Nobel Prize Physics in Everyday Application

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Course information

  • Responsible lecturer: Zsolt Papp, Department of Physics
  • Code: BMETE11AX14


The amazing and explosive development of technology is our everyday experience in various fields of life from informatics to medicine. It is less well known how this development is supported by scientific research. As an example a notebook computer applies numerous Nobel Prize awarded ideas, like the integrated circuits (2000), semiconducting laser (2000), liquid crystal display (1991), CCD camera (2009), GMR sensor of the hard disk (2007) and several further achievements from earlier days of quantum mechanics and solid state physics. The course is intended to give insight to a range of amazing everyday applications that are related to various Nobel Prizes with a special focus on recent achievements. The topics below are reviewed at a simplified level building on high school knowledge of physics.


  • Textbook applications from the early days of Nobel prizes: wireless broadcasting, X-rays, radioactivity, etc.
  • Optics in everyday application: lasers, CCD cameras, optical fibers, liquid crystal displays, holography
  • Quantum physics: from atom models to quantum communication
  • Measurements with utmost precision: application of Einstein's theory of relativity in GPS systems, atomic clocks, Michelson interferometry, etc.
  • Nuclear technology from power plants to medical and archeological applications
  • Advanced physics in medicine: magnetic resonance imaging, computer tomography and positron emission tomography
  • Semiconductors from the first transistor to mobile communication
  • Fundamental tools of nanotechnology (scanning probe microscopes, electron beam lithography, etc)
  • Spintronics from the discovery of electron spin to everyday application in data storage devices
  • Exotic states of solids in everyday application: superconducting magnets and levitated trains
  • Towards „all carbon electronics”: envisioned and already realized applications of graphene


Date: Tuesdays 14.15 – 16.00 AM (2 lectures: 2 x 45 min.).

Location: Building: K, Lecture Hall: F85

Weekly tests

In the beginning of the lectures (except the first one) the students have to write short test(s), consisting of (min.: 3, max.: 5) questions in 15 minutes. Time: 10.15 – 10.30 AM.

Make up tests (max. 3 weekly tests can be repeated): date: 16th of December, 10.15 - 11.00 AM, location: FIII213.


Attendance at lecture are compulsory all through the semester. Maximum 30 % of absence can be tolerated.


The students are graded on written exam or results of weekly tests (sum of points).

Grading system:

Fail (1) : 0 - 39 %

Pass (2) : 40 – 54 %

Satisfactory (3): 55 – 69 %

Good (4) : 70 – 84 %

Excellent (5) : 85 – 100 %

Exam: date: 18th of December, 1.15 - 3.00 PM, location: FIII213

Theme of tests


Responsible person

Dr. Zsolt Papp, Dept. of Physics

Lectures (PPT)

Lecture 1 Lecture 2 Lecture 3 ( Lecture 3_b ) Relativity_2 Lecture 4 Lecture 5 Lecture 6 Lecture 7 Lecture 8 Lecture 9 Lecture 10

Final results