Rutgers University Department of Physics and Astronomy
The reading assignments in the table below are all from our
textbook Modern Physics by Thornton and Rex, Fourth Edition.
(You may use the 3rd edition [note: it is out of print] but the chapters/sections may not be the
same as below. For your convenience, I attach the table of contents
for the 3rd and 4th editions.)
You are encouraged to complete
the reading assignment for each lecture before
the lecture takes place.
Note: the syllabus may change during the course of the semester. Please refresh this page to get the latest information.
Lecture notes will be uploaded to the course website soon after each lecture is given.
Week 
Date 
Topic 
Reading 
HW 
1 
Introduction, wave motion, Ether, MichelsonMorley
exp, 
1.11.6, 5.4 
5.25, 5.26 2.2, 2.4, 2.6 Solution1 

2 
Lorentz transformation, Simultanuity, Velocity Addition, 
2.42.7 
Ch. 2: 13, 14, 20, 22, 28, 30, 33, 39, 40 Solution2 

Time dilation, Length contraction, Doppler effect, 
2.82.10 

3 
spacetime diagram,
Twin paradox, Relativistic energy and momentum 



Blackbody Radiation,
Photoelectric effect, Compton effect,
pair production 
3.13.9 

4 
Rutherford scattering, Bohr model of
Hydrogen atom, FranckHertz exp. 
4.14.7 


Xray scattering, Matter wave, electron
scattering, uncertainty principle, 
5.15.6 

5 
M 10/03 
Review Ch.
15 

No
HW 
W 10/05 
Midterm I 


6 
Probability and wavefunction, Schroedinger equation, 
5.7, 5.8, 6.16.3 


Infinite square potential wells (particle in a box), finite square potential well 
6.36.5 

7 
finite square potential well, barrier and tunneling, 
6.7 


Simple Harmonic oscillator, Hydrogen Atom 
6.6,7.17.3 

8 
M 10/24 
Cancelled 

Ch 7: 1, 2, 8, 16, 20, 21, 24 
W 10/26 
Cancelled 


Makeup W 10/28 
Orbital angular momentum, Zeeman effect, Spin 
7.47.6  
9 
Total
angular momentum, Anomalous Zeeman effect, Pauli exclusion principle 
8.28.3 


Periodic table, Complex Atoms: 
8.18.3 

10 
LS coupling, hyperfine structure, 
8.3, 


Kinetic theory of ideal gas, Boltzmann factor, Maxwell velocity/speed distribution,
Equipartition theorem 
1.11.2, 9.19.4 

11 
M 11/14 
Review Ch. 68 

No
HW 
W 11/16 
Midterm II 


12 
Maxwell velocity/speed distribution,
Equipartition theorem 
9.4 


W 11/23 
Friday class 

13 
ClassicalQuantum Statistics, Molecule bonds 
9.5,10.1 
Ch9: 9, 13, 15, 16, 18, 19. Ch10: 4, 6, 10, 14 

Molecular spectra, Band structrure 
10.1 11.111.2 

14 
semiconductor physics, pn junction, LED, 
11.311.4 


Nuclear physics, radioactive decay 
12.112.7 

15 
Fission and Fusion, Elementary particle physics, Cosmology, Review 
13.113.6 
No
HW 

W 12/14 
Review 







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Prof. Weida Wu.