PHY 3101 - Modern Physics - Fall 2017


Sep. 19 HW 5 and Bonus problems 2 have been uploaded to the homework page. Feel free to get help from me on the bonus problems if you are stuck.

Sep. 18 I uploaded a corrected version of the note on blackbody radiation (chap02C_*.pdf) to correct an error in the formula for total power emitted at the bottom of page 5.

Sep. 17 I uploaded an improved version of the note on blackbody radiation (chap02C_*.pdf). The discussion of BB radiation in the textbook is extremely short and inadequate given its importance in the development of physics. Students should read and digest the information on BB radiation in the lecture notes, which include several examples.

I also uploaded an improved version of the lecture notes on the photoelectric effect (chap03D_*.pdf).

I plan to add material on the nuclear atom and the experiments that shaped our modern view of the atom. This material is not covered in the textbook but is extremely important. The lectures on this material will start immediately after we finish Chapter 3.

Homework 4 has just been posted and the due date is now Sep. 25 (Monday). Because of the delays caused by Hurricane Irma I also eliminated one HW so that they are not due so close together. Please see the updated schedule page. Bonus problem 2 will be uploaded later today with a reasonable due date.

Sep. 14 Please finish reading the entire note on relativistic kinematics (chap02F_*.pdf) even though we were not able to discuss all of it in lecture.

Because of the time lost due to Hurricane Irma, General Relativity will not be on any homework, quiz or exam. However, GR is hugely interesting, particularly with the announcements of the discovery of gravitational waves in 2016 and 2017. For those of you with a strong interest in the subject, I uploaded an updated GR lecture note (chap02G_*.pdf).

HW 3 is now due Wednesday, Sep. 20. The HW and schedule pages have both been updated. This homework covers only relativistic kinematics.

HW 4 (still to be created) has now been delayed to Friday, Sep. 22, to put a couple days between it and HW 3.

Important: Please send email only to phy3101 AT I need all class related email to be in one place.

Sep. 10 UF announced today (Sunday) that there will be no classes Wednesday, Sep. 13. We thus have no lectures for the dates Sep. 8 (F), Sep. 11 (M), Sep. 13 (W). I will announce later which topics we will either skip or have reduced coverage.

HW 2 is now due Friday, Sep. 15 (as is Bonus problem 1). HW 3 is still due Monday, Sep. 18 (will post the problems later). The HW and schedule pages have both been updated.

Hope everyone is able to be sheltered during this time. It's certainly the most interesting weather I've experinced in 32 years living in Florida.

Sep. 7 We will not have class Friday, Sep. 8, contrary to what I previously posted, since UF just announced it will be closed. UF is closed Monday, Sep. 11, so our first class next week will be Wednesday, Sep. 13

HW 2 is now due Wednesday, Sep. 13. HW 3 has been moved to Monday, Sep. 18.

HW problem 2.22 is worked out in detail on e-Learning under Files-->Some HW problems. I will use this area to post solutions to more complex or difficult problems.

Sep. 5 I updated note 5 on Special Relativity (chap02E_SR*) to e-Learning to improve the presentation and to address a question in class on Friday (Sep. 1).

I uploaded a new note 6 (chap02F_SR*) on relativistic kinematics to e-Learning.

Because of Hurricane Irma, Homework 2 due date is now Monday, Sep. 11.

HITT points through Friday, Sep. 1, have been uploaded to e-learning. If you have 0 points it means that your clicker is not registered. Please go to the HITT page to find out how to register your clicker.

Aug. 30 HITT quiz questions count for credit today!

I uploaded note 3 on Special Relativity (chap02C_SR*) again today to update the material on the Doppler effect.

Aug. 29 HITT quiz solutions for Aug. 25 and Aug. 28 have been uploaded to the Files-->Quiz solutions folder on e-Learning. I will keep this folder up to date after each quiz.

Aug. 28 I significantly edited the second Special Relativity note (chap02B_SR*.pdf in e-Learning). The new note uses a somewhat less formal approach to deriving the LT equations (putting some details in an appendix) and follows Harris a little more closely.

I edited the third Special Relativity note (chap02C_SR*.pdf in e-Learning) to add a section exploring violation of simultaneity, making it more complete.

In the lectures this week we explore consequences of the LT equations, including time dilation, length contraction, breakdown of simultaneity, velocity addition, doppler effect, invariant quantities and spacetime intervals. These are analyzed in the third relativity note.

Aug. 23 First day of lectures (see schedule page).

Remember that the material covered in lectures are in the "Files-->Lecture materials" folder on e-Learning. I will be lecturing from these rather extensive notes, which are probably easier to follow for the Relativity part of the course.

Here is a file with some of my pictures from the Aug. 21 solar eclipse.

Aug. 21 Welcome to PHY3101! As I indicated in the course announcement on e-Learning and by email, we will not have lecture on this day (Aug. 21), but I expect you to read all the course syllabus material during this time so that we can begin in earnest on Wednesday, Aug. 23. Please note the following points.
  • Read the Course overview page, which describes important aspects of the course, including lecture location/time, material covered, textbook, grading components, how we use e-Learning, test accommodations, etc.
  • Read the Programming page to learn about the programming tools you will learn in this course.
  • We will use HITT clickers as we did in Physics 1 and Physics 2. Please purchase a clicker if you do not have one already. You will need to register the clicker for this course as described on HITT page.
  • The class schedule shows the lecture schedule, exam dates, and on-line homework due dates.
  • Please read Chapters 1 and 2.1-2.2. I have also placed some introductory materials on e-Learning under "Files-->Lecture materials", including a useful review of Physics 1&2, approximation formulas, basic formulas used in phy3101, and the first two notes on Special Relativity.
  • VERY IMPORTANT: Class email should always be addressed to phy3101 AT and not to my home account. I want to keep class correspondence in a single area that is easy for me to find.