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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Physics and Astronomy : Undergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy)

Undergraduate Course: Modern Physics (PHYS08045)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Physics and Astronomy CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) Credits10
Home subject areaUndergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy) Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis course is designed for pre-honours physics students continuing from PH1. It provides an introduction to special relativity and quantum physics. It serves both as a preparation for further study in physics-based degree programmes, and as a stand-alone course for students of other disciplines, including mathematics, chemistry, geosciences, computer science and engineering. The course consists of lectures to present new material, and workshops to develop understanding, familiarity and fluency.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( Physics 1A: Foundations (PHYS08016) AND Mathematics for Physics 2 (PHYS08036)) OR ( Physics 1A: Foundations (PHYS08016) AND Introduction to Linear Algebra (MATH08057) AND Calculus and its Applications (MATH08058))
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Classical and Modern Physics (PHYS08044)
Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 1, Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  No Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 16/09/2013
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 22, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 54 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 80 %, Coursework 20 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)2:00
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course it is intended that student will be able to:
- State the basic principles of special relativity and elementary quantum mechanics and the regimes in which the different theories apply
- Apply these principles in conjunction with elementary mathematical techniques to solve simple problems in relativistic and quantum mechanics
- Present a solution to a physics problem in a clear and logical written form
- Assess whether a solution to a given problem is physically reasonable
- Locate and use additional sources of information (to include discussion with peers where appropriate) to facilitate independent problem-solving
- Take responsibility for learning by attending lectures and workshops, and completing coursework
Assessment Information
20% Coursework
80% Examination
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Modern Physics (20 lectures)

*Special Relativity (10 lectures)
- Definition of inertial reference frames and invariance of speed of light,(postulates of SR). Michelson Morley experiment. Role of the observer. (2)
- Time effects and the concept of time dilation and Lorentz contraction. Events. Synchronisation. Moving clocks. Synchronised clocks in one frame viewed from another moving frame. (2)
- Doppler (red shift) and its implications, Gamma, addition of velocities. Twins paradox. Rod and Shed paradox. (2)
- Geometric formulation of SR (Minkowski Diagrams), and their relation to time dilation, Lorentz contraction, order of events, relativistic Doppler, world lines, event horizon. (2)
- Momentum and relation to mass and energy as a relativistic property. (2)

*Introduction to Quantum Physics (10 lectures)
- Planck's Radiation formula (1)
- Photoelectric Effect, Einstein's photon theory (1)
- Rutherford scattering (1)
- Compton Effect (1)
- Bohr-Sommerfeld quantization condition; Bohr Atom (1)
- Discussion of atomic spectra (1)
- Correspondence Principle, De Broglie relations between waves and particles, Uncertainty Principle (1)
- First look at Schršodinger's equation. Meaning of wavefunction, probability interpretation, probability current. (1)
- First look at solving Schršodinger's equation for particle in a box (2)
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
Course organiserDr Alex Murphy
Tel: (0131 6)50 5285
Course secretaryMiss Jillian Bainbridge
Tel: (0131 6)50 7218
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