MAGIC101: Advanced Quantum Theory

Course details

A specialist MAGIC course


Spring 2023
Monday, January 23rd to Friday, March 31st


Live lecture hours
Recorded lecture hours
Total advised study hours


13:05 - 13:55

Course forum

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The aim of this module is to extend knowledge of quantum mechanics from undergraduate courses by emphasizing its overall mathematical structure, as well as its applications to a wide range of topics in mathematical physics.

We will introduce an abstract framework for quantum theory, based on tools from the theory of operator algebras, which is general enough to describe all its subareas: quantum mechanics, quantum statistical mechanics (including thermodynamics in infinite volume), quantum field theory on Minkowski space and on curved spacetimes, as well as including classical probability theory as a special case. 


Students should have attended either a first course in quantum mechanics, or have some knowledge of operator theory (on infinite dimensional Hilbert spaces); ideally both, but participants with experience in either area are welcome. 

For some lectures, familiarity with other topics in Theoretical/Mathematical Physics will be helpful, such as Genera Relativity / differential geometry. 


The presentation style is expository, i.e., each lecture will give an overview of a subject area, rather than working out the technical details.

A tentative list of topics is: 
  • Probability theory 
  • Basics of quantum theory 
  • Algebras, states, GNS representation 
  • Thermodynamics and the KMS condition 
  • Free quantum fields on Minkowski space 
  • Linear quantum fields on curved spacetimes 
  • Frameworks for interacting quantum field theories 


  • HB

    Dr Henning Bostelmann

    University of York


No bibliography has been specified for this course.


The assessment for this course will be released on Monday 1st May 2023 and is due in by Sunday 14th May 2023 at 23:59.

Assessment for all MAGIC courses is via take-home exam which will be made available at the release date (the start of the exam period).

You will need to upload a PDF file with your own attempted solutions by the due date (the end of the exam period).

If you have kept up-to-date with the course, the expectation is it should take at most 3 hours’ work to attain the pass mark, which is 50%.

Please note that you are not registered for assessment on this course.


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