From 2 November 2020, the autumn semester 2020 will take place online. Exceptions: Courses that can only be carried out with on-site presence. Please note the information provided by the lecturers via e-mail.

402-2883-00L  Physics III

SemesterAutumn Semester 2016
LecturersJ. Home
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish

Catalogue data

AbstractIntroductory course on quantum and atomic physics including optics and statistical physics.
ObjectiveA basic introduction to quantum and atomic physics, including basics of optics and equilibrium statistical physics. The course will focus on the relation of these topics to experimental methods and observations.
ContentEvidence for Quantum Mechanics: atoms, photons, photo-electric effect, Rutherford scattering, Compton scattering, de-Broglie waves.

Quantum mechanics: wavefunctions, operators, Schrodinger's equation, infinite and finite square well potentials, harmonic oscillator, hydrogen atoms, spin.

Atomic structure: Perturbation to basic structure, including Zeeman effect, spin-orbit coupling, many-electron atoms. X-ray spectra, optical selection rules, emission and absorption of radiation, including lasers.

Optics: Fermat's principle, lenses, imaging systems, diffraction, interference, relation between geometrical and wave descriptions, interferometers, spectrometers.

Statistical mechanics: probability distributions, micro and macrostates, Boltzmann distribution, ensembles, equipartition theorem, blackbody spectrum, including Planck distribution
Lecture notesLecture notes will be provided electronically during the course.
LiteratureQuantum mechanics/Atomic physics/Molecules: "The Physics of Atoms and Quanta", H. Hakan and H. C. Wolf, ISBN 978-3-642-05871-4

Optics: "Optics", E. Hecht, ISBN 0-321-18878-0

Statistical mechanics: "Statistical Physics", F. Mandl 0-471-91532-7

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
In examination block forBachelor's Programme in Interdisciplinary Sciences 2010; Version 27.03.2018 (Examination Block 1)
Bachelor's Programme in Mathematics 2010; Version 24.02.2016 (Examination Block 1)
Bachelor's Programme in Mathematics 2016; Version 25.02.2020 (Examination Block 1)
Bachelor's Programme in Physics 2010; Version 24.02.2016 (Examination Block 1)
Bachelor's Programme in Physics 2016; Version 25.02.2020 (Examination Block 1)
ECTS credits7 credits
ExaminersJ. Home
Typesession examination
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionThe performance assessment is offered every session. Repetition possible without re-enrolling for the course unit.
Mode of examinationwritten 180 minutes
Additional information on mode of examinationStudents are allowed to take in 5 pages of notes written on both sides. Calculators are permitted but must not be used to store information. Formularies are allowed.
Written aidsMathematische Formelsammlung, Taschenrechner, max. 5 A4 Blätter (beidseitig beschrieben) handgeschriebene Zusammenfassung (keine Fotokopien!), Übersetzungswörterbuch.
If the course unit is part of an examination block, the credits are allocated for the successful completion of the whole block.
This information can be updated until the beginning of the semester; information on the examination timetable is binding.

Learning materials

Moodle courseMoodle-Kurs / Moodle course
Only public learning materials are listed.


402-2883-00 VPhysik III (Physics III)4 hrs
Mon11-13HPH G 2 »
Thu11-13HPH G 2 »
J. Home
402-2883-00 UPhysik III (Physics III)
Two exercise groups Thu 14-16 are planned to take place at the ETH Zentrum campus.
2 hrs
Thu14-16CAB G 56 »
14-16HCI D 4 »
14-16HCI F 2 »
14-16HCI G 7 »
14-16HCI H 2.1 »
14-16HCI J 7 »
14-16HG D 7.1 »
14-16HIT F 11.1 »
14-16HIT J 51 »
14-16HIT J 52 »
14-16HIT J 53 »
14-16HPT C 103 »
14-16HPV G 5 »
20.12.14-16HCI J 8 »
21.12.14-16HCI J 4 »
J. Home


No information on groups available.


There are no additional restrictions for the registration.

Offered in

Interdisciplinary Sciences BachelorCompulsory Subjects Examination BlockOInformation
Interdisciplinary Sciences BachelorElectivesWInformation
Mathematics BachelorExamination Block IWInformation
Physics BachelorExamination Block IOInformation