Modern Physics (PY 203)


Physics 203 (University Physics III, Modern Physics) provides an introduction to basic concepts of modern physics intended for undergraduate students majoring in physics or other mathematical sciences. Subjects covered include special relativity and quantum mechanics, as well as simple applications to atomic physics, nuclear physics, and solid state physics. Prerequesites PY201/202, MA 241.

  1. Lecture:
    MW 1:30-2:45, COX 200 (Lecture)
    F 1:30-2:45, COX 200 (Problem Session)
    Instructor: T. Schaefer, Office RID 400F
    email: Thomas_Schaefer[at]
    Office hours: MW. 3:00-4:00 and by appointment.
    Grader: Chunda Zhou, Office RID 200
    email: czhou2[at]
    Office hours: W 3:00-4:00
  2. Homework:
    Most fridays a set of homework problems will be assigned. (You can also check the website.) The homework is due friday the following week at 1:30pm (before the problem session). No late homework will be accepted.
  3. Lab
    See the lab website for information.
  4. Exams
    There will be two midterm exams and a final.
  5. Grade
    Your final grade will be determined by weighting the various portions of the course as follows:
    Midterms: 30%, Final: 30%, Homework: 30%, Lab: 10%
    You have to pass the lab (60%) in order to pass the course!
  6. Textbook
    Modern Physics by Ralph Llewellyn (Author), Paul A. Tipler (Author)
    Hardcover: 700 pages * Publisher: W. H. Freeman; 4th edition (December 3, 2002) * ISBN-10: 0716743450 * ISBN-13: 978-0716743453

Handouts: [The twin paradox] [Transformation laws]
Links: [ Spherical Harmonics (Mathworld)] [ Spherical Harmonics (Some nice plots)]

Questions? Send email to thomas_schaefer(at)ncsu_edu