PHGN 310: Modern Physics Honors (SPRING 2011)

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

Lecture Location and Time
220 Meyer Hall, Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays @ 09:00-09:50 AM

Office Hours
  • Mondays @ 1:00-3:00 PM
  • Fridays @ 2:00-5:00 PM

    Teaching Assistant
    Zhedong Zhang (235 Meyer Hall,

  • Syllabus
    Here you can find the lecture schedule, notes, handouts, assignments, etc.

    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 220: Introduction to Electromagnetism and Optics

  • Homework Assignments
    Homework will be due on its due date at 5:00 PM, and please put it into the TA's mail box at 325 Meyer Hall (You can go to the instuctor's office to get the key if the room is locked). Individual homework will be graded out of 100, and a zero point will be given if a homework assignment is not returned on time without a valid reason (with my signature). Totally there will be about 11 assignments, however, the instructor will drop your lowest homework score to calculate the final homework grade.

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

    Homework (30%) + Midterm Exams (2 × 20% = 40%) + Final Exam (30%) + Quiz (5%)
    A: 90-100%, B: 80-89%, C: 70-79%, D: 60-69%, F: 0-59%

    Honor Code
    Homework assignments have to be done INDEPENDENTLY. Group discussions are encouraged but you still need to finish the problems by yourself, and report it in your notes. If you use any materials form books other than the textbook, papers, online resources, please also report in your notes. No deduction will be made if you report; otherwise I treat it as an academic integrity violation.

    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.