Modern physics

Techniques of Measurement in Physics, First Cycle
3 year
first and second
Course director:
Lecturer (contact person):
Hours per week – 1. semester:
Hours per week – 2. semester:

Inscription in the current school year.
(b) Successfuly passed written exam or colloquia is a prerequisite for the accession to the oral exam.

Content (Syllabus outline)

1st semester
Special theory of relativity: basics of classical relativity, Einstein’s postulates, Lorentz transformations, simultaneity and relativity, time dilation and length contraction, Doppler effect, relativistic energy and momentum.

Introduction to quantum mechanics: Photoelectric effect and the quantum nature of light, Compton effect, Bohrs’s atom model, Schroedinger equation, interpretation of the wave function as the waves of probability, expectation values of the physicas quantities, wave equation, phase and group velocity, wave packet and the uncertainty principle, tunnel effect.
Hydrogen atom, Zeeman effect, Stern-Gerlach experiment, electron spin, many particle systems wave function, fermions, bosons, Pauli exclusion principle, electrons and the periodic system of elements.

2nd semester:
Applications of quantum mechanics, quantum statistical mechanics, Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution and the kinetic theory of gases, Bose-Einstein distribution and the black body radiation, Fermi-Dirac distribution, electrons in metal, interaction of light and matter, stimulated emission, laser, electrical conduction, types of isolators and semiconductors, electrons and holes, band structure of electron states, doped semiconductors, optical effects in semiconductors, photodiode, applications of semiconductors, p-n junction, transistor, LED, semiconductor laser.
Nuclear Physics : atomic nucleus, shape and size, mass, binding energy and stability , nuclear alpha decay, beta and gamma decay, nuclear fission and the nuclear reactor, nuclear reactions in stars, fusion reactor, natural radioactivity, decay time, radioactive dating, biological effects of radiation.
Appendix: introduction to the standard model of particles and fields, general relativity and cosmology.


Janez Strnad, FIZIKA III, DMFA 1988,
Janez Strnad, FIZIKA IV, DMFA 1988,
Arthur Beiser, CONCEPTS OF MODERN PHYSICS, McGraw-Hill Int. 5. izdaja , 1995
Jeremy Bernstein, Paul M. Fishbane in Stephen Gasiorowicz, MODERN PHYSICS, Prentice -Hall, 2000.

Objectives and competences

Objectives: Knowledge of basic achievements of physics in the 20th century. The course is provides the theoretical basis for the understanding of physical measurement methods, methods of computational physics and modeling.


  • ability of modeling and solving physical problems;
  • acquaintance with basic fields of modern physics;
  • ability of searching solutions of physical problems in scientific and technical literature;
  • understanding of phisical processes and technology
  • ethics in physics.
Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:

Unified view on the various fields of physics and understanding the similarities and differences between the classical and quantum physics. Understanding and awareness of all conservation laws in nature. Understanding of implications of the special theory of relatvity in modern physics. Mastering of the basic modern computational tools.

Learning and teaching methods

Lectures, tutorials, laboratorium exercises, demonstration experiments, computer simulations.


Written exam (50 %). Written exam can be passed by colloquia during the school year.
Oral exam (50%)

Lecturer's references

[1] RIGLER, Martin, ZGONIK, Marko, HOFFMANN, Marc P., KIRSTE, Ronny, BOBEA, Milena, COLLAZO, R., SITAR, Zlatko, MITA, Seiji, GERHOLD, Michael. Refractive index of III-metal-polar and N-polar AlGaN waveguides grown by metal organic chemical vapor deposition. Appl. phys. lett., 2013, vol. 102, iss. 22, str. 221106-1-221106-5. [COBISS-SI-ID 2561124]
[2] ŽABKAR, Janez, MARINČEK, Marko, ZGONIK, Marko. Mode competition during the pulse formation in passively Q-switched Nd: YAG lasers. IEEE j. quantum electron., 2008, vol. 44, no. 4, str. 312-318. [COBISS-SI-ID 21498151]
[3] ZGONIK, Marko, EWART, Michael, MEDRANO, Carolina, GÜNTER, Peter. Photorefractive effects in KNbO3. V: GÜNTER, Peter (ur.), HUIGNARD, Jean-Pierre (ur.). Photorefractive materials and their applications. 2, Materials, (Springer series in optical sciences, 114). New York: Springer, cop. 2007, str. 205-240. [COBISS-SI-ID 1973604]
[4] DUELLI, M., MONTEMEZZANI, Germano, ZGONIK, Marko, GÜNTER, Peter. Photorefractive memories for optical processing. V: GÜNTER, Peter (ur.), HUIGNARD, Jean-Pierre (ur.). Photorefractive materials and their applications. 3, Applications, (Springer series in optical sciences, 115). New York: Springer, cop. 2007, str. 77-134. [COBISS-SI-ID 1984100]
[5] MONTEMEZZANI, Germano, ZGONIK, Marko. Space-charge driven holograms in anisotropic media. V: GÜNTER, Peter (ur.), HUIGNARD, Jean-Pierre. Photorefractive materials and their applications. 1, Basic effects, (Springer series in optical sciences, 113). New York: Springer, cop. 2006, str. 83-118. [COBISS-SI-ID 1905252]
[6] ABPLANALP, Markus, ZGONIK, Marko, GÜNTER, Peter. Scanning probe microscopy of ferroelectric domains near phase transitions. V: ALEXE, Marin (ur.), GUVERMAN, Alexei (ur.). Nanoscale characterisation of ferroelectric materials : scanning probe microscopy approach, (Nanoscience and technology). Berlin [etc.]: Springer, 2004, str. 193-220. [COBISS-SI-ID 1778020]