Undergraduate Course: Physics 1B: The Stuff of the Universe (PHYS08017)
Course Outline
School  School of Physics and Astronomy 
College  College of Science and Engineering 
Course type  Standard 
Availability  Available to all students 
Credit level (Normal year taken)  SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) 
Credits  20 
Home subject area  Undergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy) 
Other subject area  None 
Course website 
WebCT 
Taught in Gaelic?  No 
Course description  The course begins with the classical models of particles and waves and their relationship to the physical world of atoms and light. Quantum physics is introduced through the idea of wave/particle duality, in a largely nonmathematical way. The uncertainty principle, Schrodinger's cat and quantum tunnelling are discussed. The hydrogen atom, and then more complex atoms are considered illustrating the role of quantum effects such as the Pauli exclusion principle which is seen to underly the structure of the periodic table. The phases of matter are discussed and quantum effects are used to explain ordinary conductivity and superconductivity. Matter is explored at the nuclear and elementary particle scales. At large scales the behaviour of stars and of the bigbang are related to the fundamental properties of matter. 
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Prerequisites 
Students MUST have passed:

Corequisites  
Prohibited Combinations  
Other requirements  SCE Higher Grade Physics and Mathematics (at Grade B or higher) or equivalent. 
Additional Costs  None 
Information for Visiting Students
Prerequisites  None 
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?  Yes 
Course Delivery Information

Delivery period: 2011/12 Semester 2, Available to all students (SV1)

WebCT enabled: Yes 
Quota: 303 
Location 
Activity 
Description 
Weeks 
Monday 
Tuesday 
Wednesday 
Thursday 
Friday 
King's Buildings  Laboratory   211  14:00  17:00  or 14:00  17:00   or 14:00  17:00  or 14:00  17:00  Central  Lecture   111  11:10  12:00      Central  Lecture   111    11:10  12:00    Central  Lecture   111      11:10  12:00 
First Class 
First class information not currently available 
Additional information 
Laboratory sessions three hours per week, as arranged. Tutorials one hour per week, as arranged. 
Exam Information 
Exam Diet 
Paper Name 
Hours:Minutes 


Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)   2:00    Resit Exam Diet (August)   2:00   
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, it is intended that a student will be able to:
i) demonstrate a general appreciation for the microscopic origin of many everyday macroscopic phenomena, for example pressure and temperature
ii) demonstrate a general understanding of light in terms of atomic transitions, including atomic spectra, lasers and fluorescence/phosphorescence.
iii) describe wave phenomena using appropriate terminology and formulae, for example in the situations of wave propagation, diffraction and interference
iv) demonstrate a reasonable understanding of the fundamental aspects of quantum mechanics, specifically including waveparticle duality, the photoelectric effect, twoslit experiments, the role of the observer and quantum tunnelling.
v) determine basic parameters associated with a variety of simple potential wells.
vi) demonstrate the significance of the Pauli Exclusion Principle, especially in relation to an understanding of the Periodic Table of Elements and chemical properties.
vii) demonstrate a basic understanding of the band theory of crystalline solids, exploring applications such as semiconductors and superconductors.
viii) demonstrate basic knowledge of nuclear and particle physics; radioactive decay, the standard model and neutrinos.
ix) demonstrate a reasonable understanding of modern cosmology, including the Big Bang theory , stellar evolution, cosmic expansion, dark matter, and the ultimate fate of the Universe.
x) show competence in a scientific laboratory.
xi) show an understanding for the various sources of uncertainty incurred in making any experimental measurement. Furthermore, they should be able to estimate such experimental errors and be able to reasonably determine the incurred uncertainty in a derived quantity.
xii) communicate scientific concepts in a written format

Assessment Information
Degree Examination, 60%
Laboratory, 20%
Coursework, 20% 
Special Arrangements
None 
Additional Information
Academic description 
Not entered 
Syllabus 
Part I: Particles, Waves and Quanta
1. The Classical Particle Picture
 Brownian motion. Monatomic gases. Avogadro's number. Pressure. The Ideal Gas Law.
 Temperature. Mean free path and rms velocity. Kinetic Energy and Heat. The MaxwellBoltzmann distribution.
 Heat Capacity of a monatomic gas. Molecular gases. Rotational and vibrational modes. Equipartition of energy.
2. The Classical Wave Picture
 Introduction to waves.
 Sound Waves. Velocity of sound. Relationship to properties of matter.
 Light. Spectrum of Electromagnetic waves. Velocity of light in a vacuum. Wavefronts and Huygens' Principle.
 Superposition of waves. Interference. Phase difference.
 Diffraction by a single slit. Young's double slits. Diffraction grating. Xray diffraction.
3. The Quantum World
 The Photoelectric Effect. Planck's constant. The Photon. Quantisation of Energy.
 Diffraction of electrons. Diffraction of neutrons and atoms. The de Broglie wavelength.
 Wave particle duality. The wavefunction. Wave packets. The uncertainty principle.
 The probability density interpretation of the wavefunction. Schrödinger's cat. The role of the observer. The quantum interpretation of the double slit experiment.
Part II: Atoms, Molecules and Solids
1. Elementary Quantum Mechanics
 Schrödinger's equation. Solutions for a free particle, and a particle in a box.
 Potential wells. Energy levels in an infinite well and in a harmonic well.
 Effect of a step potential. The finite barrier. Quantum tunnelling.
2. The Hydrogen Atom
 A review of classical circular orbits. The Bohr model. Energy dependence of radius. Limitation of classical picture.
 Quantisation of angular momentum and energy. Electron spin. Wave functions and probability distributions. Energy levels.
 Absorption and emission of photons. Bohr frequency condition. Spectral lines for Hydrogen. Allowed and forbidden transitions. Line widths and lifetimes.
3. Complex Atoms and Molecules
Multielectron atoms. Energy level diagrams and spectral lines. The Pauli exclusion principle. Fermions and bosons. Orbitals. The periodic table of elements.
 Stimulated emission. Population inversion and amplification. The HeliumNeon laser.
 The hydrogen molecule. Splitting of single electron energy levels. The covalent bond. Brief discussion of other types of bonds.
4. The Solid State
 The phases of matter. Gases, liquids and solids. Crystalline and amorphous materials. Crystal structure.
 Energy bands. Insulators and metals. Filled and unfilled bands. The Fermi level. Conduction of electricity in metals.
 Semiconductors. Conduction and valence bands. Electrons and holes. Doping. The pn junction and the laser diode.
 Superfluid Helium. Bosons don't obey exclusion principle. Condensation into a collective ground state. Cooper pairs and superconductivity.
Part III: The Stuff of the Universe
1. The Atomic Nucleus
 Discovery of the nucleus. The nuclear scale. High energy electron scattering. The nucleonnucleon interaction. Mass and Binding Energy (E=mc2).
 Radioactive decays: The radioactive decay law. Alpha, beta and gamma decays. Energy released in nuclear decays.
 Nuclear reactions: Nuclear instability, Nuclear fission (spontaneous and induced) and Nuclear fusion (nucleosynthesis and thermonuclear).
2. Elementary Particles
 Introduction to elementary particles. Quantum field theory. Antiparticles. The muon and pion. The particle explosion.
 The Standard Model. The eightfold way and quarks. Quantum chromodynamics. Quark confinement. Evidence for quarks. The weak interaction. Leptons. The fundamental forces.
 Conservation laws and particle decays: Crossing symmetry, conservation of charge, baryon number & lepton number. Strangeness. Particle decays and widths. Strength of the forces.
3. Matter in the Universe
 The expanding universe: Doppler effect, redshift. Hubble's Law. The critical density.
 Dark matter. Dark energy. The cosmic microwave background. The Big Bang. Unification of forces. 
Transferable skills 
Problem solving, group working, communication (written and verbal), time and resource management, gathering and organising information, creativity, practical and experimental skills, data analysis skills. 
Reading list 
'Principles of Physics' (Extended International Edition; 9th Edition, authors: Halliday, Resnick and Walker, publisher: Wiley) 
Study Abroad 
Not entered 
Study Pattern 
Not entered 
Keywords  P1B 
Contacts
Course organiser  Dr Ross Galloway
Tel:
Email: ross.galloway@ed.ac.uk 
Course secretary  Miss Jennifer Wood
Tel: (0131 6)50 7218
Email: J.Wood@ed.ac.uk 

