Bettiol Group

Department of Physics, National University of Singapore

YCC2131 - Foundations of Science I - Evolution/Revolution

Unit Title: "Modern Physics and the Silicon Revolution " 
Room: TBA
Lecturer: A/P Andrew Bettiol
a.bettiol@nus.edu.sg

Course Website

Description:  At the end of the 19th century, scientists believed that they had a good understanding of how the universe worked. The fundamental physical laws developed by Isaac Newton were able to accurately describe the motion of objects as large as planets and Maxwell’s pioneering work in unifying electricity and magnetism enabled us to a describe wave nature of light. These theories were to forever change the way in which we see and understand nature and the universe. They laid down the theoretical foundations that have led to the development of almost all of the modern technology that we use today.  In this unit, we will begin by studying quantum theory by exploring the new revolutionary ideas that were developed in the early part of the 20th century. In addition we will explore the key experiments that verified these ideas. We will then discuss how these theories have led to many of the technologies that we use today. In particular we will look at the development of semiconductors that ultimately led to the development of the computer. Finally we will see how another scientific revolution will be necessary in order for us to continue to develop our modern technology.