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Advanced Quantum Mechanics by Jeroen Danon, Yuli V. Nazarov

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9 Radiation and matter

Most introductory courses on physics mention the basics of atomic physics: we learn about the ground state and excited states, and that the excited states have a finite life-time decaying eventually to the ground state while emitting radiation. You might have hoped for a better understanding of these decay processes when you started studying quantum mechanics. If this was the case, you must have been disappointed. Courses on basic quantum mechanics in fact assume that all quantum states have an infinitely long life-time. You learn how to employ the Schrödinger equation to determine the wave function of a particle in various setups, for instance in an infinitely deep well, in a parabolic potential, or in the spherically symmetric ...

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