Modern Physics


This course covers the major developments that comprise “modern” physics—the break from the classical, Newtonian models covered in the introductory study of mechanics and electromagnetism. Topics to be covered include Einstein’s special theory of relativity, wave-particle duality, Schrodinger’s equation, modern models of the atom, tunneling, nuclear physics and radioactivity, the structure of matter, and—if time permits—an introduction to particle physics. Emphasis will be on mathematical models and problem solving in addition to conceptual understanding. Seminars will include a mixture of discussion and mathematical problem solving. Students must have completed one year of calculus-based physics or have permission of the instructor.