E105 | 0193 | Schwandt, P.

This is a course devoted to a study of the physics of the twentieth century, a subject best appreciated through its central theme, "the quantum theory." Not only has the quantum theory revolutionized our view of the world, it has made possible an unprecedented array of new devices and technologies – indeed, all of modern electronics and a significant number of medical techniques. We will review the concepts that grew out of the quantum hypothesis, show how these concepts led to our mastery of electronics, and describe how modern medical devices work. We will begin by outlining the "quantum" hypothesis and contrasting it with the notions of "classical" physics it supplanted. We will elaborate the theory and practice of the major ideas of the quantum period in physics, Einstein's theory of relativity, quantum physics, "wave-particle duality," radioactivity. We will show how these concepts are applied to carbon dating, biological effects of radiation, medical imaging, the laser, CS's and modern computing (semiconductors and integrated circuits) among other areas. In each case we will outline the theoretical basis of the laws and show how they are applied in today's technology. The course assumes knowledge of high school algebra, but does not require either trigonometry or calculus. Students will learn how to find materials relevant to modern technology on the World Wide Web. There will be three exams and one five-page paper in the course, and a few homework sets that will contain both problem-solving and "short- answer" questions.