Click here for Spring 2013 Physics course offerings. Below is more information on the content of all physics courses, some of which may not be offered every year. Links are provided for syllabi or course websites for recently offered courses. Course outlines are given for most courses and are a general description of the material covered in the course and how the course is organized. For a complete course description refer to the course catalog portion of the General Announcements or Click Here
Calculus-based survey of Physics. Includes classes and lab exerciseson topics chosen from mechanics, electricity, and magnetism.
Fall 2013 Syllabus
PHYS 101 (With Lab) Course Outline
Continuation of PHYS 101. May receive credit for only one of PHYS102, 112, 126, AP Physics-B (PHYS 142), and AP Physics-C, E&M (PHYS102).
Spring 2013 Syllabus
PHYS 102 (With Lab) Course Outline
Calculus-based survey of physics. Includes classes and lab exerciseson topics chosen from mechanics, electricity, and magnetism. Primarilyfor physical science and engineering students with strong high schoolbackgrounds in physics.
Fall 2012 Syllabus
PHYS 111 (With Lab) Course Outline
Continuation of PHYS 111. May receive credit for only one of PHYS102, 112, 126, AP Physics-B (PHYS 142), and AP Physics-C, E&M (PHYS102).
PHYS 112 (With Lab) Course Outline
Calculus-based survey of physics. Includes classes and lab exerciseson topics chosen from mechanics, waves, electricity, magnetism, optics,and modern physics. Primarily for bioscience and premedical students.
PHYS 125 (With Lab) Course Outline
Continuation of PHYS 125. May receive credit for only one of PHYS102, 112, 126, AP Physics B (PHYS 142), and AP Physics-C, E&M (PHYS102).
PHYS 126 (With Lab) Course Outline
Study of concepts in physics with emphasis on the nature of physicalphenomena, the conceptual development of physics, and related culturalinfluences.
PHYS 141 Course Outline
For AP credit only. May receive credit for only one of PHYS 102, PHYS 112, PHYS 126, AP Physics-B, and AP Physics-C (E&M).
This course explores our scientific understanding of sound and music by studying the properties of sound and its production by a variety of musical instruments. Additional topics include an analysis of musical scales, the physiology of hearing, and the technology of sound reproduction. For non-science and non-engineering majors.
Fundamentals of oscillations and waves and properties ofelectromagnetic waves. Basic principles of geometric optics,interference and diffraction, including Fourier methods.
Fall 2012 Course Website
PHYS 201 Course Outline
An introductory course in modern physics. Topics include specialrelativity, early quantum theory, quantum mechanics, atomic physics,statistical physics, nuclear and particle physics.
PHYS 202 Course Outline
Laboratory on waves and optics.
PHYS 231 Course Outline
Classical mechanics and appropriate mathematical methods. Emphasis on problem solving.
PHYS 301 Course Outline
Classical electrodynamics and appropriate mathematical methods. Emphasis on problem solving.
PHYS 302 Course Outline
Fundamentals of quantum mechanics and applications to atomic and molecular structure.
PHYS 311 Course Outline
Continuation of PHYS 311: Introductory Quantum Physics I.
PHYS 312 Course Outline
Lab exercises in electronics, noise reduction, statistics and particle counting.
Spring 2013 Course Website
PHYS 331 Course Outline
Lab exercises illustrating topics in the upper-division physics curriculum.
PHYS 332 Course Outline
Following an overview of atmospheric science, we will examine thefollowing topics: atmospheric thermodynamics, radiative transfer, cloudmicrophysics, atmospheric dynamics, severe weather, and climatedynamics.
Amateur radio for middle-school science teaching. Fundamentals ofelectromagnetic waves and propagation, the ionosphere and spaceweather. Basic electronics, antenna design and safety. Providesinformation necessary to gain the technical level of ham radio license.
A broad survey of history and current state of nuclear and particlephysics. The emphasis is on experimental results and how they led toour current undertaking of the strong and electroweak interactions.Some recent advances are discussed in detail.
PHYS 411/542 Course Outline
Introduction to topics in solid state physics, including crystalstructure, lattice vibrations, electronic band structure and transport.
PHYS 412 Course Outline
Use of computational techniques to solve selected physics problems.Examine benefits and pitfalls of doing physics by computation.
PHYS 416/517 Course Outline
Includes classical thermodynamics; classical & quantumstatistical mechanics; Fermi, Bose, and classical gases; magneticsystems; and phase equilibria.
PHYS 425 Course Outline
A reading course in special topics.
Fundamental processes in cosmic and laboratory plasmas: gasdynamics, kinetic theory, magnetohydrodynamics, wave and shocks,individual particle drifts, collisions and electrical conductivities,geometric and distribution instabilities.
PHYS 480 Course Outline
Research projects conducted under supervision of departmentallyapproved faculty. Open to juniors and seniors majoring in physics andastronomy. May be repeated for credit. PHYS 491/493 must be takenconcurrently with PHYS 492/494 when used in partial fulfillment of B.S.degree requirements.
Weekly seminar for juniors and seniors in which presentations onresearch topics and/or topics in the scientific literature will begiven. Open to juniors and seniors majoring in physics and astronomydepartment.
Plasma physics of the earth's magnetosphere, including interactionsof the magnetosphere with the solar wind and the ionosphere. Theemphasis is on large-scale phenomenon, but small scale (kinetic)physics is discussed in cases where it affects the large-scalephenomena.
PHYS 510 Course Outline
Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics.
PHYS 515 Course Outline
Survey of analytical methods used by research physicists andastronomers. Includes complex variables, ordinary differentialequations, infinite series, evaluation of integrals, integraltransforms, normal-mode analysis, special functions, partialdifferential equations, eigenfunctions, Green's functions, andvariational calculus.
Spring 2012 Course Website
PHYS 516 Course Outline
Plasma kinetic equations (Klimontovich, Liouville, BBGKY,Balescu-Lenard, Fokker-Planck, Vlasov), Vlason theory of waves andinstabilities, connections to fluid plasma models.
PHYS 519 Course Outline
Graduate level course on non-relativistic quantum mechanics. Topicsinclude early quantum theory, one-dimensional systems, matrixformulation, quantum dynamics, symmetries and conservation laws, boundstates, scattering, spin, and identical particles, perturbation theory.
PHYS 521 Course Outline
Continuation of PHYS 521.
PHYS 522 Course Outline
Selected topics in statistical mechanics, including phase transitions and transport phenomena.
PHYS 526 Course Outline
Maxwell's equations, wave propagation, special relativity and covariant formulation, charged-particle dynamics, and radiation.
PHYS 532 Course Outline
Physics of structures and devices at the nanometer scale. After areview of solid state physics, topics include nanostructured materials,nanoelectronics, and nanomagnetism. Emphasis on relevance ofnanophysics to current and future technologies.
PHYS 533 Course Outline
Physics of structures and devices at the nanometer scale. Topicsinclude nanomechanics, bionanotechnology, advanced sensors andphotonics. Continuation of PHYS 533.
PHYS 534 Course Outline
Study of crystals by x-ray, electron and neutron diffraction.Includes basic diffraction theory as well as methods for characterizingthe structure, composition and stresses in crystalline materials.Required for undergraduate materials science and engineering majors.Cross-list: MSCI 535.
This two-semester course will familiarize students with basicexperimental techniques that are common to all academic and industrialresearch laboratories. Topics will include lab safety, mechanicaldesign, computer-based data acquisition and experimental control,laboratory electronics, vacuum technology, optics, thermal measurementand control, cryogenics and charged particle optics.
PHYS 537 Course Outline
Continuation of PHYS 537.
PHYS 538 Course Outline
Introduction to study and creation of nanoscale structures,emphasizing relevant physical principles. Techniques covered includeoptical, X-ray, electron-based and scanned-probe characterization, aswell as patterning, deposition and removal of material.
PHYS 539 Course Outline
Radiation processes and their applications to astrophysicalphenomena and space science. The course treats radiative transfer,radiation from moving charges, relativistic covariance and kinematics,bremsstrahlung, synchrotron radiation, Compton scattering, some plasmaeffects, and radiative transitions in atoms and molecules.
PHYS 541 Course Outline
Graduate/Undergraduate Equivalency: PHYS 411. See PHYS 411 above for links.
A continuation of PHYS 542
PHYS 543 Course Outline
Introduction to biological physics. Review of basic physicalconcepts. Cells and their components. Diffusion and random walks.Entropy and energy concepts and their roles in biological systems.Modern experimental methods. Applications to biological macromolecules.
PHYS 551 Course Outline
This is an introductory course for physical sciences graduatestudents who have not taken college-level biology courses. We willexamine biological systems such as DNA, proteins and membranes, firstby giving a thorough description of their biological functions and thenby analyzing their underlying physical principles.
PHYS 552 Course Outline
Study of Einstein's theory of gravitation, including cosmological models.
Spring 2012 Syllabus
PHYS 561 Course Outline
Fundamental concepts of crystalline solids, including crystalstructure, band theory of electrons, and lattice vibration theory.Cross-list: ELEC 563.
PHYS 563 Course Outline
Continuation of PHYS 563, including scattering of waves by crystals,transport theory, and magnetic phenomena. Cross-list: ELEC 564.
PHYS 564 Course Outline
An introduction to surface- and low-dimensional physics coveringexperimental surface physics and ultra-high vacuum technology, crystalstructure, chemical analysis, epitaxy, nanoscale electronic andmagnetic structures and devices, elementary excitations, opticalproperties and nanoscale sensitive magnetic and non-magneticspectroscopies.
This course uses real data on archetypal materials to illustrate the thermodynamic and transport properties of solids, and principles of materials synthesis. The goal is building a phenomenological understanding of topics including the origin of magnetism; interactions and long range order; phase transitions (magnetism; superconductivity); quantum oscillations and Landau levels.
Introductory course for graduate students. Topics include theconcepts of classical and quantum phase transitions, mean field theory,renormalization group and quantum phase transitions in magnetic,fermionic, and bosonic systems.
PHYS 568 Course Outline
Cross-list: ELEC 569.
This is an introductory course at the graduate level. Topics to bediscussed include: atomic structure, principles of lasers, fundamentalinteractions of atoms with electro-magnetic radiation, includingcoherent effects, laser spectroscopy, quantum optics, and laser coolingand trapping of atoms, and Bose-Einstein condensation.
PHYS 571 Course Outline
Discussion of quantization and statistical properties of lightfields; interaction between atoms and light; non-classical states;basic laser theory; quantum effects of nonlinear optics; introductionto atom optics.
PHYS 572 Course Outline
Lecture/seminars which treat topics of departmental interest.
This course covers computational and numerical methods forcalculating electromagnetic fields and propagation in complexgeometries on the nano and microscale. Methods include the finitedifference time domain method, boundary element methods, Greensfunctions methods, finite element methods, the discrete dipoleapproximation and relaxation methods. Cross-list: ELEC 605.
PHYS 605 Course Outline
Modern simulation techniques for classical atomistic systems. MonteCarlo and molecular dynamic techniques, with extensions to variousensembles. Applications to simulations of large molecules. Advancedtechniques for simulation of complex systems, including constraintsatisfaction, cluster movies, biased sampling and random energy models.Cross-list: BIOE 610.
An introduction to relativistic quantum field theory. Topicsinclude: quantization of scalar, spinor, and vector fields; Feynmandiagrams; gauge theories, including QED and QCD; renormalization; andfunctional-integral methods.
PHYS 622 Course Outline
The mechanical properties of membranes influence several biologicalprocesses including endocytosis, fusion, signalling and cellulardifferentiation. This course will cover the theoretical foundations ofmembrane mechanics, examine experimental methods for measuring membranematerial properties, including nanomechanical and optical techniques,and emphasize the importance of membrane mechanics in bioengineeringapplications. Cross-list: BIOS 643.
Applications of techniques developed in PHYS 664.
PHYS 663 Course Outline
Formal structure of many-body theory as used in condensed matter physics.
PHYS 664 Course Outline
Supervised teaching for graduate students.
Thesis research under the supervision of department faculty.