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NUS Physics Module Review: PC1144 Introduction to Modern Physics

Relativity in summary, is just a few formulas to apply, derivations not really needed (Although you’ll understand it better if you try deriving the formulas), and a little admittedly a little counter-intuitive. Concepts such as length contraction, time dilation and space-time intervals between events are covered. The tricky part comes when wrapping your head around different reference frames and doing funky stuff like differentiating time with respect to time. A portion of the content covered under quantum physics are stuff that H2 Physics students may recognise – De Broglie wavelength, photoelectric effect, and so on. Introduction to quantum mechanics is basically Schrodinger’s equation applied to several different constraints. In atomic physics we cover everything you learn in H2 chemistry, but a little deeper. Oh, and also the Zeeman effect. Understanding the four quantum numbers of electrons around an atom is a little tricky here, although the math isn’t too hard. Nuclear physics we go back to H2 physics – nothing special here. Calculation-wise, we go over binding energies and radioactive decay – nothing too funky here. And finally, particle physics. We cover the basics of the standard model (Up to strange quarks), and a few conservation laws thrown in for good measure.

Dzmitry is an okay lecturer – he goes through every concept thoroughly and diligently. His pace is very constant, no matter which topic he’s at. As mentioned above, there are some topics which are quite familiar to H2 physics/chemistry students, while others can be utterly bombastic. I found that many of his lectures can be a little slow, for the topics I’ve seen before (Although quite understandable, given the spectrum of students taking his module). I don’t think you’ll be missing out much by just reading his lecture notes and not attending lecture.

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