PHYS 274 - General Physics III

(Modern Physics w/ calculus)

Department of Physics & Astronomy

University of Hawaii

Instructor: Prof. Tom Browder and Prof. Pui K. Lam (backup)

Class Meets MWF 12:30-13:20, Watanabe 112

(Fall 2017 edition)



Grading is based on an absolute scale.
Total (100%) = quizzes/iclicker questions (15%) + HW (25%) + (Midterm 1+ Midterm 2 + Final=(60%)).
The combined % for Midterm 1+ Midterm 2 + Final=60%; the highest score=25%, middle score=20%, lowest score=15%.

Approximate values:
90-100 (A), 71-89 (B) 58-70 (C) 41-57 (D) <40 (F)


There will be two midterms and a final.
There will be four questions on each midterm, which will be a combination of quantitative (3) and conceptual (1).
For the two midterms, you can bring a standard size notecard with formulae.

*** Midterm I, Monday, October 16
(Problem 1: Interference; Problem 2: Diffraction; Problem 3: Special Relativity (remember to study relativistic energy and momentum); Problem 4: Short answer conceptual questions)

A midterm I practice exam
Solutions for midterm I practice exam

Solutions for midterm I

Midterm II, Monday November 13
(Problem 1: Photons; Problem 2: Particles behaving like waves; Problem 3: Quantum Mechanics; Problem 4: Short answer/ conceptual questions)
Remember to study hydrogen-like atoms in the Bohr model, the QM particle in a box and the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.

For the final exam (Monday, December 11th, 12:00-14:00) you can bring a single sheet of paper with formulae.

The final exam will have 8 problems
(6 problems requiring calculation and 2 short answer/conceptual questions (including chapter 44)).
The last two problems will include some questions about energy and momentum in special relativity.

Problem 1: Interference (double and single slits)
Problem 2: Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (Particles and/or Waves)
Problem 3: QM I: Wave Functions
Problem 4: QM II: Atomic Structure
Problem 5: Molecules/Solid State
Problem 6: Nuclear Physics


Click here for updated info on tutoring at the learning emporium.


Cartoons that illustrate coherence length in the context of thin film interference
The java applets used for lecture demonstrations of interference, diffraction, and atomic orbitals can be found on the web site
Segre Chart of atomic nuclei.


There were 34 in-class quizzes in the Fall 2016 edition of PHYS274. There will be a comparable number in the Fall 2017 edition.

Class Outlines/Learning Outcomes: