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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Modern Physics (UL)
Module Code PS476L
School School of Physical Sciences
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Eilish McLoughlin
Semester 2: Eilish McLoughlin
Autumn: Eilish McLoughlin
Module TeachersEilish McLoughlin
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

This module will develop the student's understanding of fundamental concepts and ideas in modern physics, specifically the use and application of the Schroedinger equation, and the priciples of special relativity.

Learning Outcomes

1. Define key concepts in modern physics including wave function, probability amplitude, reference frame, invariance.
2. Solve the Schroedinger equation for 1-dimensional potential wells.
3. Apply the 3-d Schroedinger equation to the hydrogen atom.
4. Apply the basic relationships of special relativity to high energy particles.
5. Derive, from given premises, relevant relationships between physical variables.
6. Solve problems, from information given, requiring the calculation of the values of physical variables in quantum mechanics and relativity.
7. Explain the relevance of quantum theory and relativity in modern views of the physical universe.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture242 hours of asychronous lectures per week accessed as pre-recorded videos
Online activity242 hours of scheduled synchronous online activities per week.
Tutorial24Student learning support facilitated through small-group tutorials with flexible provision.
Independent Study53Student self directed learning
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Wave mechanics
De Broglie's hypothesis, wave functions and probability amplitudes, the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle. The Schroedinger wave equation: simple solutions in one dimension, transmission, reflection and penetration at a barrier, tunnelling, potential wells, the harmonic oscillator.

The Schroedinger equation in three dimensions
the hydrogen atom, quantisation of angular momentum, spatial quantisation, the Zeeman effect.

the fourth quantum number, the Pauli exclusion principle.

Special Relativity
Relativistic dynamics, relativistic mass and momentum, total energy, mass/energy equivalence. Spacetime: spacetime diagrams, introduction to four-vectors. Application of relativistic dynamics to particle beam devices and collision experiments.

Nuclear Physics
Nucleons and nuclear models, nuclear spin nuclear reactions and cross-sections. Introduction to elementary particles and the Standard Model.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Completion of online activitySolve physics problem based on mathematical/quantitative aspects of module concepts.50%As required
In Class TestSolve physics problem based on mathematical/quantitative aspects of module concepts.50%Once per semester
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Young and Freedman: 2020, University Physics with Modern Physics,, 15 Ed.,,, https://www.pearson.com/us/higher-education/program/Young-Modified-Mastering-Physics-with-Pearson-e-Text-Standalone- Access-Card-for-University-Physics-with-Modern-Physics-15th-Edition/PGM2485469.html,
  • Eugenia Etkina, Gorazd Planinsic and Alan Van Heuvelen: 2019, College Physics: Explore and Apply,, 2nd Ed. [ISBN: 978- 01346018],
  • Taylor J.R. Zafiratos, C.D. Dubson M.A.: 2004, Modern Physics For Scientists and Engineers, Prentice Hall,
  • Blatt F.J.: 1992, Modern Physics, McGraw-Hill,
Other Resources

55285, Simulations, 0, Phet simulations, https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulations /,
Programme or List of Programmes
PDITPProfessional Diploma in Teaching Physics

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