 42%
Good8 38%
Average4 19%
Bad0 0%
Very bad0 0%

- Detailed and useful for applied physics students, I think. But for theoretical physics students, lectures should involve more theoretical part, for instance, give a detailed relation between green's function and perturbation theory, I mean use operator theory to derive perturbative series in terms of resolvent, it will help us to understand GF and perturbation theory in QTF. (Very good)
- I found it interesting to participate at lectures. It also helped for understanding the content of the textbook. (Very good)
- Very fast paced, but the presentation and explanation was excellent. (Good)
- I don't like that Edwin often says that we do not have time to go through certain things. Makes the course feel superficial at times. (Good)
- I would have liked to go deeper into the path integral formulation and relativistic qm. (Good)
- Lecturer is very competent and very knowledgeable. Always ready to take the time to answer questions. However, more physical (not mathematical) interpretations of the formulas would be appreciated. Real-life examples, such as experiments or technological applications, that give a context to the theories are always helpful to students. (Good)
- The peace was fast, but even faster when difficult concepts were explained. It should be the other way around. It was impossible for me to follow QFT explanations, yet a full hour was devoted to rotation matrixes (which I believe can be looked by students themselves in case they need a review on the topic). (Good)
- At points, too much information really. It was hard to take notes and follow what was going on on the board. (Average)


What is your opinion about the exercises?

21 svarande

Very good3 14%
Good9 42%
Average5 23%
Bad1 4%
Very bad2 9%
I did not participate1 4%

- Mycket bra, framf?r allt l?sningspappren! Mycket bra jobb med dem. Vet inte om risken blir att folk stannar hemma om du ger ut dem kv?llen f?re varje ?vning, men i s? fall skulle man hinna l?sa och j?mf?ra med sin egen eventuella l?sning och f?rbereda sig inf?r ?vningen. Alternativt skumma igenom l?sningen innan och antecka eventuella fr?getecken. (Very good)
- The exercise classes were quite bad at first but Johan improved significantly so I think the last 6-7 sessions worked well. (Good)
- Please erase the blackboards in order, and make sure they don't hide each other! Long calculations could be replaced by rough sketches when computing commutators. (Good)
- It was very helpful to have the solved exercises. (Good)
- Could be great to stress the physical interpretation of what we are doing. I mean, not just solving equations, but explaining why we do that, what it means, interpreting it, etc. (Good)
- No comment. They were as expected. (Good)
- The typed solutions were excellent, however at times it felt like attending the excercise classes was unecessary as it was simply a reading of solutions. I believe that a more informal interactive session would be benificial (ie. students work on problems in class and get one on one help from 2 or more demonstrators) (Average)
- I liked the problem solving on the blackboard but very often the physical picture and understanding of the problems being solved was forgotten.. (Average)
- This is by no means a criticism of the teacher here, but rather on the material chosen to be presented. The teacher was available to take his time to go over material after a lecture. However, more real-life examples, again such as experiments or technological applications, would have been appreciated. Instead of proving multiple short problems (basically math problems) it would have maybe been preferable to look at less problems, but take better time at understanding the underlying physics and giving examples of how the physics is used in the real world. (Average)
- We only correct exercises, it would be more interesting to do them in these exercise time with the assistant to help us in case (Bad)
- The teacher is doing exercices from a purely mathematical point of view without EVER discussing the physical meaning of the calculation. Even the problems at the end were done on a mathematical point of view, even though the exercices in themselves were very interresting, only that we never ever discussed the physical interpretation when a good teacher could have spent an hour discussing the various implications of a fomula. (Very bad)


How did you find the course textbook?

21 svarande

Very good9 42%
Good9 42%
Average3 14%
Bad0 0%
Very bad0 0%
I did not have access to it0 0%

- The book is really good, yet very long and covering many topics for just two months. I hardly managed to read it all properly. (Very good)
- Indeed, I used a pdf version but Sakurai is okay. (Very good)
- It was exciting experience to read it as it contains lots of links to additional material. (Very good)
- The first 3 chapters are the of the most contained and clear of any book I have tried. The final chapters become more cluttered and less structured. But overall a great text. (Good)
- Most of the explanations are good but some need clarification. So it's good that Edwin uploaded some additional notes on the course web page. (Good)
- Jag gillade den, inte den b?sta textboken jag haft, men helt klart en mycket bra bok. (Good)
- The Sakurai is good but is hard to understand for an introductory (Good)
- Even though the book is elegantly written I like the (old) book by leonard schiff better. I found it easier to read. (Good)
- Again here, I personally found it dry on too many occasions and many times reverted back to Griffiths, which I find to be much more "friendly". Of course, Sakurai is much more elaborate in his derivations (proves everything), but I don't believe it to be possible, even at this stage, to fully understand the subject that is quantum mechanics and so for this reason Sakurai can sometimes be overwhelming. Like Griffiths says in his foreword, his books is not designed to teach quantum mechanics, but rather how to use quantum mechanics, and I think that it might be preferable at our level to still go with this approach. It might be the engineer in me speaking, but I think it might be better for students to start by learning how to use QM without going into all the little details (too overwhelming). Then, as a result of continuously using QM, they will eventually come to fully understand the underlying theory, but the transition will be more gradual and easier to digest. That's why I prefer Griffiths in many cases, even if it's less rigorous. (Average)
- Rather advanced and difficult to read. (Average)


How did you find the course material on the course homepage?

21 svarande

(på denna fråga var det möjligt att välja flera svarsalternativ)

Very useful9 42%
Useful11 52%
Acceptabel0 0%
Useless0 0%
I did not know there was such material0 0%
I did not use it1 4%

- Generally just the necessary information, however everything required was present.
- I would put Very Useful if there weren't so many typos in the formulas (I've read all of the material). I think the explanation to addition of angular momenta was great, but even there were some typos. So I'll have to go with just Useful.
- Lite r?rigt i b?rjan med hur examineringen verkligen skulle g? till (inverkan av hemuppgifterna tex) men inf?r-KS-bladen var mycket bra; visade mer konkret vad man f?rv?ntades kunna. Tycker "det h?r ska du kunna efter kursen ?r klar"-punktlistor brukar vara ganska luddiga.
- It was really useful to know what we have to know exactly and what we actually know (makes a lot of know)
- As I just stated, Sakurai was sometimes hard to follow in certain chapters, so, along with Griffiths, I also used the online course notes as an alternative.
- The questions for the midterm tests were really good guide to read Sakurai's book and prepare for the midterm test. Previous exams were also good to have. Plus, typos were corrected in the homepage, some of which can drive crazy for a long time a lost student!
- Perfect !
- I found what I needed on there. Also I really liked the added material about perturbation theory and 1-D scattering theory!
- Old exams are good for getting to know what the examiners think are the more important things in the course. Links were useful.
- It was very convenient to have ability for checking logbooks.


How much work did you work for this course in comparison with other courses?

21 svarande

Much more9 42%
Somewhat more3 14%
Average5 23%
Somewhat less2 9%
Much less2 9%

- To the stage were it became necessary to neglect other courses. (Much more)
- It was the hardest course and I even worked during the holydays in August to prepare it (Much more)
- This course was really demanding (if we wanted to understand a bit the physics behind the equations), but it was worthy ! The longest part was solving the different exercises, but the Hints given in Q1/2/3/4 were very helpful (Much more)
- It felt like there was a lot more to take in than in other classes. Much more notes! Don't know how much my lack of previous knowledge played in though. (Much more)
- Jag har inte sett hur det gick p? tentan ?nnu, men det k?ndes som om jag h?ngde med hyfsat bra iallafall p? det som gicks igenom. (mycket var ju i princip en f?rdjupning av kvantkursen fr?n trean med Patrik Henelius). (Somewhat more)
- The work I did was adequate, I guess. I could have probably worked harder on certain material, but time did not always permit it. (Somewhat more)
- My work was not enough. Going to study more for reexam. (Much less)


How difficult did you find the course?

21 svarande

Very difficult5 23%
Difficult7 33%
Average9 42%
Easy0 0%
Very easy0 0%

- It was very difficult but not impossible. I had to work a lot for a good grade. (Very difficult)
- Since I did not have the right prerequisites most of the time I was really lost in the course (Very difficult)
- It is a very wide and difficult at the same time topic. (Very difficult)
- It was a lot of material to be covered in the course, and lack of time became the single greatest difficulty. The material in itself felt comprehensible, when time was found to go through it, due to good coverage both on the lectures and exercises and in Sakurai. (Difficult)
- However, I should say the difficulties of QM are always involving both theory and calculation. Since, few people truly understand the philosophical part, we just neglect this part, thus the difficulty seems only in calculation. Thus, this course is advanced in this favor. (Average)
- Average to difficult. Depending on the chapters. But the biggest difficulty was probably the pace that we are not used to. (Average)


How were your prerequisites?

21 svarande

More than enough8 38%
Enough11 52%
Not enough2 9%

- About calculations, really not enough. (More than enough)
- I had some QM courses in France, but maths-oriented. (More than enough)
- My Physics prerequisits were enough, and my mathematics were more than enough. (More than enough)
- Almost all content was new to me, however followed continously from previous courses. (Enough)
- I feel that my Fourier transform skills are not what they should be. (Enough)
- Det flesta grunderna hade iallafall jag fr?n kvant GK. (Enough)
- The basic QM course and mathematics courses were sufficient to understand the course. (Enough)
- I never did quantum mechanics before but my university asked me to take this one. (Not enough)
- I'm a swedish student but hadn't taken the basic course in quantum mechanics. I don't know how much this added to the workload, but a significant bit! (Not enough)


How satisfied are you with what you learned in the course?

21 svarande

Very satisfied9 42%
Satisfied9 42%
Disappointed3 14%
Very disappointed0 0%

- A much more engaging disection of quantum mechanics with clear applications. Previous courses focussed purely on derivations and fundamental concepts. (Very satisfied)
- What I enjoyed is that we had time to digest all the formalism. Whereas in France, here I understood the physics of all this - and not just the mathematical approach - (Very satisfied)
- Since quantum mechanics are useful in most of the physics course I'm glad to have learned it (Satisfied)
- Satisfied, but believe I could have gotten more insight/deeper understanding if we had more contextualization of the material. (Satisfied)
- This course gave me more insight into concepts not very well explored in basic QM: Dirac's notation, symmetries, operator and their structure... Yet, it was impossible for me to follow the end of the course: identical particles was still well-covered, but QFT and scattering were not. We had to work ourselves these two topics in merely 3 weeks. As a consequence, my knowledge on them is not good. (Satisfied)
- I had done most of what was in the course during previous courses, but never as a whole (Disappointed)


How did you find the exam?

20 svarande

Very difficult2 10%
Difficult11 55%
Average7 35%
Easy0 0%
Very easy0 0%

- I have not taken en exam for this course yet. (?)
- I had an idea as to what to do on each problem on the exam, but the time constraint made me make a lot of mistakes, and there were really never any time to correct them. (Very difficult)
- There was too many problems to solve in the time that was given. Being stressed out by the lack of time, I made several mistakes in my calculations because of the lack of time. Adding to this, I know I could given a lot better answers with more time. (Very difficult)
- Problem 5 and 6 were rather creative. Problem 6 was very difficult. (Difficult)
- The difficulty lines in calculations! But very meaningful to applied physics. It should be involve more pure theoretical derivation for theoretical physics students (Difficult)
- I had only two days to study this exam so I didn't have time to work everything, this is why i found it very difficult (Difficult)
- I found it difficult to adapt to the questions on the exam, not because I didn't know the answer, but because the concepts were asked in somewhat different way. It would be very useful, and I believe students would perform better, if a couple of days in the end of the course were spent solving previous exams. (Difficult)
- Again the exam was too mathematical and did not involved much the student's deep comprehension of the subject. A mathematician with basic physical knowledge could have passed. (Average)
- Bra med tre delar. Personligen gillar jag tentor som har en "a"-del, en "b"-del och en "c"-del, d?r a ?r lite basics och b och c ?r r?kneproblem med olika sv?righetsgrad. ?r inte helt f?rtjust i tentor d?r alla talen h?ller "samma" niv? s? att s?ga. (Average)
- I think the exam was fair and covered the essentials of the material we studied during the lectures. If there were any difficulties, they were rather due to a lack of knowledge on my part, or on the stress of knowing that the exam practically counted for my entire grade, than on the actual difficulty of the exam. (Average)
- The mid-term were an excellent tool to prepare the exam (but to be honest, I'm quite lazy so I can't be reliable on the question "how do you find the preparation") (Average)


How did you find the midterm tests?

21 svarande

Very useful8 38%
Useful13 61%
Not useful0 0%

- An excellent way to work continuously. Honestly, without the midterm tests, I'm sure that I would have been in trouble for the exam : I would have worked just the day before, it could have been successful, maybe not, but I wouldn't have worked enough to understand some things. (Very useful)
- Not so much the tests themselves, but the notes that were given out in advance for you to know. They helped A LOT to paint a picture of what was expected from you, and they were very well chosen! (Very useful)
- The midterms were useful in the sense they forced you to study, but I think there was not enough time for the amount of questions and that in order to answer the questions, you basically had to act like a machine that knew everything by heart rather than take the time to reflect and understand. It might of been better to have the exam for 2 hours instead of 1, make it count for a little more than just bonus points, and have really take the time to do it properly rather than rushing in one hour. (Useful)
- It was impossible to finish them on time. They looked like a race! But it was nice having some bonus points in the end and they accomplished their goal: they got us studying all period long. (Useful)
- Midterm tests are very good, they make you study earlier and the result gives a hint of your level. (Useful)
- Too little time, but good test (Useful)


How often did you look at course logbooks during the course?

21 svarande

Very often5 23%
Often11 52%
Sometimes4 19%
Rarely or never1 4%
I did not know there were logbooks0 0%

- approx. before/after each lectures (Very often)
- Probably every day including weekends during the whole course... (Very often)
- Often during the course and very often during the preparation for the exam. (Often)
- Not much to say here. (Often)


Do you think it would be better to have the course over two periods?

21 svarande

Much better6 28%
Better4 19%
Does not matter4 19%
Good as it is7 33%

- Definitely (Much better)
- If the course was over two periods, we would have had more time to study more applied physics, give applications of what we were studying and go a little further than just a bunch of formulas. We would have been able to give concrete examples that would help better demonstrate the physics behind the theories we studied and hence make the course even more interesting. We would have also had time to maybe do one or two homework assignments that could have lessened the weight of the final exam. (Much better)
- In order to cearfully study textbook it could be better to have more time. (Much better)
- It might be a good idea to give students somewhat more time to go through problems on their own, for example by having the course over two periods rather than one. (Better)
- Difficult question, however the course would still be intense and time consuming either way. However revision for the exam was easier considering that all the content was fresh in my mind. (Does not matter)
- It's good to have it over and done with. I would like more time for other courses in the 2nd period. (Good as it is)
- ?r v?l fortfarande samma po?ng som ska tas, vilket g?r att om man sprider ut kursen s? kommer det till arbete fr?n andra kurser som man m?ste l?sa parallellt f?r att f? r?tt m?ngd po?ng/termin. Nu l?ste jag bara tv? kurser vilket gjorde att man var mer inne i de tv? kurserna ist?llet f?r att blanda ihop tex fyra olika kurser med snarlikt inneh?ll. (Good as it is)
- Nope, it's just perfect as it is now. 2 periods would be too long. (Good as it is)
- Maybe if the speed was reduced a bit, one period is just fine for the course! (Good as it is)


Suggestions for how to improve the course

- Again: More interactive excercise classes, student to professor interaction during exam period... But overall an enjoyable and rewarding course. Thanks Edwin and Johan.
- Edwin often said that he does not have the time to go through everything in detail. Perhaps it's worth extending the course from 7.5hp to 9hp.
- Make less math and more physic. Skip faster on the basics and spend more time on the really interresting and difficult parts. Make an exam with fewer problems but more elaborate, with more questions.
- I know that the teacher is also a mathematician but I think it would be much better if there were more confrontations with experiments (like in the beginning with the Stern-Gerlach experiment). The current course is a bit too theoretical.
- I think it's hard to give suggestions for quantum mechanics, always! We got different fields of students, most of them are applied sciences, so I think you did great for this course, it will be useful to them.
- Eventuellt ovann?mnda, att distribuera ?vningsl?sningarna innan ?vningen. Men ?r nog b?de bra ? d?ligt med en s?n l?sning. Annars tycker jag det mesta varit positivt. Tack!
- Here are a few suggestions: 1) Make the course a 2 period course. This would give more time to assimilate the material and permit the implementation of my other suggestions. 2)Take less time to explain all the details of where the theory comes from (i.e. the Griffiths approach) and spend more time on what the theory can be used for. Instead of proving everything rigorously, make use of physical intuition (something that's actually good for young physicists to develop anyways). This brings me to my next point. 3) More examples. More context. More links to the real world, to experiments, to technology. Instead of saying that we have an arbitrary scattering potential with incoming particles and asking us to derive the scattering probability, tell us we have 2 isotopes that are being thrown towards a potential that, depending on the values of certain parameters, will permit the separation of the isotopes (uranium enrichment for nuclear reactors). Give us simple examples of this type that, even if they are not 100% accurate, give us a general idea of the workings of different technologies and experiments. Make the problems fun and exciting. Physics is cool, and the exercises should reflect that. 4) Give us more time to do the midterm exams. Even if I knew the material, I always seemed to be rushed and this led me to making stupid mistakes. Exams shouldn't be about how fast you can write down the answer of a problem you already did or how much problems you learned by heart, but rather how much you understood them. If this means making the midterms a bit harder, but in exchange giving us more time and more points (not just bonus point) for them, I am all for that. This alleviates the stress of the final exam as well, seeing as that we not only worked the course at a gradual pace, but that we also accumulated a significant amount of point in the process. 5) Give us some homework assignments with some fun problems that put the physics into context. I know that you might be reluctant to do so, because you might fear that students will simply work together and copy each other. This might be true (that's also why you have the midterms to test individual knowledge), but I can assure from personal experience that homework assignments are beneficial in numerous ways. I'll give you the example of my home university. Normally we get between 2 and 5 homework assignments during a course, with usually about 2 weeks to complete. Also, the professors, knowing that students will do the assignments together, usually makes the questions a little bit harder, but at the same time, since he's asking applied questions, this makes them all the more interesting. Then usually the students take the assignments, and start by going over them individually at first, trying to answer, or at least brainstorm, as much as possible. Then after a few days, the students usually meet in small groups and bring together their ideas on how to solve each problem up until where they got stuck, and then collectively try to draft the rest of the solutions. Once the group seems satisfied with the proposed solution, each member goes back and finishes the problems individually. If ever one member gets stuck again, he simply goes and asks another for advice. However, seeing as the problems are somewhat difficult and that not everyone is necessarily as ease with every question, the person that asked for advice on the first question can just as easily give advice on the next one. By the end of the process, practically everyone has played the role of giver and receiver. You might disagree, but I believe this entire process to be quite beneficial for numerous reasons. First of all, it works you communication skills as well as your critical judgment. You learn how to explain concepts that you have understood to your fellow classmates and when you receive information, you also learn how to judge whether or not the information you received is valid. This is great practice for discussing ideas and is very useful later in life if you ever work in research or in industry. In both cases (as I have experienced first hand), you never have an answer to everything (you learn how to be humble) and being able to discuss things with fellow colleagues is sometimes essentials to be able to further your research. The more scientists remain humble about their knowledge and take part in the sharing of ideas, the more science can make great strides. This should be hence learned at a very early stage. Secondly, the way the course is currently structured does not give us much of a chance to work together and get to know each other, both as physicists and as human beings. Again from personal experience, I know that some of my best friends back home are the people I work and study with the most. In a certain sense, when you have been working feverishly on a certain problem for so long with someone, you somehow feel more inclined to go have a beer or something with that same person afterward, since you feel take both of you understand what the other is going through. You become conscious of the work you're both going through (more so than if you were to work separately) and you hence form a type of bond with that person. Therefore, I believe homework assignments to be beneficial as the teach us to work together, to exchange ideas, to be critical in each others judgments and they helps get to better know each other. Also, once again, they help alleviate the pressure of the final exam, seeing as you already accumulate a certain amount points beforehand.
- Just make the exercises a bit more physics-oriented, and it would be perfect at all !
- I think having the course over 2 periods so that students can spend more time on each topic of the course is the best way to improve the course, because the rest is ok.
- all in all. Just reduce the speed of lectures a little bit. Definitely more time is needed for the midterms and the final exam. It really bugs me I couldn't perform my best because I didn't have time to finish problems properly!
- i suggested you that the lecture hand outs must uploaded upon the logbooks and solutions for exercise and problems. durning the cousre the solution of problems upload very late. so next time i hope student will not face such difficulty.


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