Undergraduate course

Modern physics I

Objectives and Content

Objectives: The objective is to introduce the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics and show the connection to modern technology. The course will introduce the properties of time and space, the principle of relativity, and quantum mechanics needed to describe the microcosmos.

Content: Introduction to Einstein¿s special relativity theory, to observations and phenomena that led to the breakdown of classical physics and the development of quantum physics. An introduction to quantum mechanics and the Schrödinger equation is given, with analytical solutions for simple problems and for the hydrogen atom. The concept of spin is introduced, and used together with the Pauli principle to construct the periodic table of the elements.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course

the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The student should have knowledge about:

  • Basic parts of the special theory of relativity and main results in terms of Lorentz transformation, relativistic formulas for energy and momentum, and Doppler effect.
  • The student will know why the phenomena of black body radiation, photoelectric effect and Compton effects are not compatible with wave theory of light and how they lead to the development of the quantum physics.
  • The Schroedinger equation and solutions for simple model problems.
  • The concept of spin, Pauli principle and principles behind the construction of periodic system.


The student will be able to:

  • Use special theory of relativity to solve simple problems.
  • Solve the Schroedinger equation for simple model problems, bound and free states and the hydrogen atom.
  • Use the concept of spin and angular momentum for explaining level splittings.
  • Explain the structure of the periodic system.
  • Use linear algebra and differential equations for solving simple problems in modern physics.

General competence

  • The student can use algorthmic thinking to solve simple analytic problems in relativity and quantum mechanics
  • The student can convey the essential parts of relativity and quantum mechanics to students and laymen
  • The student can use the knowledge aquired to continue studies within modern physics.

Forms of Assessment

The forms of assessment are
  • Assesment of quizzes passed/not passed
  • Written examination (4 hours), 100% of total grade.

Grading Scale

The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.

Exam information

  • For written exams, please note that the start time may change from 09:00 to 15:00 or vice versa until 14 days prior to the exam. The exam location will be published 14 days prior to the exam.

  • Type of assessment: Written examiantion

    18.06.2018, 09:00
    4 hours
    Withdrawal deadline