Physics 222 - Modern Physics

(Texas A&M University, Fall 2018)

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   Announcements (updated regularly)


    Mon+Wed 04:10-05:25pm
    Room: MPHY 204
    1st class: Mon Aug 27, last class: Wed Dec 05 (Thanksgiving Holiday Nov 22+23; reading day Nov 21)

  Course Instructor

     Dr. Ralf Rapp
    Office        : Cyclotron CYCL-329
    Office-Hrs : Mon+Tue+Fri 10-11am, or by appointment
    Phone       : 845-1411 (ext. 226)
    E-mail       :

   Teaching Assistant

    The TA listed below is mostly responsible for grading HW and (in part) exams, and answering
    pertinent questions. Appointments with Eshtar should be scheduled via email.

Eshtar Aluauee
      Office: MPHY-470

    Required Material

     1.)  PRE-REQUISITE:
       PHYS-218 (Electricity and Magnetism) and enrollment in MATH-308 (Differential Equations)

     2.)  TEXTBOOK:
       The course will be based on the book
      Modern Physics, 3rd edition, by Serway, Moses and Moyer.
        In particular, the HW problems will be assigned from this book.

     Scope and Learning Outcomes

    The course will provide an introduction to basic phenomena, ideas, concepts and theoretical
    tools of Modern Physics, including: Special relativity and relativistic kinematics; quantization
    of electromagnetic radiation; quantum models of the atom; matter waves, uncertainty principle
    and particle-wave duality; quantum mechanics in one dimension and wave functions.
    Upon the completion of this course, the student will understand basic physical laws governing
    the microscopic world, be able to apply them to pertinent physical situations and problems,
    quantitatively solve them using algebraic and calculus methods, and interpret the results.
    The course will also hone critical thinking, systematic problem-solving skills and science
    communication skills.


    Course Grade

    The total course grade is decomposed as follows:

  • Final Exam (comprehensive): 45%

  • 2 Midterm Exams:   20% each

  • Homework :   15%

    If the final-exam grade is better than the worst (non-zero) midterm exam grade, the average of
    the former and the latter will replace the latter.
    The conversion of the total numerical grade to letter grade will follow the standard key of:
    A: 90-100%, B: 80-89%, C: 70-79%, D: 60-69% and F: <60%.
    A re-adjustment of the boundaries may occur, but should not be expected.
    The academic student rules can be found here, specifically rule 7 for excused university absences.
    In case of a missed exam, the student must contact the course instructor as soon as possible. A
    make-up exam can and will only be granted if the student presents a valid university excuse in
    due time.



    The exams are closed book; the exams are held during the standard class hours (2 midterms) and
    the official final-exam date, as indicated below. You should only bring a pen and pocket calculator
    capable of evaluating trigonometric functions (sin, cos, tan) and logarithms/exponentials.

       SCHEDULE :
    Midterm 1: Mon Oct 15 in class, material covered: Chaps. 1-4
    Midterm 2: Mon Nov 19 in class, material covered: Chaps. 5-7
    FINAL:     Mon Dec 10 (3:30-5:30pm), material covered: comprehensive (Chaps. 1-7, 13)



    Notes on Lectures

    Attendance in the lectures, as well as taking notes of the material presented, is mandatory.
    Furthermore, you are responsible for all announcements made in class (including information
    on exam coverage, etc.). The material discussed in the lectures, together with the homework
    problems, essentially defines the scope of the exams. Formula sheets to be used in the exams
    are handed out in the lectures prior to the exams (this will allow you to get acquainted with
    notation ahead of the exams).


    Notes on Homework (HW)

    Homework assignments will be given approximately every 7-10 days, and are due at the
    beginning of class on the due date. The assignments will be posted under "Announcements"
    at the top of this webpage. Late hand-ins must be made in person to the course instructor (in
    his office), and are penalized by 20% for each day late. Collaborative work and discussions
    are encouraged, but no more than 3 students can hand in the written-out solutions together
    (which must include the work/reasoning to get there for full credit); both students must be
    fully aware and capable of solving the entire solution set, as the HW problems constitute an
    integral part of the exam problems. Questions can be addressed to your course instructor or
    teaching assistant, who will be happy to help (preferably during office hours).



    To pass the course, you will have to keep up with the material of the course by regularly
    attending the lectures and thoroughly working through the weekly HW problems (which,
    in turn, provides optimal preparation for exams). Otherwise, pile-up of not understood
    material is likely to lead to a failing grade.

    AGGIE Honor Code and Academic Integrity

    An Aggie does not lie, cheat, or steal or tolerate those who do.
    Also see
    Any type of cheating (copying homework or during exams, etc.) is strictly prohibited
    and seriously penalized.

    ADA Statement

    The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination
   statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with
   disabilities. Among other things, this
legislation requires that all students
   with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for
   reasonable accommodation of their
disabilities. If you believe you have a
   disability requiring an accommodation, please contact Disability Services
   currently located in the Disability Services building at the Student Services
    at White Creek complex on west campus or call 979-845-1637.
   All information and documentation concerning disability is kept confidential.



      Despite all the above regulations and rules (which are needed for a fair assessment
      of your grades), we hope that you will enjoy this course, and that you will achieve
      knowledge that will be both helpful in your further career and provide deeper insights
     into daily life encounters with physics!

      If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact your course/
      recitation instructors who shall be glad to help you!