Modern physics(Phys 2130/2170), is the third semester in our three-semester sequence of introductory physics courses. It comes in two flavors at CU: a course for engineering students (PHYS2130), and one for physics majors (PHYS 2170). These course materials have been used in both environments.

These materials were first developed and used by Carl Wieman, Kathy Perkins, and Sam McKagan in Fall 2005 and Spring 2006. They have seen significant additions and improvements over the years, and the latest versions include the following topics:

  • Photoelectric effect
  • Atomic spectra and lasers
  • Bohr and deBroglie models
  • Stern-Gerlach, entanglement & single-quanta experiments
  • Matter waves and the Schrödinger equation
  • Tunneling, α-decay, STM's
  • Atoms and molecular bonding
  • Conductivity, semiconductors, BEC
  • Special relativity

To access the materials
please visit our course archive page 

About the transformation:

We transformed this course using:

  • Explicit learning goals
  • Interactive lectures
  • Interactive online simulations
  • Collaborative problem solving
  • Concept tests ("clicker" questions)

Course effectiveness was investigated through the following assessments:

Download course materials

  • Access website with a zipped file containing all course materials EXCEPT homework and exams (see below)
  • Please email us at to obtain a zip file of all course materials INCLUDING homework and exams.

Instructors and education researchers are free to use and adapt these materials for non-commercial purposes, according to the Creative Commons license below. We ask for your cooperation in not making any solutions you may create for the homework (and exam problems, clicker questions, etc...) available on the open web, out of respect for instructors and students at other institutions, and for maintaining the integrity of our research.

Instructor's guide for "Best Practices in Clicker Use".

Other Resources

Are you using these materials?

Please contact us if you plan to use all or part of these course materials for your own electrodynamics course. If you have already used these materials, please fill out a short survey (~ 5 min.) about your experience. Your valuable feedback will help us understand where and how these materials are being used, and ways they might be improved.

Publications and posters

Other Resources

Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recomendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the national science foundation (NSF).