Physics | Physics 3
P301 | 3617 | Schwandt
P301: PHYSICS 3
FALL SEMESTER, 2000
Section 3617 11:15-12:05 pm MWF SW 218
Instructor: Peter Schwandt, Prof. of Physics
(Nuclear & Accelerator Physics)
GENERAL COURSE DESCRIPTION
P301: PHYSICS 3 is the third semester of a 3-semester sequence.
The first two semesters (P221 and P222) covered several areas of what is
usually referred to as Classical Physics. This includes motion, mechanics,
waves, heat and thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, and light. These
areas were developed primarily before the twentieth century; they deal
generally with physics on the macroscopic scale, that is, they involve
matter on an everyday scale.
Several discoveries were made in the late 1890's and early 1900's that
focussed attention on a much smaller scale of things --- the world of atoms
and even smaller objects. (There had been plenty of evidence for the
existence of atoms prior to this, but scientists were reluctant to accept
the idea...until they were forced to!) This is where P301 begins. We
shall be considering the basis for two of the major revolutions that took
place at this time --- relativity and quantum mechanics. The latter will be
applied primarily to atoms. Following this, we'll branch out into other
areas --- condensed matter physics, nuclear physics, particle physics and
cosmology. How much time we spend on each will be determined by the
interests of the class.
What is the level of math needed for this course? Two semesters of
calculus is the usual pre-requisite, but students do not find the level of
math in this course too strenuous --- with one exception, namely when we
discuss the Schrodinger equation in quantum mechanics. Knowing this, I
will lead you through it as we go.
This course is NOT EASY. Many of the concepts of relativity and quantum
mechanics are non-intuitive and difficult to assimilate at first.
The textbook for P301: Physics 3 will be either Modern Physics (2nd edition)
by Serway, Moser and Moyer, or Nonclassical Physics by Harris.
Either book contains more material than we can cover in one semester, so
we will have to be selective. Homework problems will be assigned from the
text. Other (similar) textbooks will be placed on reserve in Swain Hall
Library for reference.
There are weekly homework assignments. The problems are chosen from the
course textbook. All problems assigned should be completed, though only
some of them will be selected for grading.
Your homework-sets are due each Friday. No late homework will be accepted,
unless prior permission has been given.
Solutions to the homework (as well as for quizzes and exams) are posted on
the web site created for this course.
Your lowest homework score will be dropped in the final determination of
your grade for the course.
During the semester, there will be 3 in-class exams. Each of these exams
will be based on the material covered since the previous exam. In
addition, there will be a FINAL EXAM during Finals Week. This will be a
2-hour exam at a time scheduled by the University. This exam will be
There will be no make-up exams given. Absence from an exam can be excused
only for documented medical reasons.
All four exams will count in the final determination of your grade for the