Module Identifier PH23620  
Academic Year 2007/2008  
Co-ordinator Dr Tudor E Jenkins  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Professor Keith Birkinshaw, Dr Eleri Pryse  
Pre-Requisite Successful completion of Part 1 FH56 Degree Scheme  
Course delivery Lecture   40 Hours. 40 X 1 hour Lectures  
  Seminars / Tutorials   4  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam3 Hours written examination70%
Semester Assessment Course work: Example Sheets.30%
Supplementary Exam3 Hours written examination100%

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
1. Apply the concepts of quantum mechanics in molecules, atoms, nuclei and fundamental particles

2. Define a photon and give examples which illustrate its importance

3. State the de Broglie hypothesis and outline the experimental evidence for it.

4. Interpret the wavefunction and use it to demonstrate the key concepts of quantisation of particles in potential wells.

5. Analyse experimental data in terms of quantisation

6. Demonstrate quantum ideas in the understanding of molecular and condensed matter physics

7. Summarise the basic structure of nuclei

8. Explain the stability or otherwise of nuclei

9. Explain the classification of elementary particles into quarks and leptons

10. Describe the basic principles of Dynamics and Special Relativity;

11. Model problems in dynamics and special relativity with mathematical equations, apply basic solution techniques to these equations and interpret the results in the original physical context;

12. Solve numerical problems in linear and rotational dynamics and in special relativity.


The concept of the photon - photoelectric effect and Compton scattering
Matter waves and the de Broglie relation. Verification by Davisson-Germer
The wavefunction and its interpretation.
Quantisation - examples in square well potential, simple harmonic oscillator potential and Coulombic potential. Line spectra and the Franck-Hertz experiment.
The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle
The Schrodinger equation and the quantum numbers of hydrogen. Electron spin. The Pauli Exclusion Principle and multi-electron atoms.
Tunneling of particles through potential barriers.
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
The atomic nucleus. Structure of the nucleus and its experimental determination
The Standard model of elementary particles.

Recap: scalar and vector quantities, position vector, vector components, unit vectors, scalar and vectors products.

Kinematics: constant acceleration, projectile motion
Newton's Law of Motion: momentum, weight, contact forces on solids, friction, circular motion and centripetal face, drag force.
Work and Energy: work done by face, kinetic energy, power, conservative force, potential energy, conservation of mechanical energy.
Conservation of Momentum: centre-of-mass, collisions, coefficient of restitution, rocket propulsion
Gravity: Kepler's Laws, Newton's Law of Gravity, gravitational potential energy

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.

Brief description

This module will provide a systematic understanding of the principles of modern physics from its origins to classical physics. The two strands will be used to develop the central concepts of dynamics, energy and momentum embodied in Newton's Laws and the way in which these are altered in Einstein's theory of Special Relativity. The counter-intuitive concepts of Quantum Physics like wave-particle duality will be formulated and contrasted with the concepts of Classical Physics. Both approached will be used to accurately predict physical phenomena in space and time, both on the macroscopic and on the microscopic scale. This will enable uncertainty and ambiguity to be understood at the quantum level and the precise orbits of the planets to be appreciated on astronomical scales. It will also provide the conceptual framework for understanding the fundamental properties of atoms, molecules and materials.

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
P.A. Tippler Physics for Scientists and Engineers Freeman Worth 1572596732
** Supplementary Text
A.P. French Newtonian Mechanics Van Nostrand Reinhold
A.P. French Special Relativity Van Nostrand Reinhold
Beiser Concepts of Modern Physics McGraw-Hill
Wher, Richards and Adair Physics of the Atom Addison-Wesley


This module is at CQFW Level 5