University of Notre Dame

Modern Physics from Quarks to Quasars

Course Number: PHYS10342
Instructor: Adam Martin

Restricted to first-year Arts and Letters intents in the Honors Program. This course emphasizes themes of modern physics and will be organized around the concepts of symmetry and physical laws. For example, how do symmetries observed in nature lead to fundamental laws of conservation of energy and momentum? Examples from areas of modern physics such as cosmology and astrophysics are used to bring these topics to life. We consider questions such as: “What happens if one travels alongside a beam of light?” (which leads us into special relativity); “Why is the night sky so dark?” (the Big Bang); “What is matter?”; “What is mass”; “What are forces?” The course is a mix of lecture, discussions, and lab/demonstrations.