Einstein , Relativity and Quanta


Modern Physics and Cosmology: Revolutions in Physics

Winter Semester 2000


Lecturer: Professor A.M. Saperstein; E-mail: ams@physics..wayne.edu

Web Page: http://hal.physics.wayne.edu/~ams/homepage.html

Office: Room 233 Physics, 666 West Hancock; Telephone: 577-2733
(577-2721 to leave message)

Office Hours: Monday, and Wednesday 11:40-12:30 or by appointment (call
& drop in)

Class Discussions 10:40-11:35 am Monday, Wednesday, Friday - Room 185 Physics Bldg.

Honors Section-Extra Discussions 11:40 am-12:40 pm Friday - Room 245 Physics Bldg.


Texts Physics for Poets, Robert March. Fourth Edition (Paperback),
McGraw-Hill, 1992.

Quantum Reality, Nick Herbert. (Paperback), Doubleday Anchor Books,


Is the world lumpy or smooth?

Connected or disconnected?

Is there really a "Real World" out there?


A Smooth World: Classical Continuum Space of Galileo and Newton

Time and Space - Galilean Relativity

Motion in Space - particles: mass, force, energy, momentum

Motion in Space - waves: frequency, wavelength, types, the Doppler

Gravity and Electromagnetism

Einstein and the contradiction in Galilean relativity - Special

General Relativity and Gravitation


A Lumpy World: The case against Aristotle - matter is lumpy

Molecules and Atoms

Energy and Light are also lumpy

Particles are waves and vice-versa????

Classical and Quantum Predictability

Can Events "Here" Influence Events "There"?

What glue holds stuff together - the field that binds

The world of elementary particles


A Real World: Is it there?

Can We Know It?


Grades: In addition to some assigned homework and class work, there will be two hourly exams and a final, all consisting of short (identify and signify) and long (discuss and connect) essays. No drops will be signed
after March 31, 2000. (Students who fail to complete the required course work, and who have not officially dropped, will receive a grade I or E depending on the circumstance.)

Final grades for 3 credits based upon a maximum of 300 points:
A => 200 points; B => 100 points; C => 75 points.

Two hourly exams**:          100 points
Final exam                           100 points
Collected homework*:           50 points
Interactive Question Papers* 40 points -in class (1 per session) and collected.

                                                               [Since the answers to exams and homework will appear on  the course Web page immediately after they are collected, no late submissions will be accepted.]
Oral class performance:         10 points
Total:                                 300 points

Honors students will be expected to turn in a term paper (worth 100 points), on a mutually agreed upon subject, in addition. Grades for honors students (4 credits) will be a weighed average of their paper grade and their 3 credit grade.

*Exams will be based - to a large degree - on questions from the Questions Papers and from the homework. Thus students who are conscientious in preparing their home and class work should do well.

**Missed hourly exams may be made-up, at the option of the instructor, by a term paper.

Homework Graded as G(10), S(5), U(0). Assignments in March's text.

Due Monday 1/31: Ch1.-2,4,10; Ch2.-1,2,4,9,10; Ch3.-4,5,7; Ch4.-2,3;
                                Ch5.-3,5,8; Ch6.-1; Ch7.-1,3,5a; Ch8.-2,3,4;

Due Monday 2/21: Ch10.-1,3; Ch11.-2,4,5,8; Ch12.-2,3;

Due Monday 4/3: Ch13.-1,2,3; Ch14.-1,2; Ch15.-2,4,5; Ch16.-1,3;

Due Monday 4/17: Ch19.-1,2,3,4.


Syllabus The class will be run as a combination of lecture and
discussion, with emphasis on the latter! Productive discussion requires
that you have read (and thought about!) the appropriate text materials
(M for March, H for Herbert) before class. The discussions are intended
to help you understand the test materials and their implications. If you
haven't read the materials before the class, you won't be able to
participate in the discussion - making for a very dull class! Also, you
will not be able to ask questions appropriately about the reading you do
not understand. Since the exams will cover both class and text material,
it would be wise to participate attentively in all class sessions as
well as to do all the reading carefully. Besides, discussing this
material should be fun and how can you discuss it if you have not read
the same stuff? "Interactive Question Papers" to stimulate discussion
will be distributed for each class.



Day      Date     Discussion Topic                                                     Text Reading

M         1/10     Introduction, Outline of Course M-Intro.;                 H-Preface, 1

The Newtonian Revolution


W     1/12         Galileo: The Desciption of Motion                             M-1

F     1/14         Newton's Predecessors                                             M-2

M     1/17         No Class - M L King Birthday

W     1/19         Newton's Laws                                                     M-3,4

F     1/21         Energy                                                                     M-5

The Maxwellian Revolution


M     1/24         Electricity and Magnetism, Waves                         M-6,7

W     1/26         Electromagnetic Waves                                         M-7

The Einsteinian Revolution


F     1/28         Michelson-Morley Exp.                                         M-8

M     1/31         Galilean Relativity, Einstein's Relativity                 M-9
                            Postulate, Shrinking Ruler Sticks

W     2/2         Simultaneity: Absolute or Relative?                         M-10

F     2/4         Space-Time                                                             M-10

M     2/7         Mass and Laws of Force                                         M-11

W     2/9         E=mc2                                                                 M-11

F     2/11         General Relativity; The Expanding Universe         M-12

M     2/14         EXAM                                                             (M: Chapters 1-12)

The Quantum Revolution


W     2/16         The Atom                                                         M-13, H-1

F     2/18         The Electron                                                     M-13

M     2/21         Atomic Realities                                                 H-2

W     2/23         Atomic Interiors                                                 M-14

F     2/25         The Advent of the Quantum                             M-15, H-3; honors paper topic due

M     2/28         Quantum Numbers                                         M-15,H-3

W     3/1         The Electron as Wave                                     M-16

F     3/3         The Nature of Electrons                                     H-4

M    3/6         Combining Waves                                             H-5

W   3/8         Quantum Probabilities                                     M-17, H-6

F    3/10         Quantum Uncertainties and Prediction             M-17, H-6

M-F 3/13-3/17 SPRING BREAK

M   3/20         What are the Quantum Entities?                     H-7

W   3/22         Is the Cat - For Whom the Bells Tolls - Real?     M-18, H-8

F   3/24          Review

M 3/27         EXAM                                         (M: Chapters 12-17; H: Chapters 1-7)

W 3/29         Quantum Measurement                             M-18, H-8

F 3/31         Quantum Realities                                     H-9

M 4/3         Quantum Realities                                     H-10

W 4/5         EPR Paradox                                             H-11

F 4/7         "...For Whom the Bell Tolls..."                 H-12

M 4/10         Non-locality and reality                             H-13

The Quantum Field Revolution


W 4/12         Quantum Fields                                         M-19

F 4/14         Quantum Fields                                     Honors Papers Due

M 4/17         The strange Particle Zoo

W 4/19         QCD

F 4/21         QCD

M 4/24         Review

T 5/2         FINAL EXAM                                     8:00 - 10:30 am