Dr. Dan Boye

 

 

 

Fall 2011

Office: Dana 134

 

 

 

 

Phone: 704-894-2394
daboye@davidson.edu

 

PHYSICS 320

 

 

 

 

Modern Physics

 

 

Text: Modern Physics for Scientists and Engineers, Thornton & Rex, 3rd ed.
Lecture: MWF 9:30-10:20, Dana 153
Lab: MW 1:30-4:30
Appointments: I am generally available from 9:00-5:00 M-F except when in class.  Communication with me by email is very reliable.  If my office light is on and I'm not there, check in the Dana basement or in the Physics Office.

Course Objectives:

Physicists generally refer to discoveries made from the beginning of the 20th century through today as Modern Physics.  It has been an exhilarating ride, characterized by an explosion of fascinating new ideas, including special and general relativity, quantum mechanics, and cosmology.  We will consider these and other important recent discoveries in this course.  Due to the vast range of subfields that have emerged in modern times, we will survey a broad swath of topics.  We will start with special relativity and the experiments that foreshadowed quantum theory, then move through quantum mechanics and its application to atomic physics, and finish with a look at semiconductors, general relativity, and cosmology.  Some of these topics will be familiar from your introductory physics course, and we will rely on that knowledge as we develop a deeper understanding of the phenomena. 

Course Requirements:

Attendance: Attendance at class follows the College's 25% rule. You are strongly encouraged to attend all lectures since helpful, time-saving hints not to be found in the text will be presented. Each student is responsible for the material discussed in class and the announcements made in class. Absence from class does not relieve one from this responsibility. Attendance at all labs and reviews is mandatory.

Seminar Attendance: Seminars broaden your scientific perspective and show you how physics is being used in the world beyond Davidson.  Attendance at all physics seminars is requiredAsk questions!

Homework: As you work your way up the physics curriculum, you will encounter problems of increasing complexity, and Physics 320 begins this journey in earnest.  Learning how to handle these problems takes substantial time and practice.  Hence, I will assign approximately 6 questions/problems/physlets each week to test your understanding and challenge your problem-solving skills. You should start these assignments early to allow time for my assistance.  I encourage you to work in groups of 2 -3 students on the homework sets, but you must participate in the process of obtaining the solution to each problem.  When working with a partner, keep in mind that reviews and the final will test your individual problem-solving ability.  Do not consult solution manuals, solution sets, or another student’s work from any previous class.  Using any solution, other than those found in your textbook or posted on our website, is an honor code violation.  Always show your arguments, realizing that neatness, clarity, correct units, and appropriate significant figures also count.  Homework will be collected for grading at the beginning of class on the dates designated and late homework will not be accepted.

Grades: There will be two reviews and a self-scheduled final exam.  The first review will occur at the end of September and the second in the middle of November. Grades will be comprised of the following contributions:

Homework and Attendance

25%

Lab Exercises

20%

Reviews  

30%

Final Exam  

25%


Course Outline

Topic

Chapter

Omit Sections

Historical Perspective

1

 

Special Relativity

2

 

Early Quantum Experiments

3

 

Atomic Structure

4

2

Wave/Particle Duality

5

 

Simple Wave Equation Problems

6

6,7

Hydrogen Atom

7

 

Many-Electron Atoms

8

3

Particle Statistics

9

 

Molecules and Solids

10

6

Semiconductor Theory and Devices

11

 

Atomic Nuclei

12

 

Nuclear Interactions

13

 

Lab Schedule

#

Week

Title

1

8/22

Special Relativity

2

8/29-9/12

Franck-Hertz Experiment

3

8/29-9/12

Photoelectric Effect

4

8/29-9/12

Blackbody Radiation

5

8/29-9/12

Electron Diffraction

6

9/19 - 9/26

X-Ray Spectroscopy

7

9/19 - 9/26

Quantum Well Simulations

8

9/19 - 9/26

Spectrometers

9

10/3 - 10/24

Hydrogen Atom Wave Functions

10

10/3 - 10/24

Rare Earths Fluorescence

11

11/14-11/28

Er3+ Spectra and Up Conversion

12

11/14-11/28

Semiconductor Quantum Wells

13

11/14-11/28

g - Ray Spectroscopy