Tufts OpenCourseware
Participants in the 1927 Fifth Solvay Conference for Physics, including Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Max Planck, and Marie Curie. (Image courtesy of International Institutes of Physics and Chemistry, founded by E. Solvay. Copyright Instituts Internationaux de Physique et de Chimie, Brussels.)
Highlights of this Course

Modern Physics began at the turn of the 20th century when Max Planck invented the idea of the quantum. The world hasn't been the same since. Albert Einstein constructed the special theory of relativity five years later. The nucleus was discovered and investigated. The states of the atom were unraveled by Niels Bohr. Light was understood to be made of waves, then particles, and then, with the development of Quantum Mechanics, both at the same time. Werner Heisenberg proposed the Uncertainty Principle, and Erwin Schrödinger thought about cats that could be alive and dead simultaneously. Einstein showed that the space-time continuum is curved.

All of these topics will be covered along with other applications of these revolutionary ideas to the structure of atoms and molecules, the properties of solids, the particles that compose all matter - quarks, leptons and bosons - and the origin of the universe.

Course Description

The course covers principles and concepts of Special and General Relativity; origins of Quantum Mechanics; quantum structure of atoms, molecules, solids; applications to lasers and microelectronics; nuclear and particle physics; and cosmology.

Please note that the course as presented here does not contain the full content of the course as taught at Tufts. The included content is based on material the Tufts faculty and instructors choose to include, as well as factors such as content preparation, software compatibility, and intellectual property and copyright restrictions.
Course Faculty
Gary R. Goldstein
Course Length
39 Hours