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Elements of Modern Physics Notes

Topics in our Elements of Modern Physics Notes PDF

In these “Elements of Modern Physics Notes PDF”, you will study the physical and mathematical foundations necessary for learning various topics in modern physics which are crucial for understanding atoms, molecules, photons, nuclei and elementary particles. These concepts are also important to understand phenomena in laser physics, condensed matter physics and astrophysics.

The topics we will cover will be taken from the following list:

Planck’s quantum, Planck’s constant and light as a collection of photons; Blackbody Radiation: Quantum theory of Light; Photo-electric effect and Compton scattering. De Broglie wavelength and matter waves; Davisson-Germer experiment. Wave description of particles by wave packets. Group and Phase velocities and relation between them. Double slit experiment with electrons. Probability. Wave amplitude and wave functions.

Position measurement : gamma ray microscope thought experiment; Wave-particle duality leading to Heisenberg uncertainty principle; Uncertainty relations involving canonical pair of variables: Derivation from Wave Packets; Impossibility of a particle following a trajectory; Estimating minimum energy of a confined particle using uncertainty principle; Energy-time uncertainty principle: origin of natural width of emission lines as well as estimation of the mass of the virtual particle that mediates a force from the observed range of the force

Two-slit interference experiment with photons, atoms and particles; linear superposition principle as a consequence; Schrodinger equation for non-relativistic particles; Momentum and Energy operators; stationary states; physical interpretation of a wave function, probabilities and normalization; Probability and probability current densities in one dimension.

One dimensional infinitely rigid box : energy eigenvalues, eigenfunctions and their normalization; Quantum dot as an example; Quantum mechanical scattering and tunneling in one dimension : across a step potential & across a rectangular potential barrier.

Lasers: Metastable states. Spontaneous and Stimulated emissions. Optical Pumping and Population Inversion.

Size and structure of atomic nucleus and its relation with atomic weight; Impossibility of an electron being in the nucleus as a consequence of the uncertainty principle. Nature of nuclear force, N-Z graph, Liquid Drop model: semi-empirical mass formula and binding energy.

Radioactivity: stability of the nucleus; Law of radioactive decay; Mean life and half-life; Alpha decay; Beta decay: energy released, spectrum and Pauli’s prediction of neutrino; Gamma ray emission, energy-momentum conservation: electron-positron pair creation by gamma photons in the vicinity of a nucleus. Fission and fusion: mass deficit, relativity and generation of energy; Fission : nature of fragments and emission of neutrons. Fusion and thermonuclear reactions driving stellar evolution (brief qualitative discussions).

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