PHYS 225 Modern Physics • 5 Cr.
Presents the special theory of relativity, key phenomena, and experiments of modern physics that led to a break from classical views. Includes an introduction to quantum mechanics. Research based active engagement, pedagogical methods and hands on activities assist conceptual development. Prerequisite: MATH& 153 or MATH& 254 and PHYS 123. Recommended: MATH 238 or concurrent enrollment.
After completing this class, students should be able to:
- Special Relativity
- Differentiate between Galilean Relativity and Special Relativity
- Correctly calculate time dilation and length contraction effects
- Represent appropriate quantities using four vectors
- Perform Lorentz Transformations between reference frames
- Identify proper time and proper velocity
- Make appropriate computations using the Energy-Momentum 4-vector
- Identify the limitations of classical physics
- Identify what was mysterious about particular historical experiments (such as the ones listed here) or describe where classical physics fails to explain aspects of these or similar experiments.
- Atomic Spectra
- Photoelectric Effect
- Blackbody Radiation
- Heat Capacities of Solids
- Atomic Theory
- Electrical Conduction
- Construct and solve problems using the Hamiltonian
- Derive wave functions
- Construct and interpret energy Diagrams
- Articulate the wave particle duality and describe its basis in the Schroedinger Equation
- Explain the purpose and meaning of the Schroedinger Equation
- Cite and describe different philosophical interpretations of the Schroedinger Equation
- Perform the computations that illlustrate the interpretations above and those that give rise to the Uncertainty Principle
- Perform computations appropriate to the Time-Independent Schroedinger Equation
- Construct the solution to the Schroedinger equation for the Hydrogen Atom
- Working individually or in teams students will utilize concepts deriving from the active engagement portions of the course in a project, paper or other assessment that illustrates how the modern view reconciles conflicts, mysteries or failures from classical physics.