Module Identifier PH14020  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Professor Geraint Vaughan  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Professor Keith Birkinshaw, Dr Sian A Jones  
Pre-Requisite Normal entry requirements for Part 1 Physics  
Co-Requisite Part 1 core modules  
Course delivery Lecture   40 Lectures  
  Practical   Incorporated into PH15010 and PH15510  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam3 Hours End of semester examination70%
Semester Assessment Course Work: Examples sheets 1,2,3,4,5,6,8 & 10 Deadlines are detailed in the Year 1 Example Sheet Schedule distributed by the Department 30%

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Brief description

This module serves as a first introduction to modern physics from a starting point in classical physics, aiming to provide an understanding of the principles of both. Two strands to the module run side-by-side: the first concentrating on classical kinematics, Newton's Laws, energy and momentum and rotational motion, with an introduction to Special Relativity and its implications for describing space and time. The second strand introduces the fundamentals of Quantum Theory at a simple level, applied to explain the properties of atoms, molecules, solids and nuclei. An emphasis will be placed on the solution of problems related to concepts and example sheets will include numerical exercises.



Kinematics: Newton's laws of motion; inertial frames; Galilean transformations; relativity   principle of Newtonian mechanics; momentum and kinetic energy; collision processes; internal forces; centre-of-mass system.
Gravity and weight.
Universal gravitation: g and G; variation of g for terrestrial observer; planetary motion and artificial satellites.
Potential energy and gravitational fields.
Rotational motion: centripetal acceleration/force; moment of inertia; equation of motion; angular momentum; analogy between linear and rotational motion.


Introduction and discussion of the shortcomings of pre-relativistic physics, which lead to the simple postulates of Special Relativity, with spectacular results in our understanding of space and time. The Lorentz-Einstein transformations are derived from the postulates, leading to an understanding of time-dilation and Lorentz contraction.

Quantum Physics

Radiation: Black-body radiation, Laws of Wein and Stefan, breakdown of classical theory, Planck function.
Photoelectric effect, photon as particle.
Rutherford Scattering, Bohr atom and one-electron spectra.
Nuclear masses, mass number, binding energy, stable nuclei.
Radioactive decay, beta-ray spectra, gamma-ray spectra, half life.
Wave-particle duality, Young's slit experiment.
De Broglie relationships, Electron diffraction, the Uncertainty Principle.
Progression from Bohr theory: Schrodinger equation, introduction to the wave function. Standing waves.
Multielectron atoms: the idea of orbitals and the four quantum numbers. Pauli Exclusion Principle.
Periodic Table, molecular orbitals and covalent bonding.
Ionic and van der Waals bonds.   Inter-atomic energy curve.
Crystalline and amorphous solids. Types of crystals, crystal organisation.
Electrons in crystals: introduction to band theory. Conductors, insulators, semiconductors.

Transferable skills

Solving numerical examples.

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
P.A. Tipler Physics for Scientists and Engineers Freeman Worth 1-57259-673-2
** Supplementary Text
A.P. French Newtonian Mechanics Van Nostrand Reinhold 0-39-309970-9
A.P. French Special Relativity Nelson Thomas 0-412-34320-7
A. Beiser Concepts of Modern Physics McGraw-Hill 0-07-113849-8


This module is at CQFW Level 4