PHYS 3305 – Introduction to Modern Physics

Course Information

I am very pleased to be teaching Introduction to Modern Physics in Spring 2020. I foster an active learning environment, in which students take direct ownership of the learning process. You will be immersed in physics learning: outside the classroom in readings, videos, and problem-solving; inside the classroom by learning how to setup and solve problems and engagement in the principles and implications of physics through experience with physical phenomena and inquiry-based learning, both at the individual and the group level.


  • Fondren Science 158, Tuesday and Thursday, 12:30-1:50
  • Textbooks
    • Required: Harris, Randy. “Modern Physics” (second edition)
    • Optional: “Schaum’s Mathematical Handbook of Formulas and Tables” (or similar, available from
    • Optional: Gates, J., Blitzer, F., Sekula, S. “Reality in the Shadows (or) What the Heck’s the Higgs?”. YBK Publishers. 2017.

Lecture Videos

These are assigned and are to be viewed before coming to class.

Lecture Notes

All lecture notes are available in book form. Enjoy!


Watch the Grand Challenge Problem project presentations by Spring 2020 students.

“Every Generation Must Learn” – Modern Physics Teaser Trailer

I love physics. When I do physics research, or when I teach physics, it’s a lot of fun for me. This parody video will give you a tiny taste of the sense of fun I have about these activities, and about how exciting I feel is the transition from classical to modern physics. This was made for when I resumed teaching this course in Fall 2019.

Introduction to Modern Physics Opening Titles

How are People Using this Course?

Since my videos are available under a Creative Commons license, it’s interesting to see how people are re-using them in new materials.

  • Academic Lesson“: The YouTube Channel “Academic Lesson” has combined a long sequence of the videos together into a single, chapter-marked, long video.