Modern Physics

1st Edition

for Scientists and Engineers

Authors: John Morrison
Hardcover ISBN: 9780123751126
eBook ISBN: 9780123859112
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 29th December 2009
Page Count: 488


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Modern Physics for Scientists and Engineers provides an introduction to the fundamental concepts of modern physics and to the various fields of contemporary physics. The book's main goal is to help prepare engineering students for the upper division courses on devices they will later take, and to provide physics majors and engineering students an up-to-date description of contemporary physics. The book begins with a review of the basic properties of particles and waves from the vantage point of classical physics, followed by an overview of the important ideas of new quantum theory. It describes experiments that help characterize the ways in which radiation interacts with matter. Later chapters deal with particular fields of modern physics. These include includes an account of the ideas and the technical developments that led to the ruby and helium-neon lasers, and a modern description of laser cooling and trapping of atoms. The treatment of condensed matter physics is followed by two chapters devoted to semiconductors that conclude with a phenomenological description of the semiconductor laser. Relativity and particle physics are then treated together, followed by a discussion of Feynman diagrams and particle physics.

Key Features

  • Develops modern quantum mechanical ideas systematically and uses these ideas consistently throughout the book
  • Carefully considers fundamental subjects such as transition probabilities, crystal structure, reciprocal lattices, and Bloch theorem which are fundamental to any treatment of lasers and semiconductor devices
  • Uses applets which make it possible to consider real physical systems such as many-electron atoms and semi-conductor devices


Sophomore-Junior level students in engineering, physics and other science related disciplines taking a modern physics course

Table of Contents

Preface Introduction Chapter 1 The Wave-Particle Duality 1.1 The Particle Model of Light 1.1.1 The Photoelectric Effect 1.1.2 The Absorption and Emission of Light by Atoms 1.1.3 The Compton Effect 1.2 The Wave Model of Radiation and Matter 1.2.1 X-Ray Scattering 1.2.2 Electron Waves Suggestions for Further Reading Basic Equations Summary Questions Problems Chapter 2 The Schrödinger Wave Equation 2.1 The Wave Equation 2.2 Probabilities and Average Values 2.3 The Finite Potential Well 2.4 The Simple Harmonic Oscillator 2.4.1 The Schrödinger Equation for the Oscillator 2.5 Time Evolution of the Wave Function Suggestion for Further Reading Basic Equations Summary Questions Problems Chapter 3 Operators and Waves 3.1 Observables, Operators, and Eigenvalues 3.2 ∗Algebraic Solution of the Oscillator 3.3 Electron Scattering 3.3.1 Scattering from a Potential Step 3.3.2 Barrier Penetration and Tunneling 3.4 The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle 3.4.1 The Simultaneous Measurement of Two Variables 3.4.2 Wave Packets and the Uncertainty Principle 3.4.3 Average Value of the Momentum and the Energy Suggestion for Further Reading Basic Equations Summary Questions Problems Chapter 4 Hydrogen Atom 4.1 The Gross Structure of Hydrogen 4.1.1 The Schrödinger Equation in Three Dimensions 4.1.2 The Energy Levels of Hydrogen 4.1.3 The Wave Functions of Hydrogen 4.1.4 Probabilities and Average Values in Three Dimensions 4.1.5 The Intrinsic Spin of the Electron 4.2 Radiative Transitions 4.2.1 The Einstein A and B Coefficients 4.2.2 Transition Probabilities 4.2.3 Selection Rules 4.3 The Fine Structure of Hydrogen


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About the Author

John Morrison

John Morrison received a BS degree in Physics from University of Santa Clara in California. During his undergraduate years, he majored in English, Philosophy, and Physics and served as the editor of the campus literary magazine, the Owl. Enrolling at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, he received a PhD degree in theoretical Physics and moved on to postdoctoral research at Argonne National Laboratory where he was a member of the Heavy Atom Group. He then went to Sweden where he received a grant from the Swedish Research Council to build up a research group in theoretical atomic physics at Chalmers Technical University in Goteborg, Sweden. Working together with Ingvar Lindgren, he taught a graduate level-course in theoretical atomic physics for a number of years. Their teaching lead to the publication of the monograph, Atomic Many-Body Theory, which rst appeared as Volume 13 of the Springer Series on Chemical Physics. The second edition of this book has become a Springer classic. Returning to the United States, John Morrison obtained a position in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at University of Louisville where he has taught courses in elementary physics, astronomy, modern physics, and quantum mechanics. In recent years, he has traveled extensively in Latin America and the Middle East maintaining contacts with scientists and mathematicians at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the Technion University in Haifa. During the Fall semester of 2009, he taught a course on computational physics at Birzeit University near Ramallah on the West Bank, and he has recruited Palestinian students for the graduate program in physics at University of Louisville. He speaks English, Swedish, and Spanish, and he is currently studying Arabic and Hebrew.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Louisville, KY, USA