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

Undergraduate Course: Classical and Modern Physics (PHYS08044)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Physics and Astronomy CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course is designed for pre-honours direct entry physics students. It provides an introduction to classical dynamics, waves, 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.
Course description Classical Physics (20 lectures)

*Revision of elementary statics & dynamics (4 lectures)
- Statics forces, resolution of forces into components. Force diagrams. (1)
- Laws of motion in two and three dimensions: Newton's Laws in vector form. Conservation of linear momentum. (1)
- Concept of reference frames, relative motion, laws of motion in this notation.(1)
- Force/Work relation, conservation of energy (kinetic and potential), dynamic and static friction. (1)

*Further dynamics (8 lectures)
- Centre-of-mass of points and solid bodies (1)
- Linear momentum of system of particles, centre-of-mass frame, elastic collision in centre-of-mass frame. (1)
- Full dynamics in one-dimension: use of differential equations, Rocket equations, friction, air resistance etc). (2)
- Rotational motion, torque, angular acceleration and angular momentum of set of particles. (2)
- Moment-of-inertia of sets of particles and rigid bodies, central axis theorem, angular equations of motion, energy relations. (2)

*Oscillations & waves (8 lectures)
- Linear restoring force, SHM in 1-dimension, displacement, velocity, acceleration,energy in undamped oscillations. The pendulum. (1)
- Damped SHM, types, characteristic time, frequency shift. (1)
- Forced damped SHM, resonance behaviour (1)
- Wave on a string, wave-equation, travelling waves, group and phase velocities, energy transfer by waves. (3)
- Superposition principle, interference, beats, standing waves and applications of practical systems, Doppler effects, links to Fourier series. (2)

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)
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Physics 1A: Foundations (PHYS08016) OR Modern Physics (PHYS08045) OR Classical Physics (PHYS08055)
Other requirements Physics and Maths with A grades in Advance Highers or A-levels (or equivalent)
Information for Visiting Students
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2014/15, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 44, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 40, Summative Assessment Hours 3, Revision Session Hours 4, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 105 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 80 %, Coursework 20 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 20% Coursework
80% Exams
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)3:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)3:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course it is intended that student will be able to:
- State the basic principles of classical dynamics, 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 classical, 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
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr Alex Murphy
Tel: (0131 6)50 5285
Course secretaryMrs Bonnie Macmillan
Tel: (0131 6)50 5905
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