2019 Introduction to Modern Physics

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Physics
Munekata Hiro  Somiya Kentaro 
Course component(s)
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Syllabus updated
Lecture notes 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 (1-Somiya) Overview of the modern physics (2-Munekata) Fundamental and applied physics: in the case of TV Develop the recognition that fundamental and applied research is both indispensable.
Class 2 (Somiya) Particle physics, nuclear physics, and astrophysics Understand a connection between particle physics, nuclear physics, and astrophysics.
Class 3 (Munekata) Invisible cloak: a few approaches (Munekata) Physics in medical treatments: treatments with x-ray and particle beams 1. Let us see the depth of electromagnetism 2. Regarding wave-like and particle-like aspects
Class 4 (Somiya) Can we create Doraemon in the next 100 years? Imagine various possibilities of physics in the future
Class 5 (Munekata) History of research in electronics materials and condensed matter physics Understand relations among quantum physics, condensed matter physics, and opto-eletronics
Class 6 (Munekata) Would heatless devices be achievable? Let us think about electronics in the 21st century
Class 7 How to become a professional researcher Learn how to become a professional researcher
Class 8 Review Review what we learned in the class.


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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