The goal of the course is to bring the students up to date on the great advances made in physics during the last century.
The development of special theory of relativity (STR), discovery of atomic and molecular structure and its undertstanding in terms of quantum mechanics are achievements man can be proud of. Application of quantum mechanics to condense matter physics have led to fantastic discoveries such as transistors and lasers, which has created a new brave world of electronics. Search for structure inside the atom has revealed the complex world of nuclei, which are themselve made up of only neutrons and protons. Just when we thought that we understand atoms in terms of electrons, neutrons and protons, we are inundated by hundreds of subnuclear particles. Trying to make sense of this particle zoo, leads to evidence for three quarks inside protons and neutrons.
Progress in fundamental physics goes hand in hand with technological breakthroughs such as nuclear power, magnetic resonance imaging, positron-electron tomography, gamma cameras, particle accelerators, ultrasound imaging, etc. Unfortunately, modern physics has lead to nuclear and biological weapons of mass destruction, even as it has lead to marvellous medical and industrial applications.
How can any intelligent person claim to be an educated member of modern society without being exposed to the excitement of modern physics. Come with me as I introduce you to the wonders, which never cease to amaze and excite our human curiosity.