2017 Introduction to Modern Physics

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Physics
Munekata Hiro  Shibata Toshi-Aki 
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Syllabus updated
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Course description and aims

We show the status of researches of modern physics and explain how it has evolved up to now. First, an overview on relativity, quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics are presented as they the bases of modern physics. Next, researches in various fields in modern physics, namely condensed matter physics, particle and nuclear physics, and astrophysics are introduced.
This course aims to show students how interesting the modern physics is. It also aims to give instructions to the students who are going to select fields of physics which they will study further in details. The lecture will be organized in an interactive way.

Student learning outcomes

The goal is to have an overview of modern physics before the students study individual lectures on specific topics later.
The fundamentals of relativity, quantum mechanics and statistical physics are described and research activities in various fields of modern physics are introduced.


Relativity, quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, modern physics, solid state physics

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

Overview on various fields of physics is presented by two faculty members.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Modern science and progress of physics in the 20th centuries Confirm the outline of the lecture
Class 2 History of research in electronics materials and physics Develop the recognition that fundamental and applied research is both indispensable.
Class 3 Relativity Have a good understanding on the concepts of time, space and gravity.
Class 4 Would heatless devices be achievable? Understand multi-points of view in physics research.
Class 5 Quantum theory and quantum mechanics Have an understanding on how quantum mechanics was invented and established
Class 6 Invisible cloak: a few approaches Let us see the depth of electromagnetism
Class 7 Elementary particles and the universe Recognize the relation between particle- and nuclear-physics and astrophysics
Class 8 Physics and medical treatments: replacing with artificial things, from blue to UV LED, x-ray lasers, treatments with particle beams. Review various possibilities of modern physics in the field of medical treatments


Not specified

Reference books, course materials, etc.

To be introduced during the course.

Assessment criteria and methods

Students shall submit some reports.

Related courses

  • LAS.P101 : Fundamentals of Mechanics 1
  • LAS.P102 : Fundamentals of Mechanics 2
  • LAS.P103 : Fundamentals of Electromagnetism 1
  • LAS.P104 : Fundamentals of Electromagnetism 2

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Not in particular.

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