Physics 199M


The Syllabus: Basic course information, grading policies, course outline etc




The course will use interactive devices “clickers” in the lectures.  These are available at the bookstore.  You must register your clicker.  To do so, go to   Note that we will NOT be using Web-enabled devices such as I-phones in this class as the use of laptops and smart phones during lectures will be discouraged. Thus, students should obtain a “clicker keyboard” device.  We will begin using clickers beginning the week of February 6 so make sure that you have registered yours by then.




Midterm:  March 12

Final Exam: Wednesday, May 16 4:00-6:00




Paper 1:   Due April 2.

Assignment:      Discuss how the play “Copenhagen” deals with an important scientific, historical or ethical issue raised in the course.  This paper is intended as a thought piece and does not require any outside research.    The paper should be 3-4 pages in length (using 11 point font, space and a half and standard margins). 


Paper 2:   Due May 7.

Assignment:      The people involved in the development of the atomic bomb were a varied and very interesting group.   This paper will focus on one of the central people involved should analyze his or her role in some key event or some particular aspect of the Manhattan project or how the person’s personality and past history affected events..   Alternatively, the paper may focus on the relationship of  2 or 3 of the central people involved and how this relationship affected events.  Example topics:  Oppenheimer’s Style of Scientific Leadership; Feynman and Scientific Computing at Los Alamos; Klaus Fuchs and Nuclear Espionage; Bohr as a Scientific Celebrity and His Access to People of Political Influence; Fermi and the First Nuclear Reactor; Bethe versus Teller in the Theory Division;  The Odd Couple: Leslie Groves and J. Robert Oppenheimer. The paper will require research outside of the course materials.  You are expected to use several external references and to cite these properly.  The paper should be 5-8 pages in length (using 11 point font, space and a half and standard margins).    





Monday, February 6: Chaps. 1& 2 in Rhodes

Monday, February 13: Chaps. 3&4 in Rhodes

Monday, February 19: Chaps. 5&6 in Rhodes

Monday, February 26: Chaps. 7&8 in Rhodes

Monday, March 5:  Chaps. 9 & 10 in Rhodes

Wednesday, March 14:  Chap 11 in Rhodes

Monday, March 26:  Read or Watch “Copenhagen”

Monday, April 2:  Chaps. 12 &13 in Rhodes

Monday, April 9:  Chaps. 14 &15 in Rhodes

Monday, April 16: Chaps. 16 &17 in Rhodes

Monday, April 23: Chaps. 18 &19 in Rhodes

Monday, May 7:  Epilog in  Rhodes


Power Point Presentations: 


Lectures Jan25-Feb1

Lectures  Feb6-Feb8

Lectures  Feb13-Feb15

Lectures Feb20-22

Lectures Feb27-29

Lectures Mar. 5-7

Lecture Mar. 14

Lecture Mar. 26-28

Lecture April2-4

Lecture April9-11

Lecture April 16-18

Lecture April 23-25

Lecture April 30-May 2









Problem Sets:


Due Feb. 10

Due Feb. 17

Due Mar. 2

Due Mar. 9

Due Mar. 30

Due April 13

Due April 20

Due May 4