P301 | 3489 | Schwandt

P301: PHYSICS 3 FALL SEMESTER, 1999 Section 3489 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 hard to grasp for the first time. TEXTBOOK The textbook for P301: Physics 3 is ! Modern Physics (2nd edition) by Serway, Moser and Moyer. This book contains more material than we can cover in one semester, so we will have to be selective. Homework problems will be assigned from this text. Other (similar) textbooks will be placed on reserve in Swain Hall Library for reference. HOMEWORK 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 in class. 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. Your lowest homework score will be dropped in the final determination of your grade for the course. QUIZZES Generally, there will be a short (about 15 minutes) QUIZ given approximately every two weeks. They will normally be held on Mondays at the beginning of the class period. Each quiz will be based on the material covered by homework-sets already handed in. There will be no make-up quizzes. Absence can be excused only for documented medical reasons. Your lowest quiz score will be dropped in the final determination of your grade for the course. EXAMS 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 partly comprehensive. 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 course.