PHYSICS 251: Relativity & Intro. To Quantum Mechanics

Instructor: Dr. Tom Michalik

Textbook: Introduction to Relativity, Michalik.

Supplementary Text: Modern Physics, 2nd ed., Thornton & Rex, Saunders, 2000.

Course Goals: The course goals are to study and learn topics in modern physics at the sophomore level, and to strengthen problem solving skills.

Attendance: Class attendance is expected. Attendance will be taken each day. An absence does not relieve you from the responsibility for work required when you are absent. Absences, no matter what the cause, will be resolved individually case-by-case. Talk to me!

Homework: Homework is usually assigned each class meeting. Homework assignments are pledged. Homework assignments are due at the beginning of the class period immediately following the period in which the assignment was made. I do not accept late work or give partial credit for late work. (I make an exception, of course, for illness. Please notify me when you are ill.)

Tests: There will be two take-home tests during the semester and a final three hour exam. All tests and exams are open book, open notes, and open homework. You will have the entire weekend to complete the take-home tests. There are no set dates for the take-home tests. The class will decide which weekends are best. The first test is usually given at the end of the sixth week and the second test is usually given at the end of the eleventh week.

Grading: The course grade is computed from three contributions. Homework contributes 40%. The final exam contributes 30%. The best score from the two take-home tests contributes the remaining 30%. (Yes, I drop the lower grade of the two take-home tests.)

Course Content: The following topics will be covered in order: Special Relativity, Particle Properties of Light, Wave-Particle Duality, The Bohr Atom, and an Introduction to Quantum Mechanics. Computer exercises using Mathematica will be assigned.