Waves, Optics, and Modern Physics
Spring Quarter: March 18- April 09, 2024
Physics 124 is for undergraduate students while spending a Quarter at MBL and who wish to get credit towards a physics requirement. The course spans over three weeks and presents lectures on Waves, Optics, and Modern Physics, as well as an Optics Lab with hands-on experience in assembling optics components for imaging, including polarization analysis. Lectures are given in the morning, concentrating each week on one of the three topics, while the Lab is taught on three afternoons of each week. Lectures introduce basic concepts and quantitative expressions for observables in the three topic areas, Waves, Optics, and Modern Physics. The Optics Lab offers the experience of assembling optical components into a functional instrument, making quantitative observations, and comparing them to conceptual expectations.
- Basic approach to the didactic portions of the course: We have structured the course as a guided-reading, flipped classroom course, where the students will need to come to class having carefully read assigned portions of the textbook and having worked through assigned problems. We have reserved five mornings a week 9am-noon (EDT) for discussion/tutorial meetings. Most likely these will be divided into blocks, with about two hours synchronous and one hour asynchronous for a break and independent work on additional problems. The synchronous blocks will be used for discussion, guided problem solving, and mini lectures on topics of interest.
- Lab portion: Rudolf Oldenbourg is coordinating the lab portion. It will be focused on optics using rail systems available at MBL but will also seek to use these components to demonstrate some of the effects from other parts of the course (wave interference, fluorescence, etc). It will culminate with the student working with Dr. Oldenbourg to add polarization components to these systems in order to develop polarization experiments for use in future versions of the course. The lab will meet Mon, Tues, Wed afternoons ~2-5 pm (EDT).