## Physics 420 |
## Principles of Modern Physics |
## Spring 2012 |

Description: |
Prerequisite: PHYS270 and PHYS271, or PHYS273; and MATH246. A survey of atomic and nuclear phenomena and the main trends in modern physics. Appropriate for students in engineering and other physical sciences. |

Lectures: | TuTh...... 3:30pm- 4:45pm (PHY 1402) |

Lecturer: |
Prof. Dieter Brill Email: brill@umd.edu Office: 4202 Toll Physics bldg Phone: 405 6027 Office hours: by appointment |

TA: | TBA |

Textbook: (required) |
Modern Physics, by Serway, Moses and Moyer, 3rd Edition, Thomson, Brooks, Cole 2005. ISBN 0-534-49339-4 |

Reading and Homework

As the textbook states, *Our experience has shown that there is more material contained in this book than can be covered in a standard one semester three-credit-hour course*. We will cover approximately 12 chapters, and even of those not every topic in each chapter.
The approximate progression of topics can be found in the Course Schedule below. The schedule may lag or advance by one lecture if some topics take more or less time than expected.

To enhance your comprehension of a particular subject to be covered, you should read the material in the text before coming to the lecture.
To encourage this you will be asked to submit a "blended learning" activity before each lecture, which will enter into your grade and, more importantly, enable you to ask questions about ideas you may not be able to grasp fully on the first reading. I encourage questions in class (to the extent time permits)

Homework will be assigned about once per week and must be turned in at the beginning of class on the specified date (or earlier). Don’t wait until the last day to get started! Please do all of the homework and turn it in on time, unless you have a valid excuse (i.e. illness, a religious observance, or some other compelling reason). Homework problems are carefully chosen to highlight some of the important topics covered in lecture, as well as important applications of the material. It is important that you carefully complete and make sure you understand all of the homework. You are encouraged to work with others on homework, however, it is forbidden to blindly copy another person's work.

Course website

This course was scheduled to participate in the trial of a new course space, *Canvas*. This trial has just (Juanuary 10) been aborted. According to current information our elms course space will instead be using the old, blackboard envoronment. Because this change only just occurred, the elms site for this course
is not yet ready When it is ready this syllabus will be revised to let you know how to log on, and an email will also be sent to all enrolled.

You will rely on the course website for all information about the course. Annoucements, homework assignments, blended reading activities, your scores, and updates of this syllabus will be posted there. As a preview, here is the **first homework**:

Serway, Chapter 1, problems 3*, 10, 14, 22, 40**

*Find the total momentum in the rest frame; find the momenta in the moving frame by Galilean transformation; add them; show that this sum is the Galilean transform of the total rest frame momentum.

**You will show nonorthogonality in the Eucliean metric of the paper on which the diagram is drawn. There is a more appropriate notion of orthogonality in spacetime (based on the invariant interval) for which the axes in *all* Lorentz frames are orthogonal.

The argument leading the Eq (1.8), and Figure 1.10, makes an implicit assumption about transformation of lengths. (It gets away with it because the reader has not yet encountered length contraction, which is two pages later.) What is the length that is not transformed? Should this assumption be justified, or is it obvious? Can you prove it? Suppose the train is in a tunnel and just fits, according to a stationary observer. What about the train observer? Is the presence of scratches on the tunnel wall invariant or observer-dependent?

How to do well in this course

Read the textbook before the material is presented and discussed in class. Come to the
lectures. Do all the homework. Ask for help (your teacher, TA, or a classmate) whenever there
is something you don’t understand. We’re here to help with the material!
Review your notes and past homework assignments before each exam.

Exams and Term paper

Exams will be based on material in the text as well as material presented in class.
Exams are cumulative. There will be two exams during the semester plus a term paper. The
exams will be given in class, on paper, and will be closed book. I do not expect you to
memorize equations and constants. You may bring one index card with equations for the first
exam and two index cards for the second exam, and one full sheet of paper for the final exam.
Any needed physical constants or data will be provided. You will need a calculator with
standard trigonometry functions, etc. Exams must be taken on the scheduled days unless you
have a valid excuse. If you know in advance that you will have to miss an exam, please inform
me as soon as possible.

Academic dishonesty is strictly forbidden and will be dealt with according to
University policy. You will sign the honors pledge on each exam.

Your final course grade is made up with the composition of 25% homework and pre-lecture questions, 25% for each of the two mid-term exams, and 25% for you term papeer.

Tu | Th | Topics* | |

Jan | 26 | Chapter 1: Michelson-Morley, Lorentz transformation | |

31 | Spacetime, Twin paradox | ||

Feb | 2 | Chapter 2: Relativistic momentum and energy | |

7 | 9 | E = mc², General relativity | |

14 | 16 | Chapter 3: Quantum theory of light, blackbody radiation, compton scattering, photoelectric effect... | |

21 | 23 | Chapter 4: Atoms, Bohr atom, Correspondence Principle | |

28 | Chapter 5: Matter waves, Heisenberg uncertainty, wave particle duality | ||

Mar | 1 | Exam 1: Chapters 1-4 (date is tentative) | |

6 | 8 | Chapter 6: Schrödinger equation, Particle in a box | |

13 | 15 | Quantum Oscillator, Observables and Operators | |

20 | 22 | Spring Break, no class | |

27 | 29 | Chapter 7: tunneling and reflection | |

Apr | 3 | 5 | Chapter 8: Particle in a three-dimensional box |

10 | Angular momentum, Hydrogen Atom | ||

12 | Exam 2: Chapters 5-7 (date is tentative) | ||

17 | 19 | Chapter 9: Atomic Structure, electron spin | |

24 | 26 | Exclusion principle | |

May | 1 | 3 | Chapter 10, 12: Quantum statistics, Band theory, Lasers |

8 | 10 | Chapter 16: Cosmology | |

1 | 4 | Term paper due |

*most important only are mentiond, but whole Chapter may not be covered. More detail on

Class attendance

I will not take attendance in class. However, you are responsible for all material covered
in class. I will try to post any slides that I use, but these are not inclusive. You are also
responsible for any notes written on the board, demonstrations, and class discussions. We
will occasionally discuss topics not explicitly covered in the book. While I will be happy to
help you outside of class with any concepts you are struggling with, I will not be willing to
privately recap material that you missed due to unexcused absences.

The use of cell phones in class is strictly prohibited.

Honor Code

As a student you are responsible for upholding the honor code standards for the University. For more information on the code of Academic Integrity or the Student Honor Council, please visit: http://www.studenthonorcouncil.umd.edu/whatis.html

Students with disabilities

Accommodations will be provided to enable students with disabilities to participate fully in the course. Please discuss any needs with your instructor at the beginning of the semester so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

Weather and emergency closures

If the University is closed due to weather or some emergency situation on a day when homework is due, then that homework must be turned in at the beginning of the next class period when the University is open. If the University is closed on the scheduled date of an exam, then the exam will be given during the next class period when the University is open. If the University is closed on any non-exam day, including a review session, then the exam will still be given according to the original schedule. Regularly check the course Elms site to receive information regarding the course schedule.

Course Evaluations

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hold as a student member of our academic community. (www.courseevalum.umd.edu) Your
feedback is confidential and important to the improvement of teaching and learning at the
University as well as to the tenure and promotion process. By
completing all of your evaluations each semester, you will have the privilege of accessing
online, at Testudo, the evaluation reports for the thousands of courses for which 70% or more
students submitted their evaluations