Welcome to Physics 2130!

Finals Week

Our final exam is scheduled Thursday Dec. 15, 1:30PM to 4PM in Duane G1B30. The exam is cummulative, covering material from the entire course, but with a bit more weight on material since Exam 2, on quantum mechanics.

Reading: Read TZD Chapters 1-10 as review for the Final Exam.

Homework: HWK is complete. Please check your scores on D2L.

Week 16

Last week of lectures. We continue with the topics the Pauli Exclusion Principle, electrons in atoms, and spin 1/2 particles (like electrons!) as an example of a "Two-level" systems. We will touch on entanglement and some of the interesting new technologies that are based on quantum entangled two-state systems, also called quantum bits or qubits.

Reading: Read TZD Chapter 9 on Electron Spin and Chapter 10 on multi-electron atoms.

Homework: HWK 14 is due Wed. Dec. 7 at 5PM.

Week 15

We continue with the hydrogen atom as an important example of the Schroedinger Equation in 3-d cases. We will then turn to the interesting fact that electrons, protons, neutrons, and other particles have INTRINSIC ANGULAR MOMENTUM. In particular, they have a special intrinsic angular momentum, spin 1/2, which allows them to report only one of two possible z-components of angular momentum. Such particles with half-integer intrinsic angular momentum are called Fermions and they follow the Pauli Exclusion Principle that only one of these particles can occupy a given state with a given set of quantum numbers. That fact leads to the behavior of multi-electron atoms and the Periodic Table of the elements.

Reading: Read TZD Chapter 8 on the Schroedinger Equation in 2-d and 3-d. Then browse Chapter 9 on Electron Spin.

Homework: HWK 14 is due Wed. Dec. 7 at 5PM.

Week 14

No classes this week. Enjoy the Break!

Reading: Read TZD Chapter 8 on the Schroedinger Equation in 2-d and 3-d.

Homework: HWK 13 is due Wed. Nov. 30 at 5PM.

Week 13

We are solving the S. E. for a variety of special cases. This week, we will study TUNNELING of particles out of simple 1-dimensional wells. Tunneling is another very general quantum mechanical property: Particle can escape from potential wells evern though their energy is too low to get out by classical thinking. We will then start looking at quantum mechanics in 3-dimensional systems. Oh yes, LINEAR SUPERPOSITION STATES!

Reading: Read TZD Chapter 8 on the Schroedinger Equation in 2-d and 3-d.

Homework: HWK 13 is due Wed. Nov. 30 at 5PM.

Week 12

We are solving the S. E. for a variety of special cases. This week, it's for particle in boxes of various types. We will see that the S. E. always gives you a set of states that we use to make LINEAR SUPERPOSITION states that are determined by initial conditions. We will learn about Zero Point motion, tunneling, and how time-dependent positions actually are described in quantum mechanics. LINEAR SUPERPOSITION STATES!

Reading: Read TZD Chapter 7 on the Schroedinger Equation.

Homework: HWK 12 is due Wed. Nov. 16 at 5PM.

Week 11

We know that matter can have wave properties, like constructive and destructive interference. Once you understand that matter should be described by a wave function, by waves that are possibly superpositions of several waves, and that the probability of observing a particle is the squared magnitude of the wave, the major thing left to do is actually FINDING the wave for various situations. It's time to learn about Schroedinger's Equation for finding the waves. That's the topic this week.

Reading: Read TZD Chapter 7 on the Schroedinger Equation.

Homework: HWK 11 is due Wed. Nov. 9 at 5PM.

Week 10

Exam 2 is Thursday evening 7:30P-9P in Hale 270. Same format as for Exam 1.
It appears that all matter can be described by waves, the wave frequency is related to energy, the wave length is related to momentum, and the waves can show interference. The absolute square of the wave gives the probability density of finding the particle in some small volume. AND, you can superpose the waves to give the particle a higher probability of being in some special place, but you lose information about momentum when you do. Not surprising for waves!

Reading: Read TZD Chapter 6.1-6.7 on matter waves.

Homework: HWK 9 is due Wed. Oct. 26 at 5PM.

Week 9

We have seen that the electrons in atoms have special discrete energy levels. Why does that happen? Bohr hypothesized the quantization of angular momentum to explain the discrete levels of hydrogen, but why is angular momentum quantized? Is it just a brute fact, or is there an underlying reason? deBroglie's picture where all particles might have a wavelength and a frequency and might show interference effects like we see for light provides an underlying reason for the discrete levels: They arise from standing waves, interfereing matter waves, for the electrons in atoms.

Reading: Read TZD Chapter 6.1-6.7 on matter waves.

Homework: HWK 9 is due Wed. Oct. 26 at 5PM.

Week 8

The photon picture of light shows how the classical EM wave is also observed to be measured as a stream of particles, each of which has an energy and momentum of fixed size. Light waves are quantized into chunks of specific size. Similarly, this week we will study the fact that electronic energy levels in atoms appear to be discrete, so that atoms absorb and emit energy in specific-sized chunks. Energy levels are quantized. Why this happens will lead us to understand that even massive particles, say electrons, have wave properties.

Reading: Read TZD Chapter 5.1-5.7 on quantization of atomic energy levels.

Homework: HWK 8 is due Wed. Oct. 19 at 5PM.

Week 7

This week we consider how a beam of light (EM waves) also can have the properties of a beam of particles (Photons!). Light shows all the classic behavior of waves, especially the constructive and destructive interference effects expected, AND appears to behave in a way that is easiest to explain as being also a stream of particles each of which carries a well-defined momentum and energy. In fact, light has both wave and particle properties. We now know that ALL things appear to behave this way. ALL things apparently can diffract and interfere like light.

Reading: Read TZD Chapter 5.1-5.4 on quantization of atomic energy levels.

Homework: HWK 7 is due Wed. Oct. 12 at 5PM.

Week 6

Exam 1 is scored, solutions are on D2L, and your scores are posted.
This week we continue working on electromagnetic waves. Again, EM waves are something you've already seen, but can now use as a path for understanding some of the tools we will use in quantum mechanics. This week we should become comfortable with Maxwell's Equations in local form (partial differential equations) and have a new tool for studying their solutions, the exponentials of complex argument (just sine and cosine, but in a very useful form).

Reading: Read TZD Chapter 4.1-4.3 on photons and photoelectric effect. You should also have read Chapter 3 to warm up for quantum mechanics.

Homework: HWK 6 is due Wed. Oct. 5 at 5PM.

Week 5

This week we will finish our study of Special Relativity and move on to a quick treatment of electromagnetic waves. EM waves are something you've already seen, but can now use as a path for understanding some of the tools we will use in quantum mechanics.
EXAM 1 is on Thursday evening. Please see the Exams tab for more information.

Reading: Read TZD Chapter 2, sections 2.6-2.8 and browse the rest of Chapter 2.
Then start Chapter 3 to warm up for quantum mechanics.

Homework: HWK 5 is due Wed. Sept. 28 at 5PM.

Week 4

Observers in different reference frames will measure different amounts of time passing between events (Time Dilation) and different distances between events (Length Contration). Further, the different observers know how to calculate what is measured in other frames, given the measurements they make in their own frame (Lorentz Transformations). Now that we know how to calculate the distances and times measured by observers in different frames, we are in the position to see how different frames measure relative velocities. The result shows that Newton's ideas about momentum and energy need to be updated to match these new ideas! Newton was very close, but needs to be modified.

Reading: Read TZD Chapter 2, sections 2.1-2.5 for this week.

Homework: HWK 4 is due Wed. Sept. 21 at 5PM.

Week 3

NO LECTURE MONDAY (Labor Day). The fact that inertial observers in different frames measure the same speed of light means that time needs to be more carefully considered than in Galilean Relativity. For example, ordering of 'simultaneous' events can be different in different frames. Similarly, the time that observers measure between events is always a larger amount of time than the Proper Time (time between the events in a frame where they are at the same location and can be measured by a single observer). We refer to this effect as Time Dilation. During this week, we use the Time Dilation result to show that observers will measure the distance between events to be different for different frames (Length Contraction). We then show how the position and time of events in one frame can be used to calculate the postion and time measured by observers in a different frame (Lorentz Transformations).

Reading: Read TZD Chapter 1, sections 1.9-1.13 for this week.

Homework: HWK 2 is due Wed. Sept. 7 at 5PM.
HWK 3 is due Wed. Sept. 14 at 5PM.

Week 2

This week we concentrate on observations of time between events as measured by observers in different inertial frames. The end result is that the time differences are different in different frames. We refer to this behavior as Time Dilation.

Reading: Read TZD Chapter 1, sections 1.6-1.9 for this week.

Homework: HWK 1 is available and due Wed. Aug. 31 at 5PM.
HWK 2 is due Wed. Sept. 7 at 5PM.

Week 1

First lecture is Monday, August 22, 2:00P-2:50P, in room Duane G130.

Have a look at the course syllabus

Summary of things to do during or by the first week:
Buy the text (Taylor, Zafiratos, and Dubson's Modern Physics for Scientists and Engineers, 2nd Ed.). The textbook is required for course reading and homework problems, so get a copy as soon as you can.
Buy a clicker if you don't have one. Then follow these instructions to register.

Reading: Read TZD Chapter 1, sections 1.1-1.7 for this week.

Homework: HWK 1 is available and due Wed. Aug. 31 at 5PM.