Textbook: K. Krane, "Modern Physics", 3rd ed.

Course Topics

Relativity | Quantum Theory | Statistical Physics | Nuclear Physics | Elementary Particles

Topics expected to be covered in this course are expected to be RELATIVITY, QUANTUM THEORY, STATISTICAL PHYSICS, NUCLEAR PHYSICS, and ELEMENTARY PARTICLES.

- Units and constants. Electron volts.
- Galilean invariance. Principle of Relativity. Inertial frames.
- Michelson-Morley experiment: electrodynamics satisfies the Principle of Relativity.
- Postulates of special relativity.
- Consequences of the postulates:
- Time dilation.
- Length contraction.
- Relativity of simultaneity.

- Lorentz transformation.
- Addition of velocities.
- Relativistic invariants: charge, proper time.
- Experimental verification of special relativity
- Relativistic energy and momentum. Rest energy.
- The invariant
*E*^{2}-*p*^{2}*c*^{2}=*m*^{2}*c*^{4}. - Energy-momentum conservation in decays and collisions.

- Electromagnetic waves in cavities.
- Statistical mechanics: Boltzmann factor.
- Average energy of a quantized mode. Number of modes in a frequency range.
- Planck radiation formula.
- Wien's law and the Stefan-Boltzmann law.
- Photoelectric effect.
- Compton effect.
- Bremsstrahlung, X-ray diffraction, Bragg condition, pair production and annihilation.
- de Broglie waves.
- Wave-particle duality.
- Uncertainty principle.
- The Schroedinger equation.
- Solutions with definite energy and momentum.
- Standing wave solutions, definite energy but uncertain momentum.
- Particle in a box, energy spectrum.
- Schroedinger equation with a potential.
- The harmonic oscillator in classical and quantum mechanics.
- Atomic structure.
- Rutherford's experiment. The nucleus. Coulomb force.
- Bohr's model of the atom. Atomic stability and spectral lines.
- Schroedinger equation for the hydrogen atom.
- Quantum numbers
*n*,*l*, and*m*:- Physical significance.
- Rules.

- States of hydrogen: degeneracy of each level, spectroscopic notation.
- Electron spin and magnetic moment.
- Zeeman effect.

- Maxwell distribution of speeds for the molecules of a gas.
- The Boltzmann factor.
- Fermions and Bosons. Exclusion principle.
- Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein distributions.

- Nuclear size and nucleon density as a function of
*r*. - Significance of the relation
*R*=*R*_{0}*A*^{1/3}. - The nucleus as a Fermi gas. Typical kinetic energy of a nucleon.
- Definition of binding energy. Calculation of binding energy from mass tables.
- Significance of the curve of binding energy per particle vs.
*A*. - Stable nuclei as a function of
*Z*and*N*=*A-Z*. Conclusions from its general shape. - Unstable nuclei, fission, radioactivity.
- Alpha decay, tunneling, isotopic lifetimes.
- Beta decay, K-capture, the neutrino, weak interactions.
- Nuclear reactions, fusion, nuclear energy in stars.

- Classification, terminology.
- Forces: Gravitational, weak, electromagnetic, and strong.
- Particles:
- Old: Baryons, leptons, mesons, photons.
- New: Weak bosons, quarks, gluons, the Higgs.

- Conservation laws:
- Always:
- Energy, momentum, angular momentum, electric charge.
- Baryon number
*B*, lepton number*L*.

- Sometimes:
- Parity
*P*, charge conjugation*C*, time reversal*T*. - Isospin
*I*, strangeness*S*, charm*C*, bottom, top.

- Parity

- Always:

- Events. Historic firsts.
- Neutrinos, pions, muons, antiparticles.
- Internal quantum numbers: isospin conserved in strong interactions.
- Weak interactions don't conserve parity:
^{60}Co decay. Helicity of neutrino and anti-neutrino. - Associated production, strangeness, new baryons and mesons.
- The quark model.
- K-meson 'flavors' produced in states that don't have definite energy. Time-reversal not OK in weak interactions.
- ν
_{e}not the same as ν_{μ}. - Electroweak unification, weak vector bosons, the Higgs particle(s) and LHC at CERN.
- Color, gluons, Quantum chromodynamics.
- Neutrino flavor oscillations, solar neutrinos.

- The Standard Model.
- The Big Bang Hypothesis --- Cosmology.

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