Modern Physics

Oberlin College Physics 212

Spring 2021

This World Wide Web page written by Dan Styer, Oberlin College Department of Physics and Astronomy;;
last updated 1 February 2021.

Technical note: To access the links marked (PDF) you must first download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader or Open Standard software.


Classes MWF 11:20 am - 12:10 pm; Conference M 8:00 pm. Ongoing zoom link for classes and conferences.

Labs W 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm.

Course syllabus

Problem assignments


Hints for doing well in the course

We recommend that you first do the readings, then attend the lectures, and then work on the problem assignments. More tips can be found in Study Tips for Introductory Physics Students. We cannot emphasize too strongly that we expect you to do the reading.

Information about physics problems is available through:

Links and Handouts

Why, in working assignments, you need to show your work (PDF).

Space and Time in Special Relativity (PDF)

Relativistic Limits on Rigidity and Strength (PDF)

Notes on Relativistic Dynamics (PDF)

What does it mean to "Measure time in meters (PDF)" or to "Set the speed of light to 1"?

Does mass really depend on velocity, dad? by Carl G. Adler

The concept of mass by Lev B. Okun

Notes on Waves (PDF)

Ain't no string long enough to carry a pure sine wave. (Video made at Ontario pavilion, World's Fair Expo 67 in Montreal.)

Einstein and the existence of atoms by Jeremy Bernstein

Invitation to Quantum Mechanics

Notes on Nuclear and Elementary Particle Physics (PDF)