Modern PhysicsSpring 2023
The name of the course, “Modern Physics,” may seem a misnomer as most of the physics we will discuss was first worked out between 1900 and 1975. But, in fact, the name is completely correct; our current understanding of the natural world still uses all these ideas.
The topics covered include relativity, quantum mechanics, the nuclear atom, the Schrödinger equation, atomic physics, molecular structure, solidstate physics, and particle physics.
Prerequisites: This course requires that you have studied Newtonian mechanics in a previous calculusbased course (such as PHY 2048) as well as electricity and magnetism (PHY 2049 or similar) and have at least coregistered in a vector calculus course (Calc 3).
Announcements:Schedule The schedule is subject to change and will be updated first on this web site. Updated Feb 10.
Lectures Photos of the chalkboard or pdfs of the tablet.
Time and place: MWF 2nd (8:30–9:20) and 3rd (9:35–10:25) in NPB 1002Text: Modern Physics, by Kenneth Krane. You may use either the 4th edition or the 3rd edition.
Another useful text is Modern Physics by Tipler and Llewellyn. The online student resources for that book are here. (Some of the online material is quite useful for understanding the concepts and doing problems.) Tipler and Llewellyn is at the same level (more or less) as Krane. A book written at the time many of these things were being worked out is Introduction to Modern Physics (1955). by F.K. Richtmyer, E.H. Kennard, and T. Lauristen.
The
most elegant books about physics at our level are the three volumes by
Richard P. Feynman, Ralph B. Leighton, and Matthew Sands, The Feynman Lectures on Physics. A similarly clear and eﬀective book about relativity is Space and Time in Special Relativity, by N. David Mermin.
General Education Course:
The purpose of this course is to provide you with a foundation in the concepts, fundamental principles, and analytic techniques needed to solve problems arising in the context of Special Theory of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics.Objectives of the course:
This course is a General Education designated course. As such there are specific student learning outcomes and subjectspecific General Education objectives must be met. By the end of this course, you will have a solid foundation in the concepts, principles, terminology, and methodologies described in this course and be able to solve physics problems arising in the context of Special Theory of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. Specifically, you will be able to:
• Analyze particular physical situations, and thus identify the fundamental principles pertinent to those situations,
• Apply fundamental principles to formulate mathematical equations describing the relation between physical quantities in these particular situations,
• Solve mathematical equations to find the values of physical quantities,
• Communicate unambiguously both the principles that apply to a situation and the results of specific calculations resulting from the steps above.
Methods by which students will be evaluated and their grade determined:There will be homework (20%). The lowestscored homework set will be dropped. Homework questions will be be posted on Canvas (in “Assignments”) and your solutions are due as a single pdf on Canvas at 11:59 pm on the due day. See the syllabus for penalties for late submissions. See below for instructions about how to scan.
There will be three exams in class (25% each). The exams are scheduled for February 17, April 5, and April 26. Active participation in discussion at the time of the scheduled final will earn 5 points. There is no “extra credit.”All students are required to abide by the Student Conduct & Honor Code of the University of Florida. See the syllabus for attendance, accommodations, course evaluation, student counseling, and other information.
For Apple iOS iPhones and iPads:
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