PH 301

MODERN PHYSICS

FALL 2011

  

TEXT: Thornton and Rex, Modern Physics for Scientists and Engineers, 3rd ed.

    • Relativity and quantum mechanics will be covered, as well as selected topics in 20th-century physics.

 

INSTRUCTOR:   Dr.Cecilia Vogel

Office : Hanson 204B

Web: helios.augustana.edu/~cv/301

e-mail: ceciliavogel@augustana.edu, quantumberry@gmail.com

phone:309-794-3404

Office hours:   MW 10-11, WF 2:30-3, or by appointment (or just drop by Hanson 204B).    

GRADING:

Your choice:

  • 3 exams @ 20% OR 25% each

   60%

75%

  • Homework and in-class work

   25%

25%

  • Project, optional

   15%

   0%

Total

100%

100%

POLICIES:

Preparation  Read sections of text (listed on web or Moodle) BEFORE they are covered in class.  Give me feedback about what was totally easy and what was particularly confusing, so I can tailor the class to your needs.

Homework to be graded should be turned in to me in person, or to my mailbox, by 4:30 pm on the due date. You may hand in homework up until the beginning of the next class period for 80% credit. Homework will not be accepted after graded homework has been returned.  

Please do not slide assignments under my door!

Show all work and justify all answers on homework and exams. Be prepared to discuss assignments in class.

Attendance is required on all days on which exams or discussions are scheduled. If you have a conflict with a school-related event, you may take an exam early. You must make arrangements with me before the scheduled date. Attendance is highly recommended on all class days, as the book will be supplemented by lectures and handouts.

Final exam is worth the same amount toward your grade in the course as the midterm exams. 3/4 of the points on the final will be questions on topics covered after the second exam. 1/4 will be review questions on the topics covered by exams 1 & 2.

Prerequisites: PH201-203 and calculus!

  

Important events (subject to change - check web for updates and details):

  

Exam #1 covering relativity, Friday, week 3 (Sep 9)

Exam #2 covering quantum mechanics, Wednesday, week 7 (Oct 7)

Optional Project ideas due Friday, week 7 (Oct 9)

Optional Project due Tuesday of finals week, 4:30 pm.   

Final exam  Final exam period, 75% new material, 25% review material


Possible applications of modern physics topics.  Please vote by email.  You have six votes, which you can allocate any way to like.  If you are really interested in a topic, you may give it up to six votes, or you may vote for up to six topics singly, etc.

 

GPS                                         forces within nucleus                             nuclear power

fusion within stars                      end states of stars (such as neutron star and black hole)

dark matter                               dark energy                                           periodic table

semiconductors                         superconductors                                    time travel

neutrino oscillations                    Bose-Einstein condensate                      lasers

traveling faster than c                quantum computing                                big bang and inflation

other – be specific

 

PHYSICS 301 PREPARATION

 

1.         Observe the motion of the toy cars.  When the red car is in front of the police car and both are traveling in the positive direction, the velocity of the red car relative to the police car is ___ and the velocity of the police car relative to the red car is ___.

 

2.         Observe the motion of the toy cars.  When the red car is behind the police car and both are traveling in the positive direction, the velocity of the red car relative to the police car is ___ and the velocity of the police car relative to the red car is ___.

 

3.         Find the derivative of 3e4x with respect to x.

 

4.         Find the derivative of xe4x with respect to x.

 

5.         Given the following graphs of a wave function as a function of position (x) and time (t): 

t (s)

 

x (m)

 

a)         Estimate the wavelength of the wave.  b)        Estimate the frequency of the wave.

c)         Estimate the wave speed.

 

6.         Very briefly describe what causes interference pattern when light passes through a double slit.  Specifically, what is different about spots that are bright compared to spots that are dark?

 

7.         Under what circumstances is energy conserved?

 

8.         Under what circumstances is momentum conserved?

 

9.         If the Earth had the same mass, but half the radius, the moon would feel ___ gravitational force.  Assume the moon to be at the same distance from center of Earth.

 

10.        Light has ___ electric charge and ___ mass.