You are on page 1of 5

Physics 309 01W -- Modern Physics Christine C. Broadbridge, Ph. D. Office: Jennings Hall; Rm.

108 Office phone: 392-6461 E-mail: Office Hours: Weekly office hours will be established during the first week of classes. You may also make an appointment to meet if you prefer. For arranging appointment times, e-mail is much preferred to voicemail messages. Please ask questions during class, but feel free to let me know whenever you need additional help outside of class. Catalog Description: Relativity, atomic structure, quantum physics, and nuclear transformations are studied. Prerequisites: ENG 111 or ENG 112, and PHY 231. Course Description: This course covers the more important developments in physics that occurred since approximately the beginning of the 20th century and led to the present state of science. It is a W course thus it will require a substantial amount of written work including revision. A significant portion of the writing for the course will be critical (analytical) writing. Critical writing addresses a question for which there is more than one plausible interpretation, explanation, analysis, or evaluation, and thus requires original thought. Algebra and calculus will be required to explain some course material, however, the ultimate goal will be conceptual understanding. Course Objectives: 1. To build a scientific intuition, conceptual and analytical understanding of modern physics 2. To develop critical (analytical) writing skills and to apply them to scientific topics 3. To develop an understanding of the process of critical writing 4. To gain an appreciation for the ethical implications of scientific discoveries 5. To apply modern physics toward understanding topics ranging from everyday life to cutting-edge technology Important Course Information You are responsible for checking the My SCSU Campus Pipeline e-mail and message board on a regular basis for information about the course. For information about this account check out: Acceptable Classroom Conduct: Please be considerate of other course participants. For example, habitual tardiness, chatter and cell phone use are highly distracting to everyone during lecture.

Course Accommodations: I believe in providing reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities on an individualized and flexible basis. If you are a student with a disability, the university's Disability Resource Center (DRC) determines appropriate accommodations through consultation with the student. Before you may receive accommodations in this class, you will need to make an appointment with the Disability Resource Center, located in EN C-105A. To speak with me about accommodations, or other concerns, such as medical emergencies or arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment as soon as possible. Academic Honesty: Please refer to the 07-08 Student Handbook to become familiar with the definition of academic honesty/dishonesty. Claiming ignorance will not be considered a valid defense. In particular, take note of the following list of actions listed under academic dishonesty: A. B. C. D. E. F. The use of illicit aids during examination periods; The giving and receiving of aid on any examination; Copying from another students examination, term paper, laboratory report, etc.; The falsification of work or records; The theft of course materials; Plagiarism the use of words or ideas of another writer and presenting them as your own.

All types of academic dishonestly are inexcusable and will result in appropriate disciplinary action. Consequences are listed in the Student Handbook. Workload expectations: You will spend 3 hours per week in class, and 6 hours a week outside of class doing the reading, taking notes, conducting literature research, practicing problems and writing. Be realistic, therefore, about your outside work schedule; you will need at least 9 hours per week for this course. Important qualities of student writing: Your writing will be graded based on the following: A. Clarity of Focus: The writer's point of view or purpose is limited and clear. B. Content: The thesis (point of view) is developed with good supporting details. C. Diction, Idiom, Level of Usage: The writer chooses words and idioms that are appropriate to the topic and audience. D. Audience Awareness and Writer Awareness: The writer establishes his own identity and authority and is sensitive to possible questions and objections from his reader. E. Organization and Style: The ideas are developed in a logical, sequential order. The paragraphs are fully developed and unified with smooth transactions between paragraphs. Sentences are reasonably varied. F. Mechanics: The writer exhibits a good command of standard English grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Required text and materials: Modern Physics 2nd ed., by Kenneth Krane, 1996. There will be reading from additional books including The End of Science by John Horgan, The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene and Copenhagen by Michael Frayn. In addition, you should have a package of 3x5 index cards, a ruler with millimeter markings and a scientific calculator.

Assignments: Practice exercises and problems: These will consist of readings from the text and review questions and problems appearing at the end of each chapter. You are not required to submit your solutions to these questions and problems for grading, but almost all students find such practice essential to mastery of the material. Some of the problems on the tests will be extremely similar to the assigned problems. Answers to the odd numbers problems can be found in the text itself, so you should use these problems as a guide to the most important points to study. Solutions to Exercises and Problems will be presented in class or posted. The lectures occasionally include points not covered in the text; just doing the assignments will not provide complete preparation for every examination question if you have not studied the material presented in the lectures. Since this an W-course, written papers will be required on a regular basis as described below. Written assignments: Written assignments will include: 3-4 informal written assignments(~ 1-2 pages in length) 1-2 formal written assignment(s)( ~ 5 pages in length) [revision is required for each assignment]* Final formal written assignment (~ 10 pages in length) Some Rules for Revisions: *At least one revision will be required for each formal written assignment. A written assignment is considered revised when changes are global in nature. Editing of a paper is not considered revision. Revision implies making substantive changes in writing: rethinking the thesis, organization, support, or content, rather than simply correcting surface errors. Consider the following rules or re-writes: 1. Unless told otherwise, re-writes are due ONE WEEK from the day that I return the papers to you. A late re-write will result in a reduction in the final grade for the paper. 2. YOU MUST submit your original paper along with the revised draft. 3. Remember that a re-write is NOT just an edited version there must be substantial change. Peer Review: There may be several times during the semester when you will be participating in peer review with your classmates. Specifically, your classmates will be reviewing your work and will be providing feedback. You should therefore always assume (unless told otherwise) that you are writing for a general academic audience. You should not include information that you are not willing to share with your colleagues. Grading: Final grades for the course will be based on two in-class exams and a cumulative final exam. Determination of the final grade will be based on the following point system: Exam 1 (written assignment is 50%; based on version 1 and rewrite) Exam 2 (written assignment is 50%; based on version 1 and rewrite) Final (written assignment is 50%) Quizzes, informal written assignments and class participation Extra Credit 120 pts 120 pts 180 pts 25 pts 25 pts

Unexcused absence from any exam will result in a zero. Late assignments will result in a direct reduction in the points earned. Several times during the semester, you may also have the opportunity to submit a written solution to a specific assigned Exercises or Problems for extra credit. Class participation will be included when calculating your final grade. Several times during the semester lecture time will be set aside for student discussion of writing topics. Index card feedback will also be considered as extra credit. Cheating of any form, including false excuses for missing tests, is inexcusable dishonesty, so the penalties will be as severe as possible. When writing papers you must give credit by citing references properly. Use only credible sources from well known organizations and institutions. Exams and written assignment due dates: In-class exams are tentative scheduled for the weeks of October 15 and November 26. The Final Exam will be on Tuesday, December 18. It will start at 12:45pm and end at 2:45pm. The final will be partially cumulative, but weighted primarily toward the material covered in the last four weeks of classes. There is no class on September 27 and November 22. Exam/quiz format and grading: Exams and quizzes will be essay with some problems, requiring conceptual understanding, writing proficiency as well as problem solving skills. Most quizzes will not be announced. There will be three major writing assignments: The first two assignments will be 5 pages in length and will be due in class, two weeks before each in class exam. Each assignment will count as 50% of the corresponding exam grade. Late acceptances will result in a reduction in the possible score. You will be required to revise each of the 5 page formal assignments. 25% of your final grade for each of the 5 page papers will be determined by the score on the revision paper. A final writing assignment, with a minimum 10 page length, will be due on the final day of classes (12/13). The topic of this paper will relate to the ethical implications of a chosen modern physics discovery. The modern physics discovery(ies) of interest will be chosen by the student. Paper topics will be discussed in class. You will be required to submit a proposal describing and justifying your chosen topic. The final writing assignment will count as 50% of the final exam grade. Tentative Schedule of Topics 1.) 2.) 3.) 4.) 5.) 6.) Introduction (informal writing assignment 1 Personal Statement) Special relativity Library tour research tools (September 11 meet at BU 317) applications/exercises (informal writing assignment 2 A Relative Question) Review of EM Evidence for the particle properties of EM

7.) 8.) 9.)

applications/exercises Review for Exam I Formal written assignment 1 (due Oct 2)

10.) Exam I (October 16) 11.) Evidence for the wavelike properties of particles 12.) applications/exercises 13.) Revision paper for formal written assignment 1 (due October 30) 14.) Introduction to Schrdingers equation and applications 15.) Final paper proposal (informal written assignment 3) (due November 6) 16.) applications/exercises 17.) Basic properties of atoms 18.) Atomic models 19.) applications/exercises 20.) Nuclear structure (informal written assi. 4; proposal revision due Nov. 20) 21.) Nuclear reactions 22.) applications/exercises 23.) THANKSGIVING BREAK 24.) Review for Exam II 25.) Formal written assignment 2 (due November 15) 26.) Revision paper for formal written assignment 2 (due December 6) 27.) Exam II (November 29) 28.) Applications of modern physics -- TBA 29.) continued; applications/exercises 30.) continued 31.) TBA continued, Final Review 32.) Final paper due; last day of class 33.) Final exam (cumulative); Tuesday, December 18; 12:45-2:45pm.