Physics 3710 – Intermediate Modern Physics

Spring 2017



Meeting Times: 9:30-10:20 MWF

Meeting room: ENGR 104

Instructor: David Peak

Office: SER 240


Telephone: 797-2884




Physics 2710 (Introductory Modern Physics) and Physics 3710 (Intermediate Modern Physics) deal with our current understanding of the smallest and largest forms of matter.  These courses develop the story of the two great intellectual achievements of 20th century physics—quantum mechanics (in 2710) and relativity (in 3710)—emphasizing their experimental and theoretical underpinnings as well as their enormously important practical applications.


Physics 3710 is about the principles and applications of special and general relativity and of the nuclear and sub-nuclear structures of matter.  Though some of the topics of 3710 are more than 50 years old, others continue to rapidly evolve—and their interplay provides a fascinating, living example of science at work.  Moreover, the course is predicated on, and aspires to convey, two thoroughly modern, coherent, and interconnected themes: (1) the largest (e.g., stars, galaxies, and galactic clusters) and smallest (e.g., quarks, leptons, and force-carrying bosons) observed forms of matter are intimately related to one another, and (2) dynamics, conservation laws, and symmetry are all essentially equivalent.


Site contents


Syllabus  (OK)


Background Notes  (OK)


Special Relativity Notes  (OK)


General Relativity Notes  (OK)


Structure of Matter Notes  (OK)




Exam I (2013)

Exam II (2013)

Exam III (2013)