Syllabus for PHYC 330-001 Introduction to Modern Physics

Instructor: Dinesh Loomba

This class is a 3-credit undergraduate course and there is also a Problems class, which you are encouraged to attend (new time: Thursday 2-3PM in rm 184).

Meeting times: The class will meet on T,Th from 12:30-1:45pm in room 184 of the PandA building.

Office Hours: Wednesdays 8-11 in room 131 BUT please e-mail me if you plan on coming.

Special Problem Session: Tuesdays 5pm - whenever in room 5 BUT if no one come by 5:30, I will leave!

Textbook: Modern Physics from a to Z0, by James Rohlf (Wiley, 1994)

Resources: I will often refer to the Feynman Lectures, which are accessible at: feynmanlectures.



Preliminary outline of the course:

I plan to cover Chapters 1 - 8, 11, and portions of 16 - 19

Course grading:

  1. Homeworks 25%. There will be assignments roughly every 1 - 2 weeks. Late HWs will drop linearly to zero 48 hrs after the due date.
  2. 3 Midterms worth 25% each.
  3. Final (cumulative) Exam will be optional. If you did poorly on, or missed, a Midterm the grade on the Final will be used to replace it .
    Besides these official contributions to your grade the following will help you (e.g. with Xtra credit):
  4. During class I may suggest a problem for extra credit.
  5. Oftentimes questions will be raised during class-time that won't be answered to everyone's satisfaction. Students who, by whatever means, return with additional information that sheds light on the subject will be duly rewarded!
  6. Students are strongly encouraged to ask questions, express skepticism, start discussions, and in general actively participate in the course. If there is a single motto to follow in this course, it is that there are no "dumb" questions! If you don't ask, you won't learn so please don't be shy.


Homework assignments

HW1: Read Chapter 1 and do the following problems in Rohlf: 13, 14, 17, 20, 23, 27, 28, 35. Due Thursday 1/28 in class. HW1solution

For week 2, read Chapter 2: the Intro section; skim over Section 2.1 (distribution functions); all of Sections 2.3 and 2.4.

HW2: Do the following problems in Rohlf Chapter 2: 16, 19, 21, 28, 29, 35, and (Challenging!) 36 and 39a. HW2solution There will an additional problem assigned in class. Due Tuesday 2/9 in class.

For week 3, read Chapter 3.1, 3.2 (we'll return to the rest of this chapter after relativity)

HW3: Do the following problems in Rohlf Chapter 3: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 20, 47, 48, 55, and 57. Also do the following in Rohlf Chapter 4: 4, 6, 7, 8, 11. Due Tuesday 2/18 in class. There will be some extra credit for doing the Challenging star'd problems. Note that about half of these have answers in the back so please provide detailed steps for credit. HW3solution and HW3solutionPartB

For week 4, read Chapter 4.

For week 5, read Chapter 5.

For weeks 6/7, Start reading Chapter/section 6.1, 6.2.

HW4: Do the following problems in Rohlf Chapter 4: 15, 18, 22, 25, 26, 31, 44, 49, 52 (we did this one in class). About 1/3 of this HW is for Extra Credit! Due Friday Feb 26th by 5PM in my mailbox. HW4solution HW4solutionB

Test 1 covering through Chapter 4 will be on Tuesday March 1.

For week 8, Read Chapter/section 6.3, 6.4

HW5: Do the following problems in Rohlf Chapter 5: 2, 8, 12, 14, 18, 24, 26, 29, 33. Due Thursday March 10th in class. HW5solution For the solution to Problem 18 please read Feynman Volume I Section 38-2!

For spring break (week 9) and week 10, Read Chapter/section 7.1 - 7.3

HW6: Do the following problems in Rohlf Chapter 6: 7, 10, 13, 15, 16, 21. Rohlf Chapter 7: 4, 6, 8, 9.
Due Thursday March 24th in class. There will be partial extra-credit for this problem set. HW6solution

Read Chapter 7.4 - 7.6

Date for Test 2: April 4th at 5PM in room 5; covering material since Test 1, through material covered in Chapter 7 Section 4.

Rutherford Lecture Notes.

Chapter 7 Part A Lecture Notes.

Chapter 7 Part B Lecture Notes.

HW7: Do the following problems in Rohlf Chapter 7: 5, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17.
Due Friday April 1st before 5PM in my mailbox. There will be partial extra-credit for this problem set. HW7solution

Chapter 7 Part C Lecture Notes.

Chapter 7/8 Lecture Notes.

Chapter 8 Lecture Notes.

Chapter 8 Part B Lecture Notes.

Read Chapter/section 8.1 - 8.5

HW8: Do the following problems in Rohlf Chapter 7: 19, 21, 22, 26, 27; and Chapter 8: 2, 4, 5.
Due Friday April 15th by 5PM in my mailbox
HW8solution partB

Entanglement article to read (covered on class): The mystery of the quantum cakes P. G. Kwiat and L. Hardy Am. J. Phys. 68, 33 (2000)
For others please e-mail me and I'll send you a list.

HW9: Do the following problems in Rohlf Chapter 8: 9, 11, 12, 13, 18, 29, 30, 35
Due Friday April 29th by 5PM in my mailbox
Corrections: HW9solution partB

Most of the cosmology material will be from my lecture notes, but please start reading Read Chapter 9

Cosmology Lecture Slides.

Test 3: May 5th Thursday at 5PM
Chapter 7: Quantum Harmonic Oscillator; 3D Schrodinger Eqn; its solutions using separation of variables;
Chapter 8: Material covered in class (Sections 8.1 - 8.5);
Cosmology: There will be questions from the material covered in class; qualitative questions with order of magnitude answers.

NOTE: 2 classes on Tuesday, April 26th: 12:30 and 5PM (rm 5)
No class on Thursday, April 28th.

Test1. Test2. Test3.

Review on Monday May 9, 10 - 12 in room 5. Please come with questions on the 3 midterms and any other questions you have.