Physics 249 Fall 2013: A Modern Introduction to Physics

Description: Continuation of Physics 247-8. I; 4 cr (P-I). Continuation of Physics 248. Modern physics: introduction to quantum mechanics, topics from atomic, molecular, condensed matter, nuclear, and particle physics, astrophysics, general relativity, cosmology and biophysics. Three lectures and one discussion per week. P: Open to Fr. Physics 248 & Math 234, or cons inst; con reg in Physics 307 required. Intended primarily for physics, AMEP, astronomy-physics majors. Stdts will receive degree cr for only one of the following crses: 205, 241, 244, 249.

Instructors: Prof. Duncan Carlsmith, 4285 Chamberlin, 262-2485,, Teaching Assistant James Hanson,

Lectures: Chamberlin 2223, 09:55-10:45 AM, M, W, F

Discussion session: Review of concepts and examples and team work on homework. Come prepared! Mondays 1:20-2:10 CH2116 and 2:25-3:15 CH2104

Laboratory session: Concurrent enrollment in Physics 307 is required.

Homework: Weekly exercises on reading and lectures due at Webassign Wednesdays and Fridays. The homework will be discussed in discussion section.

Office Hours: After class (alert instructor) or by appointment (send email).


1) (Required) University Physics with Modern Physics,by Wolfgang Bauer, Michigan State University, Gary D. Westfall, Michigan State University ISBN: 0072857366 Copyright year: 2011. Continuation of introductory text used in Physics 247-8. Note the first edition is used but the 2nd is acceptable.

2) (Required) Modern Physics for Scientists and Engineers, 3rd Ed., Stephen T. Thornton, Andrew Rex, Brooks-Cole (2006) SBN-10: 0534417817. Note the 3rd edition will be used but the 4th is acceptable. Continuation of introductory text used in Physics 247-8.

3) (Required) Self-registration at WEBASSIGN.

Grading: The final grade will be determined from the components listed below.

Cheating: Anyone caught cheating on an exam will receive an F for the course.

Honors: A 5 page (double spaced) term paper describing the work of a Nobel prize winner in physics is required for Honors credit. The paper should summarize the award winning work itself and present day research in the area including three recent papers from the ArXiv. It is due no later than 5 Dec.


Click here for the syllabus.


See the LEARN@UW course page for access to lecture notes, grades, a discussion forum and class chat, problem solutions, and other materials and resources.

Course Reference Page

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