Physics 201: Modern Physics
Fall 2012

Class schedule: M,W,F 10:00-10:50am, Small Hall, Room 111
Tutorial: F 2-2:50pm, Small Hall, Room 111
Office hours: Wed 3-4pm (Phys 201 priority), Wed 4-5pm (Phys 101 priority)

Instructor - Josh Erlich
Small Hall, Room 223
Office Phone: 757-221-3763

Grader - Zhen Wang (

Course website:

Course Summary:

In the 20th century the classical understanding of physical law was replaced by a new world view. The speed of light was discovered to be a fundamental constant; the notions of space and time were redefined; and the outcome of experiments could no longer be predicted with certainty. This course will cover the experiments and concepts underlying Special Relativity, General Relativity, and Quantum Mechanics. We will also discuss some applications of these revolutionary theories, selected from the fields of Atomic, Condensed Matter, Nuclear, Particle, and Gravitational Physics.

Text:  R. Serway, C. Moses and C. Moyer, Modern Physics, Third Edition.


This course assumes a background in first year physics at the level of Phys 101-102 or Phys 107-108, and calculus at the level of Math 111-112.

Course requirements and grade:

Problem Sets:

Weekly problem sets will generally be due on Fridays in class and returned the following Friday. Questions about the grading should first be addressed to the grader. After speaking with the grader if you feel that a grading issue was not adequately addressed, then see me.