Meeting Times: Lecture: MWF 12:00 P.M. 12:50 P.M. (BU209)

Meeting Times: Lecture: MWF 12:00 P.M. 12:50 P.M. (BU209)

Modern Physics

Instructor: Mr. Les McSparrin

Meeting Times: Lecture: MWF 12:00 P.M. – 12:50 P.M. (BU209)

Image result for quantum mechanics Lab: R 10:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. (BU210)

Office:B009G Elliott

Office Hours:MWF 10:00 A.M. – 10:50 A.M.

MWF 5:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.

TR 1:00 P.M. – 2:00 P.M.

Please arrange all others by appointment only.

Phone: 765-285-7456


Course Texts and Materials:

Harris, R. (2008). Modern Physics, 2nd Ed. New York: Peason/Addison Wesley.

Scientific calculator, dedicated binder, lab coat, lab notebook (handed out in class)

Course Description:

Modern Physics uses aspects of traditional physics and mathematics to describe the wave and particle nature of matter, quantum mechanics, atomic physics, structures of molecules and solids, semiconductors, nanotechnology, nuclear phenomena, and particle physics. Many of the lab experiences will be virtual and some topics will be learned by projects. This course will highlight modern technology where possible, and it is intended for those students who intend on majoring in science, medicine, or engineering.

Guidelines for Success

1.Attendance is vital to your understanding of the subject material in this class. Often times, just reading the book is not enough. I feel that each of you needs to be present during each class meeting to take part in the classroom discussions. Make certain that you are clearly aware of the attendance policy here at the Indiana Academy.

2.Read your book. Be certain to read the text and any other resources provided before you come to class. Although I will be discussing many of the highlights found in the text in some detail, reading the material in advance will aid you in learning. Use the textbook as a tool for understanding.

Read with purpose. Be an active reader. Note carefully all bold-faced or italicized words.

Sometimes it helps to read a portion of a chapter once for general understanding, come to class and hear my explanation of the material, and then read it a second time for details and writing notes. It may help to read out loud. Hearing something reinforces the information in a very positive way and helps you remember.

3.Be prompt in completing assignments. There is a penalty of 20% per day on all late assignments and laboratories. No assignments will be accepted after 2 days late. NO EXCEPTIONS! Never slide assignments under my office door; deliver all late assignments to me personally or place them into the “papers turned in” box outside my door with a date/time stamp.

4.I expect each and every one of you to participate in the classroom. This will allow you to gain points. Keep in mind….I need some justification to “bump up” a borderline grade. If you participate in class in a meaningful way on a regular basis, this will influence my decision. Participation in laboratory is mandatory.

5.Throughout the semester, I will make written assignments from material which you will find in the library, in journals, or on the Internet. Also, projects will be assigned. Take these literature review assignmentsand projects seriously since they count as 10% of your semester grade.

6.In class, take careful notes with purpose. Do not attempt to write down everything that is said or to write information in complete sentences. Your notes should be short, concise, with only key words and phrases recorded. More detailed definitions and explanations are in your textbook. Copy down all sample problems we complete during class. The most important thing you can do in class is to listen and ask meaningful questions.

7.Review your notes each day after school. Add brief comments to your notes from class discussions. Review your notes again, reading them out loud if possible. Do not choose one night before an examination and study for long hours. This is only counterproductive, as you will remember the first five minutes and the last five minutes, but little or nothing in between. Instead, study often. Take breaks every 15-20 minutes to allow you to return to the material with more attention.

8.Use a highlighter while you study. Highlight the information or practice problems in your notes that you don’t understand. Ask questions about these points of confusion during class and/or during my office hours. Your questions and the discussions that follow during class time will help other students.

9.Learning should not be a competitive exercise. You can best help yourself by helping others. Form study groups or try to tutor a student who seems to be having difficulty. While attempting to explain concepts to others, you will become aware of your own depth of understanding and those areas you need to study further.

10.Before a test, pre-test yourself. The best way to do this is to employ the “Blank Page Test”. Take a blank sheet of paper and write down everything you know and understand about the unit. You only need to bother studying the material that you stated incorrectly or did not remember.

11.Remember these words of wisdom from Chinese proverbs …

“Failing to plan is planning to fail.”

“Teachers open the door You enter by yourself.”

“I hear, and I forgot. I see, and I remember. I do, and I understand.”

" To merely know is nothing compared to being interested to

know, being interested to know is nothing compared to deriving joy

from learning it." - Confucius

and the famous Vince Lombardi quote:

[The] “Dictionary is the only place that success comes before work.

Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can

accomplish anything if you're willing to pay the price.”

Grading Policy

Your semester grade will be calculated using the following weighted average. I have designed this method of grade calculation to give you credit for all the work you do for class and not just base your grade on examinations and quizzes.

Examinations and Quizzes ………………………………………………………… 50 %

Laboratory Performance, Reports, and Notebook …….…………………………... 25 %

Assignments and Class Notebook ..……………………………………………….. 15 %

Written Projects, Internet Assignments, Literature Reviews …………………….. 10 %

a.)Participation – Participation points will be assigned to those students who write out their answers to problems on the board.

b.)Safety – I will be looking for safe laboratory procedures. Students who have been safe and careful in the laboratory will be rewarded. Unsafe behavior will result in loss of privileges.

Grading Scale


93.00 – 100A

90.00 – 92.99A-

87.00 – 89.99B+

83.00 – 86.99B

80.00 – 82.99B-

77.00 – 79.99C+

70.00 – 76.99C

65.00 – 69.00C-


Note: I reserve the right to make positive adjustments to borderline grades at the end of each semester for those students who show motivation and interest in the subject. This is at my discretion and is non-negotiable. Don’t assume you are entitled to this privilege.

Examinations and Quizzes

For each unit, there will be an online multiple choice portion of the examination, and then you will receive take-home examinations for each unit covered in the course. In addition, there will be a cumulative final. Plus, expect a brief quiz each Monday at the beginning of the class period.


1.You will be required to maintain a notebook for this course. You will need a large 3-ring binder. It should be divided into 4 sections:

1.)class notes

assignments and handouts


written projects and literature reviews

2.You will need to have a scientific calculator, preferably a graphing model.

General Behavior Guidelines

  1. Be in your seat and have the necessary items for class before class begins. Necessary items would include: pencils/pens, notebook, textbook, paper, and calculator. I do not lend writing utensils, calculators, or paper.
  1. Talking while others have the floor is rude and disrespectful. I will afford you 100 % of my respect, unless you provide me with an instance to feel otherwise.
  1. No food, gum, and/or drinks are to be brought into a science classroom.
  1. Bring your laptop on the days I request. On other days, leave it in your backpack and have it shut down.
  1. No cell phones are to be “on” or used during class time. Cell phones will be confiscated from anyone texting during class. If I confiscate a cell phone, you will be required to have a meeting with me and your SLC in order to have it returned. Subsequent confiscations will result in a meeting with me and Dr. Smith.
  1. Purses and backpacks are to be left under your desk.
  1. Tardy to class is unacceptable, especially on an habitual basis. After 5 minutes, you will be considered absent and will be marked as such. You will receive a warning for the first tardy to class. Subsequent instances of being tardy will be marked as class absences.
  1. Laying your head down and/or sleeping in class will result in a class absence being recorded, regardless of your reason or excuse.

Makeup Work

  1. Here at Indiana Academy, much higher expectations are placed upon you than you may be accustomed. If you miss a class, it is your responsibility to consult Blackboard and other classmates to find out what information you have missed. I will make every attempt to keep Blackboard current with handouts given in class.
  1. You may have the length of time equal to the length of your absence to make up any missed work. For example, if you miss class one day, you may have one day to make up any missed work.
  1. Being absent from class does not excuse you from assignments which were due. If you are ill and cannot attend class, it is your responsibility to either send your assignment with a classmate or to send it via an e-mail attachment before the beginning of class. E-mail attachments sent after the beginning of class will be considered to be late and will receive late credit.
  1. In the event you miss laboratory for an excused reason, you must arrange a meeting with me as soon as possible to make up the laboratory within one week of the missed laboratory session. If the lab cannot be made up, then students with an academy approved excuse may be allowed to miss one lab without penalty at the discretion of the instructor.
  1. Unexcused absences: Students with unexcused absences may not be allowed to make up any missed work, and the grade will be recorded as “0”. If it is a first offense, a student might be able to make up the work with a late penalty assessed, but this is at the discretion of the instructor. Subsequent missed labs will result in a course grade reduction of 10% per each missing Lab report/assignment. Therefore,three or more missed labs (whether it be unexcused absences or not turning in lab assignments) may result in failing the course – if this happens early in the semester, then the student will be asked to drop the course. If you miss an exam due to an unexcused absence, then the make-up exam will be assessed a 20% penalty before it is graded. Those with an academy approved excuse will have no penalty unless the exam is not made up within a reasonable time period (please see #2 under Make-up Work).

Academic Integrity

As stated in the student handbook, “All members of the Academy community have a responsibility to promote the highest possible academic integrity. Students should always remember that the Academy Code of Conduct includes a commitment to ‘integrity in all things.’”

Collaboration on homework is acceptable. However, every effort should be made to make sure you write homework answers in your own words. Clearly, collaboration on examinations and quizzes is unacceptable.

You will be assigned a laboratory partner. You and your partner will work on the collection of data cooperatively. However, treatment of the data and all graphs and answers to review questions should be your own, unique creation. In certain cases, you will be asked to share data and/or printouts of graphs. You will be informed by me when that will be acceptable.

Each group will be required to record their data with the instructor before leaving the laboratory. Use of any data other than that which was collected by your group during the laboratory session is dishonest and a violation of academic integrity.

Plagiarism (using someone else’s academic ideas without citing that person), copying homework (even if it is one answer), and/or cheating on quizzes or examinations are clear violations of the Student Academic Integrity policy. As a result, any involved students will be reported to the office of Academic Affairs. Be aware that the person who allows his/her work to be copied and/or plagiarized will also be reported and face punitive actions.

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Statement Regarding Possible Disability:

If you need adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, if you have emergency medical information to share with me, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible.

Statement Regarding Diversity:

Ball State University and the Indiana Academy aspires to be a university that attracts and retains a diverse faculty, staff, and student body. We are committed to ensuring that all members of the community are welcome, through valuing the various experiences and worldviews represented at Ball State and the Indiana Academy and among those we serve. We promote a culture of respect and civil discourse as expressed in our Beneficence Pledge and through university resources found at .

Course Outline (Tentative)

Unit / Topics and Labs
1 / Waves and Particles
a.) properties of waves
b.) mathematical representation of waves
c.) blackbody radiation and Planck’s constant
d.) the photoelectric effect
e.) production of X-rays
f.) Compton effect
g.) wave-particle duality
h.) double-slit experiment
i.) matter waves and free-particle Schrodinger equation
j.) uncertainty principle
k.) the Bohr Model
l.) Fourier Transformations
m.) Particle in a Box and the finite well
1LAB / Exp. 1: Properties of Waves:1/11
Exp. 2: Photoelectric Effect and Planck’s Constant 1/18
Exp. 3: Double Slit Experiment and Wave/Particle Duality:1/25
Exp. 4: Quantum Bound States:2/1
Test 1: 2/8
2 / Three Dimensional Quantum Mechanics and Spin
a.) Schrodinger equation in three dimensions
b.) quantization and spectral lines
c.) the hydrogen atom
d.) radial probability and orbitals
e.) photon emisions
f.) exclusion principle
g.) multielectron atoms and the periodic table
h.) excitation spectra
2LAB / Exp. 5: Atomic Spectra:2/15
Exp. 6: Periodicity and Paramagnetism:2/22
Exp. 7: Photoelectron Spectroscopy:3/1
Test 2: 3/15
3 / Bonding and the Solid State
a.) molecules and molecular motion
b.) crystalline solids
c.) band theory and electrical conduction
d.) semiconductor theory and devices
e.) superconductivity
f.) modern materials and nanotechnology
3LAB / Exp. 8: Crystals and Unit Cells:3/22
Exp. 9: Light-Emitting Diode Technology:3/29
Exp. 10: Nanotechnology:4/5
Test 3: 4/12
4 / The Atomic Nucleus
a.) atomic structure
b.) binding and stability
c.) nuclear models
d.) nuclear magnetic resonance
e.) radioactivity and radioactive decay
f.) nuclear reactions and reactors
g.) fundamental particles
4LAB / Exp. 11: Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Shielding:4/19
Exp. 12: Radioactive Decay Using the Cs/Ba-137 Model:4/26
Group Presentations – 5/3

McSparrin – 01/08/18Page 1