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Physics 202: Modern Physics


Course Outline

Relativity: Experimentalbasis, Einstein’s postulates, Lorentz transformation, time dilation,length contraction, Doppler effect, twin paradox, relativistic momentumand energy, mass/energy, invariant mass, equivalence principle)

Wave Mechanics: Schrödingerequation, physical significance of the wave function, conservation ofprobability, uncertainty principle, Ehrenfest’s theorem

Time Independent Schrödinger Equation: separation of variables, particle in a box, statistical interpretation, energy operator, eigenvalues and eigenfunctions

One Dimensional Potentials: finite square well, simple harmonic oscillator, scattering and the step potential, tunneling and the square barrier,

Principles of Quantum Mechanics:observables and Hermitian operators, commuting operators, non-commutingoperators and the uncertainty principle, EPR, Schrödinger’s cat

Quantum mechanics in 3 dimensions: orbital angular momentum, hydrogen atom, Zeeman effect, spin

Identical Particles: multiparticle systems, multielectron atoms, quantum statistics, black-body radiation, Bose-Einstein condensation

Other topics: from condensed matter, particle physics, biophysics, as time allows



Lectures M W F  9:00 AM

Problem session or other assigned meeting

Homework (30%) Weekly problem sets

Term exam (30%)

Final exam (40%)

Text: John S. Townsend, A modern introduction to quantum physics


All information is representative only, and is likely to change from year to year.