Modern physics II

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content


To give the student an account of the composition of matter from elementary particles to solids, liquids and gases. The course shall convey an understanding of modern particle physics, nuclear physics; and of the use of statistical physics to grasp the connection between microphysics and macrophysics.


The course starts with a derivation of the different distribution laws (Maxwell-Boltzmann, Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein). Then the composition and structure of matter, from simple molecules to macroscopic objects is discussed. The composition of atomic nuclei, important nuclear transformations (radioactive decay, fission and fusion) is discussed. The occurrence of such processes on earth and in the sun is discussed together with uses and possible harmful effects. Furthermore, the course is giving a description of the Standard Model of particle physics, and an account of how elementary interactions are described with Feynam diagrams. Finally, the history of the universe from the big bang till today is discussed.