Intermediate QM (Rutgers Physics 417) Guide for Spring 2018

About the Course and the Instructor

Professor Sunil Somalwar will be in charge of the class. The class will be held in SEC-207 on Mon/Wed 140-3pm. My whereabouts are as follows. Office: Serin W312 on Busch, Phone:848-445-8895, E-mail (preferred): Sunil.Somalwar@Rutgers.Edu I do research in experimental particle physics at the CERN laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland.

Seeing Me

I follow open door policy, which means you do not have to make an appointment to see me. However, you will generally not find me in my office in the mornings because CERN is six hours ahead of us, so my mornings are filled with meetings etc. To make an appointment, send me an email with two or three choices of afternoon meeting times. After lectures is also a good time to talk with me. There will be no office hour per se given my open door policy, and because students prefer to see me on their own schedule anyways. However, I can arrange an office hour if you would like me to.


Please talk to me right away if you have not taken the correct prereqs or feel unprepared in any way for this class.


Our textbook will be Introduction to Quantum Mechanics by David J. Griffiths, 2nd Ed., (Pearson/Prentice Hall).


This course covers material that you need to be exposed to before going to grad school. It seems that other places like Princeton take two semesters to cover this material, but for whatever reasons, we have only one semester to cover it. Bottomline, be prepared to be drenched by a quantum firehose. That is why hearing from you is extremely important for me. Your feedback (positive and negative) will allow us to tune the course better. Talk to me after class, in my office, by email, etc etc. You can also talk to our undergraduate director who can transmit your feedback to me anonymously.

Homework, Exams and Grades etc

Homework assignments will be worth 30%, class exam 30% and the final 40%. Homework and exam details are on the main webpage for the class. The course grades will be assigned on a relative basis, but the class size is too small for the grades to be "curved". In practical terms, it means that the grade boundaries will be adjusted after the final exam to take into account the level of difficulty of the exams etc. Do not panic if an exam happens to be difficult! I recall taking an undergraduate class where A grade began around 57%. Subjective factors such as your effort, attendance, participation during discussions, and improvement during the term will also matter for your final grade.

World Wide Web

Any updates, links to homeworks, exams and solutions, your scores, grades etc etc can all be found at

Administrative Assistance

Please contact the physics undergraduate director Prof. Steve Schnetzer or undergraduate program administrator Katherine Lam (Office: 201W, Phone: 848-445-8763, e-mail: for administrative help such as special permission.

Students with Disabilities & University student-wellness services

If you have a disability, you are urged to speak to me EARLY IN THE SEMESTER to make the necessary arrangements to support a successful learning experience. For further information about Rutgers disability services, student-wellness services, honors policy, laptop/cell-phone usage policy, and absence policy, click here.

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This page is maintained by Sunil Somalwar.