Physics 107 Ideas of Modern Physics

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1.Physics 107Ideas of Modern Physics( herndon/107-0609)• Main emphasis is Modern Physics:Post-1900 Physics• Why 1900?– Two radical developments:Relativity & Quantum Mechanics• Both changed the way we think as muchas did Galileo and Newton.Physics 107, Fall 20061

2.Goals of the course• Learn a process for critical thinking,and apply it to evaluate physical theories• Use these techniques to understand therevolutionary ideas that embody modernphysics.• Implement the ideas in some basic problems.• Understand where physics is today,and where it is going.Physics 107, Fall 20062

3.What will we cover?• Scientific observation and reasoning.• Motion and energy.• Relativity.• Quantum Mechanics.• Gravity.• Particle theory and cosmology.Physics 107, Fall 20063

4.Modern Physics:From the microscopicallysmallSingle atomsand quantum wavesTo the incrediblylargeEntire galaxies andthe universePhysics 107, Fall 20064

5.How do we do this?• Lectures• Demonstrations• In-class interactive questions• Homework• Discussion sectionsHW 1: Chap 3 Conceptual 6, 28, 32Chap 3 Problems 6, 10, 16Physics 107, Fall 20065

6.What do you need to do?• Read the textbook Physics Concepts and Connections• Come to the lectures 9:55 MWF in 2241 Chamberlin Hall• Participate in discussion section One per week, starting Sept 11th• Do the homework Assigned most Wednesdays, due the followingWednesday• Write the essay On an (approved) physics topic of your choice, due Dec8• Take the exams Three in-class hour exams, one cumulative final examPhysics 107, Fall 20066

7.What do you get?• An understanding of the physicaluniverse.• A grade– 15% HW and Discussion Quizzes– 15% essay– 20% each for 2 of 3 hour exams (lowestdropped)– 30% from cumulative final examPhysics 107, Fall 20067

8.Where’s the math?• Math is a toolthat can often help to clarify physics.• In this coursewe use algebra and basic geometry.• We will do calculations, but also focuson written explanation and reasoning.Physics 107, Fall 20068

9.Observation and Science• Look around - what yousee is the universe.• What can you sayabout how it works?Physics 107, Fall 20069

10.Aristotle’s ideas aboutmotion• Terrestrial objects move in straight lines.Earth moves downward, Water downward,Air rises up, Fire rises above air.• Celestial bodies are perfect.They move only in exact circles.• Where did Aristotle concentrate his work?– Celestial bodies, most interesting problem of the dayPhysics 107, Fall 200610

11.Motion of the celestialbodiesApparent motion ofstars:Rotation about apoint every 24hours.Moon, sun, and planetswere known to movewith respect to thestars.Physics 107, Fall 200611

12.Motion of the stars over 6hrsQuickTime and aVideo decompressorare needed to see this picture.Physics 107, Fall 200612

13.Daily motion of sun & planetsover 1 yearQuickTime and aVideo decompressorare needed to see this picture.Physics 107, Fall 2006Movie by R.Pogge, OhioState13

14.Aristotle’s crystal spheresEarth/Water/Air/FirePrime mover (24 hrs)Cristal sphere (49000 yrs)Firmament (1000 yrs)Saturn (30 years)Jupiter (12 years)Mars (2 years)Sun (1yr)Venus(1 yr)Mercury (1 yr)Moon (28 days)Already Complex!Physics 107, Fall 200614

15.You figure it out!Assuming that the planets and stars aremoving around the earth you wouldexpect:A. The planets to move faster than the starssince they are closer.B. The stars to move faster than the planets.C. We wouldn’t know what to expect.I would say it would be helpful to have moreinformation!Physics 107, Fall 200615

16.Detailed Observations ofplanetary motion(Ptolemy)85-165An instrumentsimilar to Ptolemy’sObservational notes fromPtolemy’s AlmagestPhysics 107, Fall 200616

17.Retrograde planetarymotionContinued observationrevealed that the problemwas even more complex thanfirst believed!Retrograde motion of Mars.Apparent motion not alwaysin a perfect circle.Mars appears brighter duringthe retrograde motion.Physics 107, Fall 200617

18.Epicycles, deferents, andequants:the legacy of PtolemyEpicycle reproduced planetary retrograde motionPhysics 107, Fall 200618

19.Ptolemy’s universe• In ‘final’ form– 40 epicycles anddeferents– Equants andeccentricsfor sun,moon, andplanets.– Provided detailedplanetary positionsfor1500 years– Very complex!– However good forwhatwas needed, navigation.Physics 107, Fall 200619

20.More detailed observations, some philosophy(Copernicus)• Ptolemy’s system worked, butseemed a little unwieldy, contrived.• Required precise coordination ofplanetary paths to reproduceobservations.• Imperfect circular motionagainst Aristotle.• Copernicus revivedheliocentric (sun-centered) universe1473-1543Physics 107, Fall 200620

21.The heliocentric universe• Sun-centered• Planets orbiting aroundsun.• Theory didn’t perfectlypredict planetarymotion. Onlydiscovered later.• But the (imperfect)theory is attractive inseveral ways.Physics 107, Fall 200621

22.Advantage: “Natural”explanation of RetrogrademotionRetrograde motion observed asplanets pass each other.Physics 107, Fall 200622

23.Comparing Ptolemy andCopernicusPtolemy’s EarthcenteredCopernicus suncenteredWhich is the better theory?Physics 107, Fall 200623

24.How can we tell if it is‘correct’?Both explained contemporaneous observations.But a rotating and revolving Earth seemed absurd!Both motions require incredibly large speeds:Speed of rotation 1280 km/hourOrbital Speed: 107,000 km/hr 30 km/sec!No observational evidence of orbital motion:Relative positions of stars did not shift with Earth’s motion(parallax)Stars weren't brighter when Earth is closer (opposition).No observational evidence of rotation:Daily motions are as easily explained by a fixed earth.The motions do not require a rotating earth.Physics 107, Fall 200624

25.Advantage:A ‘good’ theory makespredictionsPlanetCopernicu ActusalMercury0.3760.387Venus0.7190.723Earth1.001.00Mars1.521.52Jupiter5.225.20Saturn9.179.54half-illuminatedVenusEarthBut, at the time, these predictions could not be tested!Physics 107, Fall 200625

26.20 years of detailedobservations (Tycho Brahe& Johannes Kepler)• Brahe’s exactingobservations demandedsome dramatic revisions inplanetary motions.Both Ptolemy’s andCopernicus’ theorieswere hard-pressed atthis detailed level.15461601Physics 107, Fall 200626

27.Kepler’s elliptical orbits• Contribution of Kepler:– first consideration of non-circular orbits inover 1000 yrs of thinking.– No more epicycles required!Circularorbit1571-1630Elliptical orbitDetailed observations required aradical new concept for anPhysics 107, Fall 2006explanation.27

28.Some common threads• ‘Philosophical’ considerations,such as complexity and symmetry,can lead to revolutionary developments.• Thoughtful consideration ofpossibilities that at first seem outrageous• But final evaluation based on comparison withdetailed experimental measurements.More detailed observations test, and sometimesforce changes to theories.We will see this throughout thecourse:In relativity, in quantum mechanics,Physics 107, Fall 200628

29.An important difference• ‘Ancient’ theories focused on description ofmotion, empirical laws,without answering ‘why?’• Symmetries were of shape and motion.• Later developments focus onthe physical laws that govern motion.• The actual motion can be quite complex, butthe physical laws demonstrateastounding simplicity, beauty, andsymmetry.Physics 107, Fall 200629


The actual motion can be quite complex, but the physical laws demonstrate astounding simplicity, beauty, and symmetry. Wed, Jan 18 Physics 107 Ideas of Modern Physics Main emphasis is Modern Physics: Post-1900 Physics Why 1900? Two radical developments: Relativity & Quantum Mechanics Both changed the way we think as much as did Galileo and Newton.

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