2020 Introduction to Modern Physics

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Physics
Fujioka Hiroyuki  Somiya Kentaro  Munekata Hiro 
Class Format
Lecture    (ZOOM)
Media-enhanced courses
Day/Period(Room No.)
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
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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, researches in various fields in modern physics, namely condensed matter physics, particle and nuclear physics, and astrophysics are introduced. Next, students will learn about the "symmetry" that is one of the common theme in various subjects in modern physics.

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.

Student learning outcomes

The goal is to have an overview of modern physics before the students study individual lectures on specific topics later.
As a common topic in various modern physics, the concept of the "symmetry" is introduced so that the students can gain in-depth understanding of the physics world.


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 three faculty members.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 (Somiya) Overview of the modern physics: particle-, nuclear-, and astro-physics Learn about the challenges in modern physics, especially in particle-, nuclear-, and astro-physics.
Class 2 (Munekata) History of research in electronics materials and condensed matter physics, Physics in medical treatments using particle beams Understand relations among quantum physics, condensed matter physics, and opto-eletronics, Feel a bit familiar with particle beams.
Class 3 (Fujioka) How to recognize elementary particles? Learn how elementary particles have been discovered.
Class 4 (Fujioka) Symmetry in particle and nuclear physics Understand the concept of symmetry in particle and nuclear physics.
Class 5 (Fujioka) Symmetry breaking in particle and nuclear physics Understand the concept of symmetry breaking in particle and nuclear physics.
Class 6 (Somiya) Measurement of a macroscopic object Understand thermal and quantum fluctuations in the position measurement of a macroscopic object.
Class 7 Reciprocity in physics Learn about the reciprocal relation that we see in various physical phenomena.

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to textbooks and other course material.


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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