PH 103 - Principles of Physics III - Spring 2004

The topics covered in this course include (a) electromagnetic waves, geometric optics, wave nature of light, (b) optical instruments, special theory of relativity, early quantum theory, models of the atom, quantum mechanics of atoms, (c) nuclear physics, radioactivity, nuclear energy, effects and uses of radiation, elementary particles, and superstring theory.

  • Book and PBS show: "The Elegant Universe", Dr. Brian Greene - watch online
  • Monday, May 3, 2004 at 7:00 pm in the Olin Auditorium (downstairs) - presentation by Dr. Brian Greene: "Breakthrough - Challenging What We Know".  Come at least 15 minutes early.  Sign the PH 103 attendance sheet that will be at the door.  Take notes.  Write up a summary of the lecture (300-600 words) and submit via WebAssign (see below).  You may discuss the talk with classmates but this essay must be in your own words.  In particular, do not copy text from the PBS Web pages that describe "The Elegant Universe" program.  Suggestion:  Write the essay using a word processor so you can check the spelling, grammar and number of words.  Then copy/paste into the WebAssign block.  See me about the substitute assignment if you miss the talk.

Please read the Guide to WebAssign for instructions on logging in and how to proceed.  Look at this spreadsheet to check out the 1% tolerance of WebAssign answers.  In general, express answers to at least 3 significant figures.

Set Chapter Problems Deadline for submission using WebAssign
8 30 6, 13, 35, 37, 62, 64 Thurs., Apr. 29 at 11:00 pm
8a 30 62 (replaces 62, above) Thurs., Apr. 29 at 11:00 pm
9 31 5, 11, 20, 31, 37, 44 Thurs., May 6 at 11:00 pm
Brian Greene
Talk - May 3
30 points
30 points
Mon., May 10 at 11:00 pm
10 32 1, 3, 12, 20, 45, 46 Thurs., May 13 at 11:00 pm
Class Activities - Click on the date to see the details.
Week Monday Wednesday Friday
1 Mar. 8 Mar. 10 Mar. 12
2 Mar. 15 Mar. 17 Mar. 19
3 Mar. 22 Mar. 24 Mar. 26
4 Mar. 29 Mar. 31 Apr. 2
5 Apr. 5 Apr. 7 Apr. 9 - Good Friday - no class
6 Tuesday, Apr. 13 Apr. 14 Apr. 16
7 Apr. 19 Apr. 21 Apr. 23 - Test 2
8 Apr. 26 Apr. 28 Apr. 30
9 May 3 May 5 May 7
10 May 10 May 12 May 14

    Test 3 - Section 02 (D period) - Tuesday, May 18, 12:00 pm
    Test 3 - Section 01 (A period) - Thursday, May 20, 9:00 am


Comments on Test 3

  • Test 3 covers Chapters 30-32 but not sections 30-12 and 31-8.  Chapter 33 is also excluded.
  • Review your notes and the Web notes in conjunction with reading your textbook.
  • Review the chapter summaries.
  • Types of questions:  multiple choice, numerical problems, definitions, explanations
  • Equations and constants will be provided - but review what all of the symbols represent.  You will need to remember prefixes - micro, milli, kilo, mega, giga, tera, femto.
  • Review the work and contributions of Roentgen, Becquerel, Curie, and Rutherford.
  • What distinguishes alpha, beta and gamma rays from each other?
  • Review the information on the "Atoms for Peace" sheet.  Where was the first nuclear reactor built?
  • The unified atomic mass unit is based on which isotope?  1 u = _______ MeV/c2 = ____________ kg
  • Know how to calculate the binding energy of a nucleus.
  • Review radioactive decay - activity, decay constant, half-life, units for activity.
  • Be able to explain (with diagrams) alpha, beta and gamma decay.
  • What are the properties of the neutrino?  Read the "Ghost Hunters" article (handout).
  • What do you know about carbon-14 dating?
  • Explain the operation of (a) a Geiger counter, (b) a smoke detector, (c) a scintillation detector.
  • Know how to calculate the Q-value of a nuclear reaction. List the typical "projectiles" for low-energy nuclear reactions.
  • Draw the schematic for a boiling water nuclear power plant and explain how it works.
  • Explain the process of nuclear _________ as exhibited in the Sun. Compare it with the process that occurs in hotter stars.
  • Review "absorbed dose" and "effective dose" - definition, roentgen, rad, gray, quality factor, sievert.
  • Pick at least two of these to "know about":  Van de Graaff accelerator, SLAC, CERN, Fermilab.
  • What are the four fundamental forces in nature?  List the relative strength, range and field particle(s).
  • Be able to draw Feynman diagrams to illustrate particle interactions.
  • List the families of particles and indicate what characterizes them.  What are the 6 basic leptons?
  • What does it mean if a particle has a baryon number of +1, -1, or 0?  What is the baryon number of a neutron?
  • What is the electroweak theory?  What is the standard model?
  • What are the 18 quarks? What is a gluon? How many gluons are there?
  • What are the characteristics of the "color force"?
  • How do antiparticles differ from their corresponding particle?
  • Describe the pentaquark (q+) that was discovered in 2003.  How was it produced, what is its lifetime and what does it decay into?
  • Be ready to explain the basics of string theory.  What is a graviton?  What experiments are being done and planned to check out string theory?

Here are some practice problems for Test 3.  After you try them, verify that your solutions match these.
   30: 5, 28, 43, 66
   31: 10, 24, 40, 45
   32: 4, 19, 25, 39

Last update:  May 14, 2004