Undergraduate Course: Modern Physics (PHYS08045)
Course Outline
School  School of Physics and Astronomy 
College  College of Science and Engineering 
Credit level (Normal year taken)  SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) 
Availability  Available to all students 
SCQF Credits  10 
ECTS Credits  5 
Summary  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. 
Course description 
Modern Physics (20 lectures)
* Special Relativity
 Definition of inertial reference frames and invariance of speed of light (postulates of SR). Michelson Morley experiment. Role of the observer.
 Time dilation and Lorentz contraction. Events. Synchronisation. Moving clocks. Synchronised clocks in one frame viewed from another moving frame.
 Doppler (red shift) and its implications, the Lorentz factor, addition of velocities. Twins paradox. Rod and Shed paradox.
 Geometric formulation of SR (Minkowski Diagrams), and their relation to time dilation, Lorentz contraction, order of events, relativistic Doppler, world lines
 Momentum and relation to mass and energy as a relativistic property.
*Introduction to Quantum Physics
 Planck's radiation formula, Photoelectric effect, Einstein's photon theory
 Compton effect, De Broglie hypothesis, Correspondence Principle
 Bohr atom, atomic spectra
 Wavefunction, probability interpretation, Uncertainty Principle
 Time dependent Schrödinger equation, quantum mechanical operators
 Probability density function, outcomes of measurements
 Time independent Schrödinger equation, stationary states, eigenfunctions and eigenvalues, commutators
 Solutions of time independent Schrödinger equation for unbound states, reflection and transmission coefficients, quantum mechanical tunnelling
 Solutions of time independent Schrödinger equation for bound states, quantisation, zero point energy

Information for Visiting Students
Prerequisites  None 
High Demand Course? 
Yes 
Course Delivery Information

Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1)

Quota: 268 
Course Start 
Semester 1 
Timetable 
Timetable 
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 )

Assessment (Further Info) 
Written Exam
80 %,
Coursework
20 %,
Practical Exam
0 %

Additional Information (Assessment) 
20% Coursework
80% Examination 
Feedback 
Feedback to students is provided in several ways including written feedback on returned weekly handins, onetoone discussion in workshops, inlecture personal response questions and postexam discussion sessions 
Exam Information 
Exam Diet 
Paper Name 
Hours & Minutes 

Main Exam Diet S1 (December)  Modern Physics Dec Exam  1:105   Resit Exam Diet (August)   1:45  
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the 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.
 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.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 
Not entered 
Additional Class Delivery Information 
Lectures and workshops 
Keywords  ModP 
Contacts
Course organiser  Prof Franz Muheim
Tel: (0131 6)50 5235
Email: F.Muheim@ed.ac.uk 
Course secretary  Miss Katy Brown
Tel: (01316) 505310
Email: kbrown12@ed.ac.uk 

