PH3613 - Modern Physics

Catalog Data

Three hours lecture. Special relativity, quantum physics, atomic, nuclear, and solid state physics.

Prerequisites By Topic

Introductory Physics Sequence and Integral Calculus(MA 1723 and MA 2733).


A quick look at the basic concepts of Modern physics with emphasis on special relativity and basic quantum theory. The class will involve discussions of the experimental and theoretical evidence which has lead our current understanding of the physical world. Once the basics are established, the class will spend some time looking at the application of modern physics as related to several areas including solid state physics (semiconductor devices), nuclear physics, particle physics, and cosmology.

Topics Covered

  1. The special theory of relativity
  2. Experimental basis for quantum mechanics
  3. Quantum theory
  4. The wave nature of matter
  5. The uncertainty principle
  6. The nuclear atom
  7. The exclusion principle
  8. Atomic and molecular structure
  9. Band theory of solids
  10. The laser
  11. Radioactive decay
  12. The strong and weak interactions
  13. The conservation laws in nuclear reactions
  14. The quark model
  15. Cosmology and Astrophysics