# Phys1140: Introductory Physics II: Part 2

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• Front Matter
• 1: The Nature of Light
In this chapter, we study the basic properties of light. In the next few chapters, we investigate the behavior of light when it interacts with optical devices such as mirrors, lenses, and apertures.
• 2: Geometric Optics and Image Formation
This chapter introduces the major ideas of geometric optics, which describe the formation of images due to reflection and refraction.
• 3: Interference
The most certain indication of a wave is interference. This wave characteristic is most prominent when the wave interacts with an object that is not large compared with the wavelength. Interference is observed for water waves, sound waves, light waves, and, in fact, all types of waves.
• 4: Diffraction
In the preceding chapter, we implicitly regarded slits as objects with positions but no size. The widths of the slits were considered negligible. When the slits have finite widths, each point along the opening can be considered a point source of light—a foundation of Huygens’s principle. Because real-world optical instruments must have finite apertures (otherwise, no light can enter), diffraction plays a major role in the way we interpret the output of these optical instruments.
• 5: Photons and Matter Waves
In this chapter, you will learn about the energy quantum, a concept that was introduced in 1900 by the German physicist Max Planck to explain blackbody radiation. We discuss how Albert Einstein extended Planck’s concept to a quantum of light (a “photon”) to explain the photoelectric effect. We also show how American physicist Arthur H. Compton used the photon concept in 1923 to explain wavelength shifts observed in X-rays.
• 6: Quantum Mechanics
Quantum mechanics is a powerful framework for understanding the motions and interactions of particles at small scales, such as atoms and molecules. The ideas behind quantum mechanics often appear quite strange. In many ways, our everyday experience with the macroscopic physical world does not prepare us for the microscopic world of quantum mechanics. The purpose of this chapter is to introduce you to this exciting world.
• 7: Nuclear Physics
In this chapter, we study the composition and properties of the atomic nucleus. The nucleus lies at the center of an atom, and consists of protons and neutrons. A deep understanding of the nucleus leads to numerous valuable technologies, including devices to date ancient rocks, map the galactic arms of the Milky Way, and generate electrical power.
• Back Matter

Phys1140: Introductory Physics II: Part 2 is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.