Comprehensive Exam: Texts and Topics

The following topics and texts were assembled from courses given recently at UNH. Other texts used in Junior and Senior level classes also are appropriate. Be sure to look at one lower level book and one upper level book for each topic. Because texts are so similar, there is no need to look at more than one text at each level; choose whichever you prefer or have access to. But don't forget to look at lower level texts as they have some problems and topics that are not in higher level texts.

Classical Mechanics

Texts

lower level

Halliday, Resnick and Walker

 

Knight

 

Young

upper level

Symon

 

Marion and Thorton

Topics:

Newtonian Mechanics
Gravitation
Lagrangian Mechanics
Hamiltonian Mechanics
Scattering
Rigid Bodies and Rotation
Small Oscillations
Central Forces
Systems of Particles

Electricity and Magnetism

Texts:

lower level

Halliday, Resnick and Walker

 

Knight

 

Young

upper level

Lorrain, Corson and Lorrain

 

Reitz, Milford and Christy

 

Griffiths

 

Purcell

Topics:
Electrostatics
Boundary Value Problems in Electrostatics
Multipoles, Electrostatics of Macroscopic Media, Dielectrics
Magnetostatics
Time Varying Fields, Maxwell Equations, Conservation Laws
Plane Electromagnetic Waves and Wave Propagation
Wave Guides and Resonant Cavities
Simple Radiating Systems
Special Theory of Relativity

Quantum Mechanics

Texts

upper level

Liboff, Introductory Quantum Mechanics

 

Ohanian, Principles of Quantum Mechanics

 

Griffiths,

Topics:

Applying the postulates of QM, uncertainty principle, wave-particle duality, superposition principle
Eigenfunctions and eigenvalues
Calculating probabilities and expectation values
Properties of Hermitian operators
Dirac notation
Identical particles
Spin
Particle in a 1, 2, or 3 dimensional box
Simple harmonic oscillator in 1, 2, or 3 dimensions
Hydrogen atom
Perturbation theory (time independent, degenerate, time dependent)
Variational methods
Scattering

Thermal and Statistical Physics

Texts:

lower level

Halliday, Resnick and Walker

 

Knight

upper level

Schroeder

Topics:

Energy and the second law
Ideal gas, entropy
Heat capacity
Heat Engines and refrigerators
Free energy, phase transitions
Boltzmann statistics, partition function
Quantum statistics, Bosons and Fermions

Modern Physics

Texts:

 

Halliday, Resnick and Walker
Fundamentals of Physics Extended, 9th ed.

Chapters 35-43, 44.1-9

 

Young and Freedman
Sears and Zemansky's Unversity Physics
(with Modern Phys.), 12th ed.

Chapters 35-43, 44.1-4

Topics:

Interference, Diffraction, Relativity, Wave Nature of Particles
Quantum Physics, Photons, Electrons, Atoms, Molecules
Condensed Matter Physics
Nuclear Physics
Particle Physics