This book originated from the need for a suitable student text for the course "An Introduction to Modern Physics" given at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. This course is open to all students who have completed the standard first-year physics courses in mechanics, optics, electricity and magnetism. Its primary goal is to produce graduates who are - whatever their field of specialisation - "modern-physics-literate". The presentation of the course material emphasises the physical aspects of the phenomena.
The birth of a new physics: the electron; electromagnetic waves; the special theory of relativity; the general theory of relativity. Quantum theory: the quantum hypothesis; the photoelectric effect; photons; the mechanics of minute particles. The nuclear atom: the structure of the atom; the Bohr Model of the atom; the quantum mechanical model of the atom; electron spin. Interactions of electromagnetic radiation and matter: the passage of radiation through matter; molecular spectra; fluorescence and phosphorescence. Nuclear physics: the structure of the nucleus; nuclear radiations; radioactivity; nuclear reactions and nuclear energy. Selected applications: the laser; the Mossbauer Effect; nuclear magnetic resonance; the conductivity of electricity through solids; invariance, symmetry and conservation laws.