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Physics 150 - Fall 2003
How Nature Works - Great Ideas in Physics



 
(Course Syllabus - as of September 12 - Will be modified during semester)
Date 
Lecture Topic 
Reading
Homework
Supplements
Introduction and Overview
8/27 
Scientific Knowledge and Modern Views - Smallest Particles to the Universe
M, L Intro. 
Hm. 1
9/1
No Class; Labor Day Holiday 
9/3 
Develpment of Scientific Knowledge: Aristotle and Plato to Galileo
M 1  
More
Classical Physics - from Kepler and Galileo to Newton and Maxwell
9/8 
Mechanics: Description of Motion - Projectiles to Principles
M 2
Hm. 2
More
9/10 
Astronomy : Problem of the Planets - Ptolemy, Brahe, Copernicus, Kepler 
M 4 + 
More
9/15 
Newton puts it together: 3 Laws and the Universal Law of Gravitation 
M 2-4 
Hm. 3
More
9/17 
Conservation Laws - the pinnacle of physics 
M 5, L 1 
9/22 
The second law of thermodynamics and entropy 
L 2 
Hm. 4
9/24
8
Waves: strings, sound, light, , Phenomenon of  Interference
M 7 
9/29 
9
Review; The World View of Classical Physics 
added 
10/1 
Exam 1: Material through Lecture 9; March 1-5,7; Lightman 1-2.
10/6 
10 
Solutions to Exam 1; Electric and Magnetic Forces
M 6 
Hm. 5
10/8 
11
Electromagnetic Waves and Maxwell
M 6 
The First Modern Revolution - Relativity - Space and Time 
10/13 
12 
Summary of Classical Physics. 
Begin the revolutions of Modern Physics: Does the Earth Really Move?
M 8, L 3 
Hm. 6
10/15 
13 
Special Theory of Relativity: Einstein
M 9 
10/20 
14 
The Wedding of space and time
M 10 
Hm. 7
10/22 
15 
The faster you go the heavier you get: E = mc2
M 11 
10/27 
16 
General Relativity: gravity and acceleration
M 12 
10/29
17 General Relativity: curved space-time
11/3
18
Review before Exam 2
11/5
Exam 2: Material covered in March, Chs. 6- 12, Lightman Ch. 3; Lectures 8,10-18
The Second Modern Revolution - Atoms, Particles, Quantum Mechanics
11/10 
19 
Solutions to Exam 2; The Big Picture - The smallest objects to the Universe  
Report
11/12 
20 
Discovery of the electron and the nucleus; The Origins of Quantum Mechanics: Confusion at the turn of the Century: Thomson, Rutherford, Planck, Einstein, Bohr
M 13,14,15 
11/17 
21 
Particles act like waves! DeBroglie, Schrodinger
M 16, L 4 
Hm. 8
11/19 
22 
Does God Play Dice? Uncertainty Principle Heisenberg
M 17, L 4 
11/24-26
No Class; Thanksgiving Vacation 
12/1 
23 
Schrodinger's Cat: Measurement and Reality: Quantum Mechanics and Our World
M 18
Our world: The smallest particles to the entire universe
12/3 
24 
The World View of Modern Physics in 2003: Elementary Particles, The "Standard Model, String Theory
M 19+ 
12/8 
25 
The Universe: Big Bang, Black Holes, ...
M 20+ 
12/10 
26 
Summary of entire course
M 20+ 
12/19 
FINAL EXAM Dec. 19, 7-10 PM

Gradebook Homework  Course Info Demos Books on Reserve Web Links  
Timeline for Physicists Suggestions for Essay/Report Supplementary Material Math Info  
Text 1: (M) "Physics for Poets", by Robert H. March, 5th Ed., in paperback
Text 2: (L) "Great Ideas in Physics", by A. Lightman, in paperback
Supplement: "Six Easy Pieces" by Richard P. Feynman, in paperback

Professor: Richard Martin, rmartin@uiuc.edu, 2129 ESB (Engineering Science Bldg) 2nd floor, 333-4229
Office Hours: After class 10:30-11am (longer if needed) or by appointment
Teaching Assistant: Joseph Jun, jun1@uiuc.edu, 4129 ESB ESB, 333-4736
Office Hours: Tuesdays 2-3 - or by appointment.

Send reports of problems to your TA, Joseph Jun,  jun1@uiuc.edu


Last modified August 25, 2003