Syllabus - Dalhousie University

Fall 2014
This course will introduce you to some of the underpinnings of 20th century physics:
relativity and quantum mechanics. We’ll be moving forward 300 years from 17th century
Newtonian physics! The textbook, by Serway, is essential. It is full of interesting examples,
historical anecdotes, and detailed examples of how to calculate things. Get Serway and read
the chapters in preparation for the lectures! You have to try to do as many problems as
possible if you want to be able to digest the material and really learn it.
Assessment will be by means of assignments due after the end of every chapter, two inclass midterms, and a final exam. The assignments are crucial, not only because they make
up a sizeable portion of your mark but also because they help to prepare you for the midterm and exam. You can not learn properly without doing. Study groups, work partners,
and email discussions are encouraged, though every individual is responsible for all of the
material. You should discuss concepts with your peers, but complete the assignments on
your own.
Dalhousie University does not tolerate cheating, plagiarism or any other Violation of
Academic Regulations. See the Calendar on pages 23-31 for details under Intellectual Honesty
or for plagiarism on: . All instructors are obliged to report
any such violation to the Senate Disciplinary Committee that will, after a hearing, decide
about the disciplinary action that will be taken. This may result in expulsion from the
Problem Sets: Late assignments will be penalized 10% per day, including weekends, unless
an explicit extension is given. Late assignments will not be accepted after solutions are
distributed. Try to be explicit about where you are feeling uncertain in your
problem sets (this will not cause you to lose marks). I may also give out bonus
questions from time to time.
Midterms ( ×2)
20% each (or drop one)
55% or 35%
Students may request accommodation as a result of barriers experienced related to disability, religious obligation, or any characteristic protected under Canadian human rights
Students who require academic accommodation for either classroom participation or the
writing of tests and exams should make their request to the Advising and Access Services Centre (AASC) prior to or at the outset of the regular academic year. Please visit for more information and to obtain the Request for Accommodation
A note taker may be required as part of a students accommodation. There is an honorarium of $75/course/term (with some exceptions). If you are interested, please contact AASC
at 494-2836 for more information or send an email to [email protected]
Please note that your classroom may contain specialized accessible furniture and equipment. It is important that these items remain in the classroom, untouched, so that students
who require their usage will be able to fully participate in the class.
Dr. Ian Hill
Kathlyne Nelson
Fall 2014
Dunn 319
Dunn 318
[email protected]
[email protected]
8:35 – 9:25am
Dunn 304
Weekly Tutorials TBA
Office Hours
MWF 10:30-11:30 or by appointment
Books and Outline
Serway, Moses and Moyer
Tipler and Llewellyn
Modern Physics (3rd)
Modern Physics (2nd)
Modern Physics (5th)
Berkeley Mechanics (2nd)
Introduction to Relativity
Quantum Mechanics
Introduction to Thermal Physics
similar but simpler
similar but advanced
basic special relativity
advanced SR
stat mech
The course is based on the book by Serway. You will be responsible for much of the material
in Chapters 1-7. We will cover material at the rate of one chapter every one to two weeks.
It is essential that you read the appropriate chapter before the lectures, as this will greatly
improve your understanding of the material.
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
midterm I (in class)
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
midterm II (in class)
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
final exam
Relativity I
Relativity II
Quantum Nature of Light
Particle Nature of Matter
Matter Waves
Quantum Mechanics in One Dimension
Tunnelling Phenomena
I welcome suggestions and questions throughout the course about the material, the lectures,
the tutorials, and the problem sets.