Syllabus Physics 20900 Fall 2020

The City College of New York
Department of Physics
Physics 20900BB University Physics III Fall 2020
Instructor: Swapan K. Gayen, Professor of Physics
Office: CDI 2.380 (Normal); Virtual (During Covid-19)
Phone: (212) 650-5580 (Office)
Office Hours: Monday and Friday, 1.30 – 2.30 P.M. (online).
Communication: You may email me, and I will try to respond within 24 hours.
Course Description
Required core for physics majors
Calculus-based study of the basic concepts of wave motion, physical optics, and modern physics
Topics include: Wave equation, Electromagnetic Waves, Dispersion; Interference, Diffraction, Polarization; Special Theory of Relativity; Particle properties of Waves, Photoelectric Effect, Compton Effect; Wave Properties of Particles, Wave-particle duality; The Nuclear Atom, Bohr Model, Franck-Hertz Experiment; The Schrodinger Equation, Harmonic Oscillator, Hydrogen Atom; Atomic Physics; Molecular Structure and Atomic Spectra; Structure of Solids, Conduction; Nuclear Physics, Nuclear Structure, Nuclear Force, Radioactivity.
Prerequisite: Physics 20800 or equivalent, Math 20300 or 20900; 4 lect. hr./wk.; 4 cr.
Class Schedule: Monday, Wednesday 10.00 – 11.40 A.M. (online)
Readings & Resources
 Fundamentals of Physics, 10th Edition (Extended), Halliday, Resnick and Walker, Wiley,
ISBN 978-1-118-23072-5 (Extended edition) Binder-ready version ISBN 978-1-118-23061-9 (Extended edition)" (Required) [Same text used for Physics 20700 and Physics 20800. However, only the Extended edition contains Modern Physics topics.]
 Optics (4th Edition) by Eugene Hecht, Addison Wesley (ISBN 0-8053-8566-5)
 Modern Physics for Scientists and Engineers (2nd Edition) by John R. Taylor, Chris D. Zafiratos, and Michael A. Dubson, Pearson/Prentice Hall (ISBN 0-13-805715-X)
Additional Materials
 Some journal articles will be discussed. Those will be made available in the content area of the Black Board.
Course Objectives
After successfully completing this course, students should be able to:
a. Understand attributes of electromagnetic waves and their propagation: reflection, refraction, dispersion.
b. Understand and solve simple problems involving interference and diffraction of light, interferometers
c. Understand solve problems involving polarization: polarizers, dichroism, birefringence, etc.
d. Understand and apply special theory relativity to relativistic mechanics
e. Understand the role of important experiments in elucidating the nature of atoms, light, and matter
f. Understand the Bohr model of hydrogen atom and quantization of atomic energy levels
g. Understand elements of quantum mechanics, wave functions; set up and solve Schrodinger equation for simple systems, such as, potential wells and barriers, simple harmonic oscillator, and hydrogen atom
h. Understand Pauli Exclusion Principle, atomic structure and molecular spectra and basics of laser
i. Understand and solve problems involving nuclear size, binding energy, and radioactivity
j. Understand structure of solids, energy bands, conduction etc.
Course Outline
A. Physical Optics
 Electromagnetic Waves: Wave Equation in three-dimension; Transverse wave, Energy, Momentum, Poynting vector
 Propagation of Electromagnetic waves: Scattering, Reflection, Refraction, Fresnel Equations, Dispersion
 Polarization: Linear, Circular, Elliptical, Representation as superposition of two orthogonal components; Dichroism, Birefringence, Retarders
 Interference: Review of Young’s Double-Slit Experiment, Coherence, Thin-Film interference, Interferometers (Michelson and Fabry-Perot)
 Diffraction: Fraunhofer Diffraction, Review of Single-slit and double-slit experiments; Multiple-slit diffraction, Intensity distribution; Diffraction grating
B. Modern Physics
 Special Theory of Relativity, Lorentz Transformation, Relativistic Mechanics, Energy and Momentum
 Particle Properties of Waves, Photoelectric Effect, Compton Effect
 Wave Properties of Particles, de Broglie Waves, Wave-Particle Duality
 The Nuclear Atom, Bohr Model, Franck-Hertz Experiment
 The Schrodinger Equation, Potential Well, Potential Barrier
 Quantum Theory of Harmonic Oscillator and Hydrogen Atom
 Atomic Physics, Many Electron Atoms, Pauli Principle, Periodic Table; Lasers
 Molecular Structure and Spectra
 Structure of Solids, Conduction
 Nuclear Physics: Nuclear Structure, Nuclear Force, Radioactivity
Assignment, Assessment, and Grading
 Homework Sets: 15%
 Short Quizzes: 15%
 In-class Tests (2) 40% (2 X 20% each)
 Cumulative Final 30%
Total: 100%
Note on Tests and Exams: Please note, the CUNY Administration advises us that the courses could require the use of online proctoring. Necessary preparation may be required when they finalize the online proctoring system(s) to be used.
Assignments and Activities
 Homework: Several homework sets will be assigned throughout the semester. Solving the homework problems is crucial for success in the course. The problems in the tests will relate to the concepts covered in the homework problems and in the worked out problems in the class and in the textbook. Homework assignments have to be submitted within the deadline.
 Short Quizzes: Several synchronous short quizzes (15 minutes each) will be given, commonly one after completing a major topic.
 Tests: Two synchronous in-class tests will be given. Each test will count 20% towards the final grade. Final will be synchronous, cumulative and carry 30% weight.
Please note, the CUNY Administration advises us that the courses could require the use of online proctoring. Necessary preparation may be required when they finalize the online proctoring system(s) to be used.
Course Organization
 Course Materials: Materials covered in the course are organized into two broad areas: Physical Optics and Modern Physics. Approximately 50% time will be devoted to topics belonging to these areas.
 Attendance: Class sessions will focus on discussion of concepts, derivation of key formulae, as well as, problem solving. Regular attendance, on-time arrival, and participation in entire class sessions are required. Absence in a test without prior permission, or unavoidable circumstances (such as, sickness, emergency, etc.) will result in a score of “0” for the test.
 Study Tips: To derive maximum benefit from lectures, please read the material indicated in the schedule before the class. To be up to date, please go through the lecture notes, textbook, and rewrite your lecture notes before the next class. To develop comprehension of the materials and to be able to use those, solve the homework problems, and engage your classmates and instructor in discussions. While individual efforts may vary, on the average expect to spend 6-10 hours per week, studying, discussing and solving problems, in addition to the time spent in lecture.
 Communication and Access: Black Board (BB), Zoom and E-mail will be our principal modes of communication and interaction. You may want to check that your Black Board access is in place. If you need any support, please contact CCNY Black Board Support by phone at (212) 650-6990 or/and by email at .
You may also want to brush up your BB skills by visiting and consulting the site
 Technology Requirement: You will need a computer with reasonable audio and video capabilities and a dependable Internet access to take online courses. If you do not have your own computer and need to borrow one, please contact CCNY Laptop Loaner Program by phone at (212) 650-5480 or/and e-mail at: .
General Information
Academic Integrity and Plagiarism: The CCNY Policy on Academic Integrity will be strictly adhered to.
The document entitled, “CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity” is available at…. Make sure you have read the details regarding plagiarism and cheating, and be clear about the rules that the college follows. Cases where academic integrity is compromised will be prosecuted to the fullest extent according to these rules.
Accommodations for students with disabilities: Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable academic accommodations if determined eligible by the CCNY Accessibility Center / Student Disability Services (AAC/SDS). Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student’s eligibility from the AAC/SDS, which is located in NAC 1/218. It is the student’s responsibility to initiate contact with the AAC/SDS and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor. AAC/SDS may be contacted by phone at (212) 650-5913; TTY/TTD: (212) 650-844, and by email at: