UNM Physics 330: Modern Physics

MWF 11:30-12:20 P&A room 184

Instructor: Prof. Keith Lidke

Room 1164, Physics and Astronomy
e-mail: klidke@unm.edu
phone: (505)277-0302
Office Hours: MWF 10:30-11:30 PandA 1164, by appointment, or any time you can catch me around PandA.

Teaching Assistant: Prabhakar Palni


Modern Physics by Tipler and Llewellyn, 5th Edition
Online Resources

Course Contents

Quantum Particles and Quantum Mechanics

Review of relativistic energy and momentum , de Broglie wavelength, probability amplitude, elements of classical probability, diffraction of matter, uncertainty principle, Schrödinger equation: probability amplitudes, expectation values. Free particle wave equation: superposition, wave packets, uncertainty principle. Energy eigenstates: particle in a box, harmonic oscillator, tunneling.

Atomic Physics

Quantization of angular momentum, energy eigenstates, spin, fine structure of Hydrogen, atomic transitions, Zeeman effect, Lamb shift, Pauli exclusion principle, multielectron atoms and the periodic table, the hydrogen molecule.

Classical and Quantum Statistics

Ideal gas law, Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution, density of states, Fermi-Dirac distribution, Bose-Einstein distribution, black body radiation, radiation pressure, Bose-Einstein condensation.

Conductors, Insulators, Semi-conductors

Electronic energy bands, Fermi energy, heat capacity, Ohm's law, semiconductors, diode junction.


Photon-Atom interactions, stimulated emission, Amplification of radiation, examples of modern Lasers

Nuclear Physics

Scattering and the cross section, the nuclear force: range, charge-independence, nuclear structure, radioactive decays and nuclear interactions, Mossbauer effect, interaction of radiation and bulk matter.

Elementary Particles

Particle accelerators, particle detectors, particles and antiparticles, quarks, QCD, weak interactions, Standard Model of Particle Physics, current topics in high energy physics.

Astroparticle Physics and Cosmology

What is General Relativity?, the Big Bang, particle physics and the early universe, dark matter, dark energy


There will be four exams, three exams throughout the semester and a final exam. Each exam will contribute 25% to the final grade, with the lowest exam score dropped. The final exam will be a comprehensive exam. No make up exams will be offered. The remaing 25% of the grade will be written homework assignments. Homework will be assigned on Wednesdays and be due the following Wednesday before class. No late homework accepted.


Week ofTopicsAssignments, etc
1Jan 21Relativistic Momementum and Energy, sections 2.1-2.2 Homework#1 Homework#1 Solutions
2Jan 26Rest Energy, Invariant Mass, Pair Production , sections 2.3-2.4. Chapter 3: JJ Thompson and e/m, Millikan experiement,Photoelectric effect, Blackbody Radiation, Compton Scattering. Homework#2 Homework#2 Solutions
3Feb. 2Chapter 4: Rutherford scattering: cross sections and scattering rates. Bohr model, photoelectric effect, Franck-Hertz experiment. Chapter 5: Particles as waves, Uncertainty Principle. Homework#3 Homework#3 Solutions
4Feb. 9Chapter 5: De Broglie waves, wave packets, uncertainty principle, phase and group velocities. Chapter 6: Schrodinger Equation. Homework#4 Homework#4 Solutions
5Feb. 16Chapter 6: Schrodinger Equation, potential wells, harmonic oscillator, operators, reflection/transmission. Homework#5 Homework#5 Solutions
6Feb. 23Chapter 7: Infinite square well in one, two and three dimensions. Hydrogen Atom. Practice Exam
Practice Exam Solutions
7Mar. 2 Exam 1, Quantization of Angular Momentum, Electron Spin, Total Angular Momentum. Homework#6
Homework#6 Solutions
Exam 1
Exam 1 Solutions
8Mar. 9 Zeeman Effect, Pachen-Bach Effect, (anti-) Symmetric wavefunctions, Pauli Exclusion Principle, Multi-electron Atoms. Homework#7 Homework#7 Solutions
9Mar. 16Spring Break
10Mar. 23Boltzmann, Bose, and Fermi Distributions. Density of States, Heat Capacities. Homework#8 Homework#8 Solutions
11Mar. 30Bose-Einstein condensation, Molecular bonds and energy levels. Homework#9 Homework#9 Solutions
12April 6Lasers, Fluorescence, Raman Scattering, Exam 2. Friday April 10. Exam 2 Solutions
13April 13Classical and quantum theory of conduction, band theory, pn-junctions. Homework#10 Homework#10 Solutions
14April 20Transistors. Nuclear size and structure, radioactive decay. Homework#11 Homework#11 Solutions
15April 27Stong Force, Fission, Fusion, Shell Structure, Radiation and matter. Homework#12 Homework#12 Solutions
16May 4Exam 3: Monday, May 4. Neutrino ocsillations, Fundamental particles, Weak interactions. Exam 3
Exam 3 Solutions
17May 11Final Exam: Wednesday, May 13, 10:00 am, Panda rm 184 FinalExam FinalExam Solutions

Final Grades

You may pick up uncollected exams and homework from me at anytime.