Physics 390, Winter 2015: Introduction to Modern Physics

Room: 1230 USB
Time: MWF 11am-12pm

Instructor: Mark Newman
Office: 322 West Hall
Office hours: Thursdays 1:30-3:30pm

Quick links:

Description: This course provides an introduction to the quantum physics of the 20th and 21st centuries. The first half of the course deals with the fundamental theory of quantum mechanics, which underlies essentially all of recent physics. The second half deals with applications of quantum mechanics, including atomic physics, nuclear physics, particle physics, and cosmology.

Textbook (required): Modern Physics, 6th edition, Paul A. Tipler and Ralph A. Llewellyn, Freeman, New York (2012), ISBN 978-1429250788. You can get away with using the 5th edition—it contains all the material but some section numbers and problem numbers are different, so be careful. There is an accompanying web site that goes with the book here.

Course work and grading: There will be problem sets most weeks. They will be handed out on Fridays and due a week later in class. Due dates are noted on the schedule below. If for any reason you need to hand in a homework late you must let the professor know beforehand. The problem sets will also be available in electronic form for download from this web page no later than the Friday morning on which they are handed out.

Collaboration is allowed when solving the problem sets, but you are not allowed to simply copy solutions from another student. Everything you hand in must be your own work. Copying from any other source, including the web, is also not allowed.

There will be reading assignments for each lecture. The assignments are listed on the schedule below. (Feel free to print out a copy of this page if you prefer to have the assignments on paper.) Students are expected to do the reading for each lecture in a timely manner.

There will be two midterms and a final. The midterms will take place on Friday, February 13 and Friday, March 27 from 11am to 12pm in 1230 USB (the usual time and place). The final will take place on Monday, April 27 from 4pm to 6pm in 1230 USB. All exams will be open-book, meaning you may bring and use your copy of Tipler & Llewellyn, solutions to homework problems (either your own or the solution sets handed out in class), and your written class notes. Grade for the course will be 20% on the homework, 25% on each midterm, and 30% on the final.

Problem sets

For those who prefer them, the TeX files for the homeworks are here.

Practice problems