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:
Serway, Moses and Moyers (3rd edition). Chapters 1-6,8,9,13-15
Topics:
  • Interference, Diffraction, Relativity, Wave Nature of Particles
  • Quantum Physics, Photons, Electrons, Atoms, Molecules
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Nuclear Physics
  • Particle Physics