Undergraduate Course: Classical and Modern Physics (PHYS08044)
Course Outline
School  School of Physics and Astronomy 
College  College of Science and Engineering 
Credit level (Normal year taken)  SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) 
Availability  Available to all students 
SCQF Credits  20 
ECTS Credits  10 
Summary  This course is designed for prehonours direct entry School of Physics and Astronomy students only and cannot be taken as an outside course.
It provides an introduction to classical dynamics, waves, special relativity and quantum physics.
The course consists of lectures to present new material, and workshops to develop understanding, familiarity and fluency. 
Course description 
Classical Physics (20 lectures)
*Revision of elementary statics & dynamics
 Statics forces, resolution of forces into components. Force diagrams.
 Laws of motion in two and three dimensions: Newton's Laws in vector form. Conservation of linear momentum.
 Concept of reference frames, relative motion, laws of motion in this notation.
 Force/Work relation, conservation of energy (kinetic and potential), dynamic and static friction.
*Further dynamics
 Centreofmass of points and solid bodies
 Linear momentum of system of particles, centreofmass frame, elastic collision in centreofmass frame.
 Full dynamics in onedimension: use of differential equations, Rocket equations, friction, air resistance etc).
 Rotational motion, torque, angular acceleration and angular momentum of set of particles.
 Momentofinertia of sets of particles and rigid bodies, central axis theorem, angular equations of motion, energy relations.
*Waves & vibrations
 Introduction to waves, waves propagating in 1 dimension, the wave equation
 Superposition principle, interference, normal modes, the Fourier principle
 Classical wave theory of light, Huygens principle, diffraction, link to quantum mechanics, Young's slits
 Electromagnetic theory of light, refractive indices, refraction, total internal refraction
 Mechanical waves, Doppler effects, Mechanical vibrations, simple harmonic motion, damping
Modern Physics (20 lectures)
* Special Relativity
 Definition of inertial reference frames and invariance of speed of light (postulates of SR). Michelson Morley experiment. Role of the observer.
 Time dilation and Lorentz contraction. Events. Synchronisation. Moving clocks. Synchronised clocks in one frame viewed from another moving frame.
 Doppler (red shift) and its implications, the Lorentz factor, addition of velocities. Twins paradox. Rod and Shed paradox.
 Geometric formulation of SR (Minkowski Diagrams), and their relation to time dilation, Lorentz contraction, order of events, relativistic Doppler, world lines
 Momentum and relation to mass and energy as a relativistic property.
*Introduction to Quantum Physics
 Planck's radiation formula, Photoelectric effect, Einstein's photon theory
 Compton effect, De Broglie hypothesis, Correspondence Principle
 Bohr atom, atomic spectra
 Wavefunction, probability interpretation, Uncertainty Principle
 Time dependent Schr¨odinger equation, quantum mechanical operators
 Probability density function, outcomes of measurements
 Time independent Schr¨odinger equation, stationary states, eigenfunctions and eigenvalues, commutators
 Solutions of time independent Schr¨odinger equation for unbound states, reflection and transmission coefficients, quantum mechanical tunnelling
 Solutions of time independent Schr¨odinger equation for bound states, quantisation, zero point energy

Information for Visiting Students
Prerequisites  None 
High Demand Course? 
Yes 
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered 
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
 State the basic principles of classical dynamics, special relativity and elementary quantum mechanics and the regimes in which the different theories apply.
 Apply these principles in conjunction with elementary mathematical techniques to solve simple problems in classical, relativistic and quantum mechanics.
 Present a solution to a physics problem in a clear and logical written form.
 Assess whether a solution to a given problem is physically reasonable.
 Locate and use additional sources of information (to include discussion with peers where appropriate) to facilitate independent problemsolving.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 
Not entered 
Additional Class Delivery Information 
Lectures plus workshops 
Keywords  CMP 
Contacts
Course organiser  Prof Alex Murphy
Tel: (0131 6)50 5285
Email: 
Course secretary  Miss Rachel Ord
Tel: (0131 6)50 9110
Email: 

