Fall 2008

Instructor: |
Andreas Piepke (202A Gallalee; 348-6066) |

Time and place: |
Tuesday and Thursday 11:00 am to 12:15 pm in room 200 (Gallalee Hall). |

Office hours: |
10:00 am to 12:00 am Wednesday. I have an open door policy. You may see me whenever I am in. |

Text used: |
Jeremy I. Pfeffer, Shlomo Nir, Modern Physics |

Prerequisite: |
MATH 126 |

PH 102 | |

OR | |

PH 106 | |

Credit: |
3 hours |

PH253 Web site: |
http://bama.ua.edu/~andreas/phys253_2008/phys253_2008.html |

Physics 253 is a calculus based introduction to modern physics. The physics concepts covered in this class were all discovered within the last 100 years, hence the name 'Modern Physics'. The two cornerstones of this subject are relativity and quantum mechanics. These two subjects will be covered in some detail. Many of the subjects covered in this class will challenge your intuition and math skills. They are, however, important to develop a deeper understanding of the world we are living in.

The class will cover special relativity (1), foundations of quantum physics, the Schrödinger equation (2), quantum mechanical description of the hydrogen atom (3), interaction of radiation with matter (4), nuclear physics (5), and some selected applications. The numbers given in brackets denote the relevant textbook chapters. During the course of this class the students should develop a

Physics is a quantitative science, describing nature by using observational facts (

The class consists of lectures and in-class problems. The lectures will be presented in form of PowerPoint presentations. Electronic lecture notes will be linked to the class schedule, on the web as the class goes on. You will need PowerPoint or PowerPoint Viewer to view the lecture notes. PowerPoint Viewer can be downloaded from the web free of charge. The lecture notes will not cover some class room examples, which will be presented on the white board. It is a good idea to keep notes as some of the in-class examples will be similar to the exam problems. This should encourage class attendance.

It is expected that the students read the appropriate textbook sections

Problems are assigned weekly (usually on Tuesday) and are due the following Tuesday in class. Late work will not be accepted. The homework problems, in pdf format, will be linked to the class schedule. Every set of homework problems will count 1 point. The homework problems will be posted on the web, worked out solutions will have to be submitted on paper. A teaching assistant will grade the work.

It has been observed that some students were able to obtain solutions for homework problems on-line. This will, of course, improve the homework grades. However, it has also been observed that these students perform very poorly in the exams as they have not really learned how to

Students are expected to attend the classes. Regular attendance is a crucial element in being able to pass the exams. Studies have shown a clear and direct correlation of attendance with grades. Short quizzes will be administered on a regular basis. The quiz grade will count towards the class grade. A correct answer will count 1 point, a wrong answer 0.5 points. If you are not handing in an answer sheet you will receive 0 points.

No makeup of in-class work or exams will be given. If you have a legitimate reason for missing a major exam, then you must inform the instructor as soon as possible. If the reason is acceptable, then the final exam will count proportionately more. The two lowest quiz grades and homeworks will be dropped. This will allow a limited number of missed classes regardless of the reason.

A mid-term exam will be administered: Thursday, October 2 (11:00 am to 12:15 pm). The

In both exams you will be allowed to use one (letter sized) equation sheet and a pocket calculator. The use of the textbook or the lecture notes will not be permitted. Cell phones have to be turned off during the exams.

Homework problems will be submitted each Tuesday in class. Short (10 min) quizzes will be given based on in-class work done during the week and the most recently submitted problem assignment. Thus, class attendance is very important. There will be no makeup of missed class work.

- Homework: 30%
- Quizzes: 10%
- Mid term exam: 20%
- Final exam: 40%

Letter GradeNumerical Grade

Description.

(Min. percentage points)A+ 4.33 (100%)

A 4.00 Superior ability or attainment significantly beyond all minimum expectations (93%)

A- 3.67 (90%)

B+ 3.33 (86%)

B 3.00 Good ability or attainment which meets and exceeds many minimum expectations (83%)

B- 2.67 (80%)

C+ 2.33 (76%)

C 2.00 Ability or attainment which is acceptable and meets all minimum (required) expectations (73%)

C- 1.67 (70%)

D+ 1.33 (66%)

D 1.00 Ability or attainment which does not meet all minimum (required) expectations (63%)

D- 0.67 (60%)

F 0.00 Attainment of some but not a number of important minimum expectations and is, thus, not appropriate for a minimum professional level of performance (0-59%).

Students are expected to follow the Code of Student Conduct, as laid down by The University of Alabama. All acts of dishonesty in any work constitute academic misconduct. In particular each student is expected to do his/her own work on quizzes and exams. Suspected violators of this policy will be referred to the Dean's Office in the College of Arts and Sciences. Students are encouraged to work together when studying and preparing for homework.

To request disability accommodations, please contact Disability Services (348-4285). After initial arrangements are made with that office, contact Dr. Piepke.