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Course Descriptions:
         Physics 1020
Physics 1021
Physics 1050
Physics 1051
Physics 2053
Physics 2056
Physics 2400
Physics 2151
Physics 2553
Physics 2820
Physics 3060
Physics 3160
         Physics 3180
Physics 3220
Physics 3820
ES 2150         

1st yr Registration Info

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  @ Grenfell Campus, Memorial University

Physics 2056: Modern Physics

This course will be offered annually in Winter Term. 

Special relativity, quanta of light, atomic structure and spectral lines, quantum structure of atoms and molecules, nuclei and elementary particles.

Prerequisites: Mathematics 1001, Physics 1050 (or 1020 and 1021), and Physics 1051 (or 1054). Math 1001 and Physics 1051 may be taken concurrently. (However, it is not recommended  that these courses be taken concurrently.)
Three hours per week.
Laboratory: Three hours per week.

The term "Modern Physics" usually refers to the rapid conceptual developments of 20th century physics. This is a contrast to all of the physics before 1900 - the so-called "Classical Physics" of mechanics, electricity, magnetism, heat and sound - which has changed very little since the late 19th century.

NOTE: This is a second-year physics course. The amount and quality of the work required is greater than in first year. On the other hand, the topics covered are much more interesting and the rewards for your labour are correspondingly higher. While problem solving is stressed in the assignments this is not a mathematics course; there is a substantial (and fascinating!) historical and philosophical component to the material. Those wishing to get the most from the course should not neglect this aspect.


Dr. Douglas Forbes
Office: AS 3028 (new building)
Phone: 637-6295
E-Mail: dforbes at grenfell dot mun dot ca

Lab Manual:

All experiment write-ups are located on the Physics Laboratories SharePoint site. Students are responsible for downloading and printing their own copies.

An Introduction to Error Analysis (2nd Ed.), by John R. Taylor (required for 2nd year and above laboratory work)


Modern Physics (3rd Edition), by Kenneth Krane
The Manga Guide to Relativity, by Hideo Nitta, Masafumi Yamamoto, Keita Takatsu
There will be a few additional assigned readings from a variety of sources.

General Relativity: The Graphic Novel!


Course Outline 2014:


Chapt. 2 Special Relativity
Chapt. 3 Particle-like Properties of EM radiation
Chapt. 4 Wave-like Properties of Particles
Chapt. 5 The Schrödinger Equation
Chapt. 6 Rutherford-Bohr Model of the Atom
Chapt. 7 The Hydrogen Atom in Wave Mechanics
Chapt. 8 Many-Electron Atoms
Chapt. 12 Nuclear Structure and Radioactivity
Chapt. 13 Nuclear Reactions and Applications
Chapt. 14 Elementary Particles

Marking Scheme: Winter 2014

Assignments 10 %   Quiz Dates: 
Quizzes (3) 30 %   Wednesday, 29 January
Laboratory work 20 %   Friday, 28 February
Final Exam 40 %   Wednesday, 19 March
Total       100 %    

Laboratory Schedule:    Tuesday @ 2:30 - 5:30 PM (in Senior Physics Labs AS 3034 & 3033)


Group A

Group B Group C
The Prism Spectrometer     ---
Franck-Hertz Experiment      
Charge/Mass Ratio for Electrons      
Photoelectric Effect      
Electron Diffraction      
Absorption of Beta Particles      
A Study of Radioactivity      

All laboratory information, including schedules and experiment write-ups, are located on the Physics Laboratories SharePoint site.

Please note:
  • The laboratory component is a necessary part of the course.  If any experiments are not done, or if any laboratory reports are not handed in, a mark of INCOMPLETE will be awarded for the course. 

  • Policy on late lab reports: The penalty is that 5% will be deducted for each day the work is late; after three (3) days the work will not be accepted, and a mark of zero will be given.

  • Failure to obtain a passing grade in laboratory work will result in the failure of the course, regardless of the mark obtained in the remainder of the term work.

  • Last update: 06 February, 2014

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