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Physics 280 : Contemporary Physics: Home

These resources are provided in support of the Physics 280 writing assignment.

Course Professor


Dr. Barbara Andereck

Ph.D., Rutgers University. Dr. Andereck's specialty is theoretical solid state physics. She teaches an array of physics and astronomy courses. Her research interests include physics of liquid crystals, especially phase transitions.  More recently, Dr. Andereck has been excited about researching the synchronization of metronomes and the Galilean moons of Jupiter.

Course Description

Phys280 Contemporary Physics 

An intermediate-level course providing the ideas and tools needed for students to study advanced physics. Topics include fundamental forces and particles, symmetry and conservation laws, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, relativity, Fourier analysis, as well as a selection of topics from among nuclear decay, scattering theory, wave theory, chaos, and other topics of interest in contemporary physics. Prerequisite: 111 or permission of instructor. Corequisite: MATH 111. F.

Writing Assignment

A six- to eight-page research paper on a topic relevant to “contemporary physics” will be due just after Thanksgiving break.  If you would like to earn an "R" in this course you may write a longer paper, confer with Dr. Andereck during the development of the paper, and write multiple drafts.  The schedule for steps in the writing process, most of which are to be followed by all students, not just those working toward an "R," is included on the Schedule. 

Annotated Bibliography Help