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Modern Physics: Project Overview & Timeline

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Modern Physics Unit Description and Project Overview



In our final unit of the year we will discuss some of the bizarre, counterintuitive and revolutionary ideas of “modern physics”.   Modern physics is a very broad topic. We will be focusing on three of the main pillars of modern physics — special relativity, general relativity, and quantum theory.  The goal of the unit it to have you use the concepts of modern physics accurately in a creative way and increase your willingness and confidence to learn more about the subjects beyond high school. Modern physics is intimidating to the general public.  We hope to spark your interest and have you realize that you can make sense out of the counterintuitive model of reality.

Each topic will be broken into several phases of understanding:

  1. Limitations of classical physics

  2. Key principle that led to modern physics

  3. Models for describing modern physics

  4. Predictions and experiments that support and provide evidence for modern physics theories

After we investigate all three topics it’s time for your final project of the year!

Choose from the menu of options below for your final project on modern physics:

  1. Menu of Options

  • Superhero — Students will create a new superhero that incorporates several aspects of modern physics  (ie. controlling time, space, gravity waves, ...). This could be in the form of a biography, comic, origin story, etc.

  • News article — Students will write a fictional news story describing a potential discovery or experimental result in the field of relativity or quantum mechanics.

  • Science Fiction — A science fiction short story that accurately incorporates several aspects of modern physics.

Each project must also include the following supplemental material:

  1. Supplemental Material

  • Explanation of science that was incorporated into final product includes — central idea, current evidence, and application of the theory.

  • Explanation of where you took creative license with the science.  

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