PHYSICS 51B Modern Physics (2015-2016)

PHYSICS 51B Modern Physics

(Required for EE.)
Catalog Data:

PHYSICS 51B Modern Physics (Credit Units: 4) Atoms; molecules; solids; nuclei; elementary particles. Prerequisite: PHYSICS 51A. Non-Physics majors only. . Only one course from PHYSICS 51B, PHYSICS 61B may be taken for credit. (Design units: 0)

Required Textbook:
. Edition, , 1969, ISBN-13 978-0138057152.

Recommended Textbook:
. Edition, , 1969, ISBN-13 978-0201500646.

Relationship to Student Outcomes
No student outcomes specified.
Course Learning Outcomes. Students will:
Prerequisites by Topic
Lecture Topics:
  • Schrödinger equation in 3d. Central force problem. Separation of variables. Angular momentum quantization. Hydrogen energy levels and wave functions. Hydrogenic wave functions, closed shells.
  • Spin one half. Electron magnetic moment. Orbital magnetic moment. Regular and anomalous Zeeman effect. Fine structure in atoms.
  • Multielectron atoms. Mean field (IPA) approximation. Bosons, Fermions and the Pauli exclusion principle. Ground states of various atoms. The periodic table of the elements. Atomic excited states.
  • Atomic Transitions. Radiation by classical charges. Transitions between stationary states. Time evolution in quantum mechanics. Time-dependent perturbation theory. Stimulated versus spontaneous emission. Atomic selection rules. Lasers and other applications.
  • Molecules. Ionic Bond, valence. Covalent Bond. Born-Oppenheimer approximation. H2 molecule. Vibrational levels. Rotational levels. General molecular levels, band spectra.
  • Solids. Bonding in Solids. Crystals and amorphous materials. Band structure in solids. Conductors, semiconductors and insulators. Drude model. Effects of electron collisions in metals. Fermi speed and Fermi energy. Electron degeneracy pressure. White dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes. Classical versus quantum gases. Bose-Einstein condensation.
  • Solids: Applications. Semiconductors. Electrones and holes. pn junction diode. Transistors. Light emitting diodes and ccd arrays. Integrated circuits. Scanning electron microscope. Superconductivity and BCS theory. Information technology.
  • Statistical Physics. Degrees of freedom, equipartition. Boltzmann factor. Partition function. Equal probability hypothesis. Entropy and the second law of thermodynamics. Quantum ideal gas, density of states. Classical Maxwell speed distribution. Heat capacity in a classical and quantum gas.
  • Nuclei. Neutrons, pions, origins of the nuclear force. Charge independence. Potential models. Magnetic moments. Role of the Pauli Principle. Binding energy formula. Nuclear shell model. Magic numbers. Mass spectrometers.
Class Schedule:

Meets for 3 hours of lecture and 1 hour of discussion each week for 10 weeks.

Computer Usage:
Laboratory Projects:
Professional Component

Contributes toward Mathematics and Basic Science.

Design Content Description
Laboratory Portion:
Grading Criteria:
  • Homework: 15%
  • Midterm: 30%
  • Final: 45%
  • Total: 100%
Estimated ABET Category Content:

Mathematics and Basic Science: 0.0 credit units

Computing: 0.0 credit units

Engineering Topics: 0.0 credit units

Engineering Science: 0.0 credit units

Engineering Design: 0.0 credit units

August 6, 2014
Senate Approved:
May 20, 2013
Approved Effective:
2013 Winter Qtr