DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY  (202) 8066245 (main office), 5830 (fax)
Intro. to Modern Physics (PHYS 015) MWF, 3^{10}^{ } 4^{00} pm, in TKH 300;
Office hrs.: MW 4  5 pm, and by appointment (at least one day ahead, confirmed)
[Topics][Daily Schedule][Minimal
Requirements][Assignments][eGear][Welcome]
Component

Time

Remark

% of Grade


Homework  See in daily schedule  Late HW = 0 credit !!! 
20%

Class work/Quizzes  12/week  current material 
20%

Exams (two midterms)  See in daily schedule  not comprehensive 
(each) 20%

Now drop the one worst component of the above (for each student individually).


Final exam  Last week of semester  comprehensive 
40%

The aim of the course is to introduce the students to the relativistic and quantum nature of Nature. This course begins with reviewing the experimental indications of the relativistic and quantum phenomena, and then proceeds with an introduction to the methods and techniques developed to their study. Emphasis will be on conceptual understanding rather than technical mastery, although problemsolving skills will also developed.
A successful student is expected to demonstrate a conceptual understanding of the fundamental principles of relativistic and quantum physics, but also to demonstrateand maintainthe ability to solve practical problems involving quantum phenomena. For minimal requirements, see below!
“Success = 1% inspiration + 99% perspiration”T.A. Edison
Daytoday schedule: Students are required to read ahead
01/10: Introductory Matters
01/12: Modern Physics: History and Motivations (Prof. Lowe)
01/14: Modern Physics: History and Motivations (Prof. Lowe)
01/17: Observed Holiday: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday
01/19: Special Relativity: Motivations and Postulates, §1.14
01/21: Special Relativity: Kinematic Consequences, §1.56
01/24: Special Relativity: Dynamic Consequences, §1.710
01/26: Quantum Light: as a Wave, and BlackBody Radiation, §2.14 [HW#1 due]
01/28: Quantum Light: as a Particle, and its Mass, §2.57
01/31: Matter as Particles: Atoms, §3.12
02/02: Matter as Particles: the Hydrogen Atom, §3.35 [HW#2 due]
02/04: Matter as Waves: Basic Ideas, §4.13
02/07: Matter as Waves: Uncertainty and Duality, §4.45
02/09: 1Dimensional Quantum Mechanics: Basic Ideas, §5.13
02/11: 1Dimensional Quantum Mechanics: Square Well, §6.45 [HW#3 due]
02/14: 1Dimensional Quantum Mechanics: the Harmonic Oscillator, §5.67
02/16: 1Dimensional Quantum Mechanics: Observables and Operators, §5.8
02/18: Tunneling Phenomena, §6.12 [HW#4 due]
02/21: Observed Holiday: President's Day
02/23: Tunneling Phenomena, Revisited §6.12
02/25: Qualitative Quantum (Wave) Mechanics [HW#5 due]
02/28: 3Dimensional Quantum Mechanics:
Particle in a box, §7.1
03/01: Review for the 1st Midterm Exam
03/03: 1st Midterm Exam: §16;
1hour inclass, openbook [HW#6 due]
03/06: 3Dimensional Quantum Mechanics: Central Forces & Spherical
Coordinates, §7.2
03/08: 3Dimensional Quantum Mechanics: Angular Momentum, §7.34
03/10: 3Dimensional Quantum Mechanics: Hydrogen Atom Revisited, §7.5
[HW#7 due]
03/13: Atomic Structure: Spin, §8.14
03/15: Atomic Structure: the Periodic Table and XRay Spectra, §8.57
03/17: Classical vs. Quantum Statistical Physics, §9.12 [HW#8 due]
03/1826: Observed Holiday: Spring Recess
03/27: Quantum Statistics: Bosons vs. Fermions, §9.34
03/29: Molecules: Bonds and Motion, §10.12
03/31: Molecules: Spectra and Complex Bonds, §10.35 [HW#9 due]
04/03: Solids: Bonding and Conductance, §11.12
04/05: Solids: Quantum Conductors and Semiconductors, §11.34
04/07: 2nd Midterm Exam: §710;
1hour inclass, openbook [HW#10 due]
04/10: Solids: Semiconductor Devices, §11.5
04/12: Solids: Lasers, §11.6
04/14: Superconductivity: Magnetism, §12.1 [HW#11 due]
04/17: Superconductivity: History and Types, §12.24
04/19: Superconductivity: Other Properties, Consequences and Application, §12.511
04/21: Nuclei: Structure and Radioactivity, §13 [HW#12 due]
04/24: Applications of Nuclear Physics: Fission, Fusion and Radiation, §14
04/26: Particles, Cosmology and Beyond, §15 [HW#13 due]
To pass the course with a grade B or better, a graduate Student must at the time of the final exam be able to demonstrate the ability to:
A student who cannot demonstrate the above listed skills at the time of the final exam automatically forfeits a grade of B or better  regardless of the total number of points acquired in homework, quizzes and exams, and regardless of the success in completing any other course requirement.
All assignments refer to endofchapter problems (not "questions", not "additional problems"!) as given in the text. See also homework solution suggestions.
All homework assignments are due by 5:00 pm of the day indicated and should be either given to the instructor in hand, left in the instructor's mailbox in TKH#105, or slid under the instructor's office door, TKH#213. Late homework will not be accepted, except in cases of proven (medical) emergency.
Collaboration policy
Collaboration  but not blind copying  on the homework
assignments is strongly encouraged; students should use this to learn
from each other. All exams and quizzes are open text and open
classnotes (including notebooks and class handouts), but no
collaboration is allowed; by signing the exams and quizzes, the student
implicitly agrees to abide by this policy. Violation of this policy is
covered under the University regulations on academic dishonesty and
cheating.
Coursework presentation and organization
While a neat presentation of home, quiz and examwork is not
required for full credit, it certainly makes it easier to assess the
quality of the work and give the proper credit due. In all cases,
include a simple sketch if it might help conveying the approach or the
calculations. Where necessary, include all units and symbols such as
the measure of an integral, arrow on a vector, vertical bars for the
absolute value of a quantity, for the magnitude of a vector or for the
determinant of a matrix, etc.
© Tristan Hübsch, 2000