Learning outcomes of the course unit
The goal is to introduce the problems and phenomena leading to the fall of classical physics and give basic problem solving techniques and a flavour for how modern physics developed.
The lectures and homework will be sufficient to give the student a basic technical grasp of special relativity and quantum theory.
A solid understanding of calculus and basic familiarity with linear algebra; calculus-based courses on mechanics and electromagnetims.
Course contents summary
The fall of classical physics. Special relativity and covariant formulation of electromagnetism. Old quantum mechanics.
The special theory of relativity, Galilean and Lorentz transformation.
Relativistic kinematics; Covariant formulation of Maxwell’s equations, radiation from accelerated particles.
Introduction to quantum physics: the crisis of classical physics. The quantum properties of radiation and the wave properties of matter: photoelectric effect, Black body radiation, the Compton effect, Photon, DeBoglie's hypothesis, Uncertainty principles, wave packet basics properties of atoms, Thomson model, the Rutherford model, Bohr's model.
Gasperini M., Manuale di Relatività ristretta, Springer
Rindler W. Introduction to special relativity, Oxford 2nd ed.
Jackson J.D., Classical Electrodynamics, Wiley – (Zanichelli ed. italiana)
Resnick R., Halliday D., Basic concepts in relativity and early quantum theory, Wiley
Eisber R., Resnick R., Quantum physics, cap. 1-6 Wiley
Oral lessons, homework. Problem solving is an important part of the course: during lectures sample problems will be solved with student active participation.
Assessment methods and criteria
homeworks, midterm and final written exam and final oral examination