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PHYS 151
Seminar in Modern Physics Fall 2020
Division III Quantative/Formal Reasoning

Class Details

Newtonian Mechanics, spectacular as it is in describing planetary motion and a wide range of other phenomena, only hints at the richness of behaviors seen in the universe. Special relativity has extended physics into the realm of high speeds and high energies and requires us to rethink our basic notions of space and time. Quantum mechanics successfully describes atoms, molecules, and solids while at the same time calling into question our notions of what can be predicted by a physical theory. Statistical physics reveals new behaviors that emerge when many particles are present in a system. This course covers the same basic material as PHYS 142 but in a small seminar format for students with strong prior preparation in physics.
The Class: Format: lecture/laboratory; This will be a hybrid course format, with some online and some in-person components. All in-person components will have a remote option. Lecture 3 hours per week (synchronous interactive video or in-person), Laboratory/Conference section 2.5 hours per week (synchronous interactive video or in-person). Compared to previous years, some of the laboratory activities in the course will be replaced by assignments that can be completed remotely.
Limit: 18
Expected: 18
Class#: 2757
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: class participation, weekly lab/conference assignments, weekly problem sets, final paper, two hour-exams and a final exam;
Prerequisites: placement by the department (see "advanced placement" section in the description about the department). Students may take either PHYS 142 or PHYS 151 but not both
Enrollment Preferences: first-years
Unit Notes: this is a small seminar designed for first-year students who have placed out of PHYS 141
Distributions: Division III Quantative/Formal Reasoning
QFR Notes: besides the final paper, all assignments in the course have a substantial quantitative component

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