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Modern Physics

Semester 2

This is a calculus-based physics course covering the basic laws and phenomena in Modern Physics.


Modern Physics (18 Lectures):

  • Bohr Atom:
    • Spectral series for hydrogen, Bohr’s postulates, derivation of energy levels, blackbody radiation and quantized energy levels (qualitative)
  • Waves & Corpuscles:
    • Wave-particle duality; photo-electric effect; Compton-effect; energy, momentum and wavelength of a photon, deBroglie’s equation, wave function, particle in a box.
  • Special Relativity:
    • Galilean relativity; Einstein postulates;
    • Lorentz transformation; simultaneity; time dilation; length contraction; derivation of velocity transformations, the equation E2 = p2c2 + mo2c4 and its applications.
  • Particle Physics and the Big Bang: Elementary particles;
    • Three groups; Conservation Laws;
    • Eightfold way; Quarks;
    • Fundamental interactions and their unification;
    • The standard model;
    • The history of the universe.

One 2-hour theory examination paper                                    60%

Two 1-hour in-course tests - (15% each)                                30%

Laboratory Report (Averaged of 6 labs at 10% each)            10%

Learning Objectives: 

After completing this course, students should be able to:  

  • Apply Lorentz transform to physically and quantitatively interpret concepts of time-dilation and length-contraction in Relativity Theory.
  • Explain the wave-particle duality of the photon.
  • Apply concepts of 20th Century Modern Physics to deduce the structure of atoms.
  • Analyze the structure of matter at its most fundamental.
  • Describe the evolution of the Universe and explain the ideas of the Big Bang theory.
  • Perform and interpret the results of simple experiments and demonstrations of physical principles.
CAPE/A-Level Physics or PHYS0411 and PHYS0412 and PHYS 0421 and PHYS 0422 or CSEC Physics with CAPE/A-Level Math

Required Textbook:

Halliday, Resnick, and Walker; “Fundamentals of Physics Extended”; 8th Edition, 2007; ISBN 978-0-471-75801-3

Reference Textbook:

Serway Moses and Moyer, “Modern Physics”, 3rd Edition, 2004.ISBN-10: 0534493394

Internet Sources:

      1.    Online lectures:

2.    Online tutorials:

Online Vides/Simulations:




Course Code: 
3 Credits
Level 1
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