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Class Notes for Modern Physics Part 4

Class Notes for Modern Physics Part 4

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03/18/2014

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Class Notes for Modern Physics, Part 4
Some topics in Modern, Modern Physics
J. Gunion
U.C. Davis
9D, Spring Quarter
J. Gunion
Introduction

Everything we have talked about at any depth so far was part of the development of physics roughly pre-1930 or so. But, of course a lot has happened since then.

1. There was ever increasing understanding of statistical physics based on
bose and fermi statistics for integer and half integer spin objects.
2. Increased understanding of molecular structures, bonding and dynamics
was rapidly developed.

3. Solid state physics developed rapidly. Much was and still is being learned about how metals form, have quantum mechanically determined energy \u201cbands\u201d, and so forth.

Especially important was the development of a thorough understanding of semiconductors and related devices as well as the discovery and eventual (at least partial) understanding of superconductivity.

J. Gunion
9D, Spring Quarter 1
4. Lasers are based upon coherent wave phenomena as well as semiconductor
physics and have become a part of everyday life.

5. Nuclear physics was developed, eventually leading to the \ufb01ssion and fusion bombs and nuclear energy, which, although we may not like it, is likely to be an energy source to which we must increasingly turn.

6. And, \ufb01nally, there are the areas of cosmology and elementary particle physics in which we work on understanding the inner structure of matter, e.g. what is inside a proton, what are the actual carriers of forces, what is dark energy, what is dark matter.

It is the last two items that I will try to say a few words about in these \ufb01nal
two lectures.
J. Gunion
9D, Spring Quarter 2

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