University Physics: Modern Physics
Spring, 2010             Physics 205C             Section 1

Instructor:  Professor/Dr. Mark Byrd
Office:                     Neckers 491
Phone:                    453-2271
e-mail: mbyrd at physics dot siu dot edu
Class URL:

Office Hours:      Tues., Thurs. 2:00-3:30
                             and Fri. 2:15-5:15

Lecture Hall/Times: The lectures for this class will take place in
                                   Neckers 410 from 4:00-5:30 on Wednesday
                                   and in
                                   Neckers 456 from 1:00-2:30 on Friday.


Southern Illinois University Carbondale is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for study and work. Because some health and safety circumstances are beyond our control, we ask that you become familiar with the SIUC Emergency Response Plan and Building Emergency Response Team (BERT) program. Emergency response information is available on posters in buildings on campus, available on BERT's website at, Department of Safety's website (disaster drop down) and in Emergency Response Guideline pamphlet. Know how to respond to each type of emergency.


TEXTBOOK: Modern Physics (3rd Edition) by Raymond A. Serway, Clement J. Moses, and Curt A. Moyer {Brooks/Cole--Thompson} ISBN: 0-534-49339-4  

HOMEWORK: There will be homework assignments given during the semester, aprroximately one assignment per week. Not all homework problems will be graded.   However, you must hand-in all of your homework solutions. The homework assingment and solutions for each homework assignment will be posted on the class web site on the day listed on the web page of this course.

It is your responsibility to check the web site to keep track of the assignments.  In order to do this, you should visit the course site at least once a week, if not more often.

In order to really grasp the concepts, you will need to do the homework assignments yourself and to check your skills by comparing your solutions with the ones posted on the web.

Student Conduct Code


  • Below are the prerequisites for this course: 
    1. You must have completed PHYS 205A, 205B or 203A, 203B with a grade of "C" or better.  

    Tentatively the following topics will be covered during the semester: 

    Relativity (Chapter 1 and Chapter 2, Sections 2.1, 2.2, and 2.4)
    Quantum Theory of Light (Chapter 3)
    Particle Nature of Matter (Chapter 4)
    Matter Waves (Chapter 5)
    Quantum Mechancis in One Dimension (Chapter 6)
    Tunneling Phenomena (Chapter 7)
    Atomic Structure (Chapter 9)
    Molecular Structure (Chapter 11)
    Nuclear Structure (Parts of Chapter 13 as time permits)
    Quantum Information (Not in the book, also as time permits)


    Since the main objective of this course is to understand and then successfully apply the fundamental concepts of physics to solving problems, it is important to have good math skills. To do well in the course, you need to have good math skills in algebra, trigonometry, and calculus (both differential and integral calculus). I strongly urge you to freshen up your math skills for this course. Please visit the Math Department's web site (see below) to review the relevant material in trig, algebra, and calculus, in particular review the materials posted for math 107, 108, 109, and 150.

    Please remember, in the end, you will earn your grade by your hard work and your performance.


    CLASS WORK: There will be several Homework assignments during the semester. You will be asked to turn these in for a grade. These grades, along with your class participation (including presentations), will count as your class work grade which will comprise 20 % of your final grade for the course.  

    EXAMS: There will be TWO exams/tests during the semester. The date of the exam will be announced by being posted on the class web site two or three lectures before the exam.  Therefore, it is important that you check the class web site often (at least once per week). 

    The exams will be closed textbook.  However, a formula sheet listing the equations from the chapters over which the exam is based will be posted on the class web site.  It is your responsibility to download the equations, print them, and bring them with you on the exam and the Final Exam days. You are NOT allowed to consult class notes, books, and programmed solutions on your calculators.

    You may use calculators during the exams or final exam, so bring one of your own.  You may also use one equation sheet (one side only) that you make yourself.

    The exams will be based on any information discussed in the lectures and/or in the textbook.  Predominant content will be from the lectures (this does not mean the exam questions will be identical to the numerical problems we solved in class).  Consequently, it is important for you to attend lectures. 

    The exams collectively count 45 % toward the final grade in the course.


    The final exam counts 35 % toward the final grade in the course. The final exam will be a comprehensive exam.

          Final Exam:

     Date: May 13, 2010 (Thursday)
     Time:8:00-10:00 p.m.
     Place: Neckers 410


    In case the fire alarm or the alarm is pulled during the exam or the Final Exam: what we will do

    Since we have six exams during the semester for this course, we are required to cover almost a chapter per week.  Therefore, we can not afford to lose any lecture.

    In case the fire alarm or the alarm is pulled during an exam and since we will have to vacate the lecture hall, the exam in question will not be graded. Instead, a replacement exam will be given on Friday at  8 P.M. The exact date will be posted on the web site.

    In case the fire alarm or the alarm is pulled during the Final Exam, then a replacement final will be administered on the Friday night of the final exam week at a place and time to be listed on the class’ web site.


    The following weighting will be used for exams and final exam in computing the final grade:

    Exams    =    45 %
    Class      =    20 %
    Final       =    35 %
    Total      =    100 %

    KEEPING UP WITH GRADES: You should visit office hours to find out how you are doing in the class.  It is suggested that you do so often.  It is your responsibility to avoid surprises and know how you are doing at any given time throughout the course.

    Homework Assignments, Exam Days and Solutions, Handouts/Class Notes and Equations

    Homework Assignments and Solutions:

    Homework Assignment #1 Chapters 1 and 2:   PDF       DUE, in class, Wednesday, February 3        Homework #1 Solutions

    Before you download homework solutions, download the problems and try them. You are not simulating test conditions if you look at the solutions before you try to work out the homework on your own.

    Exam Day

    Exam 1: TBA -- TBA

    Handouts/Class Notes

    Problem Solving in PDF