Undergraduate Course: Modern Physics (PHYS08045)
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 2 Undergraduate) 
Credits  10 
Home subject area  Undergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy) 
Other subject area  None 
Course website 
None 
Taught in Gaelic?  No 
Course description  This course is designed for prehonours 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 physicsbased degree programmes, and as a standalone 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. 
Information for Visiting Students
Prerequisites  None 
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?  No 
Course Delivery Information

Delivery period: 2014/15 Semester 1, Available to all students (SV1)

Learn enabled: No 
Quota: None 

Web Timetable 
Web Timetable 
Course Start Date 
15/09/2014 
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 problemsolving
 Take responsibility for learning by attending lectures and workshops, and completing coursework 
Assessment Information
20% Coursework
80% Examination 
Special Arrangements
None 
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)
 BohrSommerfeld 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 
Keywords  ModP 
Contacts
Course organiser  Dr Alex Murphy
Tel: (0131 6)50 5285
Email: a.s.murphy@ed.ac.uk 
Course secretary  Mrs Bonnie Macmillan
Tel: (0131 6)50 5905
Email: Bonnie.MacMillan@ed.ac.uk 

