Fall 2022

Modern Physics

Listed in: Physics and Astronomy, as PHYS-225

Moodle site: Course


Jonathan R. Friedman (Section 01)


The theories of relativity (special and general) and the quantum theory constituted the revolutionary transformation of physics in the early twentieth century. Certain crucial experiments precipitated crises in our classical understanding to which these theories offered responses; in other instances, the theories implied strange and/or counterintuitive phenomena that were then investigated by crucial experiments. After an examination of the basics of Special Relativity, the quantum theory, and the important early experiments, we will consider their implications for model systems such as a particle in a box, the harmonic oscillator, and a simple version of the hydrogen atom. We will also explore the properties of nuclei and elementary particles, and study other topics such as lasers, photonics, and recent experiments of interest in contemporary physics. Three class hours per week.

Requisites: MATH 121 and PHYS 117 or 124 or equivalent or consent of the instructor. 2022-2023 Fall semester. Professor Friedman.

How to handle overenrollment: null

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: quantitative work and working in groups


2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022