PHGN 300: Modern Physics (Spring 2010)


Prof. Zhigang Wu
Office: 443 Meyer Hall
Phone: (303) 2733068

Lecture Location and Time
220 Meyer Hall, Tuesdays & Thursdays @ 9:30-10:45 AM

Office Hours
Tuesdays & Thursdays @ 1:00-2:00 PM

Teaching Assistant
Gang Chen
Office: 235 Meyer Hall

Course Description
This is the third course in introductory physics for scientists and engineers. It covers a broad range of topics including the special theory of relativity, quantum theory, atomic and molecular physics, solid-state physics, semiconductor theory and devices, atomic nucleus, particle physics and cosmology. I will discuss the historic experiments leading to the key discoveries after the maturity of classical physics, and the basic concepts, theories, and models behind our present technologies such as laser and transistors. The goal of this course is not only providing students with an overview of the advances in physics during the last century, but also stimulating the maturation of students’ critical thinking, analysis, and learning skills, which are crucial for their future success in science or engineering.

PHGN 200: Introduction to Electromagnetism and Optics

Course Delivery
The course will be delivered mainly by Powerpoint presentations, with occasionally use of the blackboard. A portable document format (PDF) version of the lectures will be available shortly before the class.

Homework Assignments
Homework will be due on its due date at 5:00 PM in TA’s (Gang Chen) mail box at 325 Meyer Hall. Individual homework will be graded out of 10, and a zero point will be given if a homework assignment is not returned on time without a valid reason. The instructor will drop your lowest homework score to calculate the final homework grade.

Multiple-choice quizzes are givien during the lecture, and this is the answer sheet. Quizzes provide the classroom exercises, and could reveal the students' understanding of the materials as well, but they will not be counted for the final grade.

Three exams will be scheduled: two mid-terms and one final.

03/04: New Grading Policy
Homework (30%) + Midterm Exams (2 × 20% = 40%) + Final Exam (30%)
A: 90-100%, B: 80-89%, C: 70-79%, D: 60-69%, F: 0-59%

Error in Grading
The complaint of grading error in homework should be returned to TA. If you and the TA cannot make a consensus, you need to put it in writing and return it together with your original assignment to the instructor, and the instructor will review it. For the grading error in exams, you should argue with the instructor directly.

Thornton and Rex: Modern Physics for Scientists and Engineers, Brooks/Cole, 2006.