Courses - Spring 2020

PHYS 1012 Physics 1112 Supplement

Provides auxiliary instruction and practice for PHYS 1112 and promotes a deep understanding of basic concepts in mechanics. Recommended for students who seek additional opportunities to engage with course content, to gain confidence in applying physics principals, or to develop their problem-solving skills. Class time is also spent exploring real-life applications and discussing strategies to be successful in PHYS 1112 .              

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jim Baker (jeb94)
Full details for PHYS 1012 : Physics 1112 Supplement
PHYS 1013 Physics 2213 Supplement

Provides auxiliary instruction and practice for PHYS 2213 and promotes a deep understanding of basic concepts in electromagnetism. Recommended for students who seek additional opportunities to engage with course content, to gain confidence in applying physics principals, or to develop their problem-solving skills. Class time is also spent exploring real-life applications and discussing strategies to be successful in PHYS 2213 .

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jim Baker (jeb94)
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PHYS 1102 General Physics II

PHYS 1101 and PHYS 1102 emphasize both quantitative and conceptual understanding of the topics and tools of introductory physics developed without the use of calculus. The courses offer individualized instruction. Students learn through completing assigned readings, problems, and laboratory exercises, and through individualized tutoring. Additionally, recorded lectures, overview sessions, short videos, sample tests, and online tutorials are provided. The course format provides flexibility, but in some ways is more demanding than a course with a traditional format. Success requires discipline and well-developed study habits. Students without high school physics should allow extra time. Evaluation includes an oral lab check, a selection of graded homework problems, and a written test for each unit; these must be completed within a flexible set of deadlines. Major topics for PHYS 1102: electric and magnetic forces and fields, electric currents and circuits, electromagnetic induction, alternating current, electromagnetic waves, optics, interference and diffraction, relativity, quantum physics, and nuclear physics. At the level of College Physics vol. 2, 4th ed., by Giambattista, Richardson, and Richardson.

Distribution: (PBS-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Nicholas Taylor (nwt2)
Full details for PHYS 1102 : General Physics II
PHYS 1112 Physics I: Mechanics & Heat

First course in a three-semester introductory physics sequence. This course is taught in a largely "flipped', highly interactive manner, with reading preparation required for class. Covers the mechanics of particles with focus on kinematics, dynamics, conservation laws, central force fields, periodic motion. Mechanics of many-particle systems: center of mass, rotational mechanics of a rigid body, rotational equilibrium, and fluid mechanics.  Temperature, heat, the laws of thermodynamics. At the level of University Physics, Vol. 1, by Young and Freedman.

Distribution: (PBS-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Robert Fulbright (rmf14)
Full details for PHYS 1112 : Physics I: Mechanics & Heat
PHYS 1116 Physics I: Mechanics and Special Relativity

First in a three-semester introductory physics sequence. Explores quantitative modeling of the physical world through a study of mechanics. More mathematical and abstract than a typical mechanics course - for example, considers how choice of coordinate system (Cartesian, cylindrical, etc.) influences the nature of kinematical equations. Fast paced. Includes kinematics, dynamics, conservation laws, central force fields, periodic motion, and special relativity. At the level of An Introduction to Mechanics by Kleppner and Kolenkow.

Distribution: (PBS-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Liam McAllister (lm432)
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PHYS 1190 Introductory Laboratory (Transfer Supplement)

Students perform the laboratory component of one of the introductory courses (PHYS 1112, PHYS 2207, PHYS 2208, PHYS 2213, PHYS 2214) to complement the lecture-related course credit acquired elsewhere. Those wishing to take equivalent of one of these introductory courses at another institution should receive prior approval from the physics director of undergraduate studies.

Academic Career: UG Full details for PHYS 1190 : Introductory Laboratory (Transfer Supplement)
PHYS 1203 Physics of the Heavens and the Earth

This course offers opportunities to face fundamental issues in scientific thought, and to provide a sense of the profound ideas that form the modern views of our world. Physics is not a collection of laws, or dry mathematical formulas that must be painfully memorized and exercised. Astronomy is not just a collection of fascinating, disconnected facts about our universe. This course introduces physics and astronomy as the development of a basic curiosity about our world, and a grand desire to understand how it works. A significant theme of this course will be: "What and how do we know?" This will include discussions of how scientific thought and ideas have evolved over time, as well as who has been involved in that evolution.

Distribution: (PBS-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Natasha Holmes (ngh35)
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PHYS 1204 Physics of Musical Sound

Explores musical sound from a physics point of view. Topics include how various musical instruments work; pitch, timbre, scales, intervals, and tunings; hearing; human voice and room acoustics. This course is a Writing In The Majors Course: both science writing and physics problem-solving skills are developed through weekly assignments. Student activities include hands-on investigations of musical instruments and field trips. Students write a term paper investigating a topic of their choice. At the level of The Science of Sound by Rossing, Moore, and Wheeler.

Distribution: (PBS-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Robert Thorne (ret6)
Full details for PHYS 1204 : Physics of Musical Sound
PHYS 2208 Fundamentals of Physics II

PHYS 2208 follows PHYS 2207 in the two-semester introduction to physics intended for students majoring in biological science, physical science, or mathematics. PHYS 2208 provides a rich exposure to the methods of physics and to the basic analytical and scientific skills required by all scientists. Lectures are highly interactive and illustrated with applications from the sciences, medicine, and everyday life. Labs highlight lecture topics via a hands-on environment. Recitation sections reinforce the lecture topics via cooperative problem-solving.   The course content includes electricity and magnetism, optics, and topics from quantum mechanics, nuclear physics and particle physics. 

Distribution: (PBS-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Glenn Case (gsc11)
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PHYS 2213 Physics II: Electromagnetism

Second in a three semester introductory physics sequence. Topics include electrostatics, behavior of matter in electric fields, DC circuits, magnetic fields, Faraday's law, AC circuits, and electromagnetic waves. At the level of University Physics, Vol. 2, by Young and Freedman, 13th ed.

Distribution: (PBS-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Alan Giambattista (agg1)
Full details for PHYS 2213 : Physics II: Electromagnetism
PHYS 2214 Physics III: Oscillations, Waves, and Quantum Physics

For majors in engineering (including bio-, civil, and environmental engineering), computer and information science, physics, earth and atmospheric science, and other physical and biological sciences who wish to understand the oscillation, wave, and quantum phenomena behind everyday experiences and modern technology including scientific/medical instrumentation. Covers the physics of oscillations and wave phenomena, including driven oscillations and resonance, mechanical waves, sound waves, electromagnetic waves, standing waves, Doppler effect, polarization, wave reflection and transmission, interference, diffraction, geometric optics and optical instruments, wave properties of particles, particles in potential wells, light emission and absorption, and quantum tunneling.  With applications to phenomena and measurement technologies in engineering, the physical sciences, and biological sciences.  Some familiarity with differential equations, complex representation of sinusoids, and Fourier analysis is desirable but not essential. As with PHYS 1112 and PHYS 2213, pre-class preparation involves reading notes and/or watching videos, and in-class activities focus on problem solving, demonstrations, and applications.

Distribution: (PBS-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Matthias Liepe (mul2)
Full details for PHYS 2214 : Physics III: Oscillations, Waves, and Quantum Physics
PHYS 2216 Introduction to Special Relativity

Introduction to Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity, including Galilean and Lorentz transformations, the concept of simultaneity, time dilation and Lorentz contraction, the relativistic transformations of velocity, momentum and energy, and relativistic invariance in the laws of physics. At the level of An Introduction to Mechanics by Kleppner and Kolenkow.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Robert Fulbright (rmf14)
Full details for PHYS 2216 : Introduction to Special Relativity
PHYS 2217 Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism

Second in a three semester introductory physics sequence. Explores quantitative modeling of the physical world through a study of electricity and magnetism. More mathematical and abstract than a typical introductory electricity and magnetism course. Topics include electrostatics, behavior of matter in electric fields, circuits, magnetic fields, Faraday's law, AC circuits, and electromagnetic waves. Makes substantial use of vector calculus. At the level of Electricity and Magnetism by Purcell.

Distribution: (PBS-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Michael Niemack (mdn49)
Full details for PHYS 2217 : Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism
PHYS 2218 Physics III: Waves and Thermal Physics

This course is divided into two parts. The larger segment of the course typically focuses on wave phenomena. Topics include coupled harmonic oscillators, strings, sound and light waves, superposition principle, wave equations, Fourier series and transforms, diffraction and interference. The discussion is at the level of The Physics of Waves by Georgi. The second segment of the course covers thermodynamics and statistical mechanics at the level of Thermal Physics by Schroeder.

Distribution: (PBS-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Dan Ralph (dcr14)
Full details for PHYS 2218 : Physics III: Waves and Thermal Physics
PHYS 3310 Intermediate Experimental Physics

Would you find it appealing to operate a physical system that allows you to sharply distinguishes between rational and irrational numbers? How about using a microwave thermometer to measure the temperature of a distant object namely the sun's outer surface? Would you like to quantitatively observe the transformation of a confined electromagnetic wave into one that propagates away into the rest of the universe? In Physics 3310, you will have experiences such as these as you decide for yourself how valid or applicable various theoretical results are that you have already encountered or look forward to encountering in 3000 level intermediate level courses such as  quantum and classical mechanics and electrodynamics.  Besides performing three complete investigations of such phenomena, you will gain experience in the design and development of new ones. You'll acquire  essential skills to tease out the truth about nature as an experimental physicist with particular emphasis on the awareness and management of uncertainty. The environment of 3310 promotes individual creativity and discovery with the encouragement and aid of coursemates and staff.

Distribution: (PBS-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Carl Franck (cpf1)
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PHYS 3316 Basics of Quantum Mechanics

Topics include breakdown of classical concepts in microphysics; light quanta and matter waves; Schrödinger equation and solutions for square well, harmonic oscillator, and the hydrogen atom; wave packets, scattering and tunneling effects, angular momentum, spin, and magnetic moments. At the level of An Introduction to Quantum Physics by French and Taylor and Introduction to Quantum Physics by Griffiths.

Distribution: (PBS-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Tomas Arias (taa2)
Full details for PHYS 3316 : Basics of Quantum Mechanics
PHYS 3318 Analytical Mechanics

Covers Newtonian mechanics of particles and systems of particles, including Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations, conservation laws from symmetries, with applications to two-body orbits in a central force, systems undergoing small amplitude oscillations, rigid body motion, motion in non-inertial reference frames, perturbation theory, and nonlinear behavior. Both analytical and numerical methods for solving problems in mechanics are covered. At the level of Classical Mechanics by Goldstein, Mechanics by Landau and Lifshitz, and Analytical Mechanics by Hand and Finch.

Distribution: (PBS-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jared Maxson (jmm586)
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PHYS 3360 Electronic Circuits

Practical electronics as encountered in a scientific or engineering research/development environment. Analyze, design, build, and test circuits using discrete components and integrated circuits. Analog circuits: resistors, capacitors, operational amplifiers, feedback amplifiers, oscillators, comparators, passive and active filters, diodes, and transistor switches and amplifiers. Digital circuits: combinational and sequential logic (gates, flipflops, registers, counters, timers), analog to digital (ADC) and digital to analog (DAC) conversion, signal averaging, and computer architecture and interfacing. Additional topics may include analog and digital signal processing, light wave communications, transducers, noise reduction techniques, and computer-aided circuit design. At the level of Art of Electronics by Horowitz and Hill.

Distribution: (PBS-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Earl Kirkland (ejk14)
Full details for PHYS 3360 : Electronic Circuits
PHYS 4400 Informal Advanced Laboratory

Experiments of widely varying difficulty in one or more areas, as listed under PHYS 4410, may be done to fill the student's special requirements.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jim Alexander (jpa6)
Full details for PHYS 4400 : Informal Advanced Laboratory
PHYS 4410 Advanced Experimental Physics

Over 50 available experiments on various topics including atomic and molecular spectroscopy, optics, condensed matter physics, nuclear physics, electrical and microwave circuits, x-rays, and magnetic resonance. Each student selects and performs three experiments. Independent work is stressed, and scientific writing and presentation skills are emphasized. Weekly lectures will cover techniques and skills necessary for the class and experimental physics in general.

Distribution: (PBS-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jim Alexander (jpa6)
Full details for PHYS 4410 : Advanced Experimental Physics
PHYS 4443 Intermediate Quantum Mechanics

Provides an introduction to concepts and techniques of quantum mechanics, at the level of An Introduction to Quantum Mechanics by Griffiths.

Distribution: (PBS-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Kin Fai Mak (km627)
Full details for PHYS 4443 : Intermediate Quantum Mechanics
PHYS 4444 Introduction to Particle Physics

Covers the standard model of particle physics; Introduction to fields and particles and relativistic Quantum Mechanics; Symmetries in physics; Basic introduction the Feynman diagrams. At the level of Introduction to Elementary Particles by Griffiths or Modern Elementary Particle Physics by Kane.

Distribution: (PBS-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: David Rubin (dlr10)
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PHYS 4484 Teaching and Learning Physics

This 1.5-hour weekly seminar provides undergraduate and graduate students with an introduction to core concepts in teaching and learning physics. Participants read and discuss articles and videos, reflect on their own teaching and learning experiences, and engage in collaborative activities that help them become more effective teachers, learners, and communicators. This seminar is especially valuable for those considering teaching physics at some point in their careers, or who want to improve their own physics learning skills. Topics may include: question types and questioning strategies; classroom discourse; neurological basis of learning; expertise acquisition and expert performance; deliberate practice; misconceptions, mental models and conceptual change; mindsets and psychological interventions; classroom diversity and microaggressions; multiple intelligences and multiple representations; metacognition; active learning; the nature of science; the qualities of effective teachers; and evaluating teaching and learning.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Robert Thorne (ret6)
Full details for PHYS 4484 : Teaching and Learning Physics
PHYS 4485 Teaching Experience I

Designed to provide qualified undergraduate students who possess an interest in teaching with a structured experience teaching physics.  Participants collaborate with instructors and graduate teaching assistants to facilitate cooperative learning sessions, laboratory investigations, or homework help sessions.  Total weekly time commitment is 3-4 hours, including instructional contact time (2 hours), preparation time, and instructional staff meeting time.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jim Baker (jeb94)
Full details for PHYS 4485 : Teaching Experience I
PHYS 4486 Teaching Experience II

Teaching experience for qualified undergraduate students in PHYS 1101/PHYS 1102. Contact time will be in the course's Learning Center, in a team environment with graduate student TAs and faculty. Activities include tutoring individual students, working with small groups, assisting students with lab experiments, and participating in course development initiatives.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Nicholas Taylor (nwt2)
Full details for PHYS 4486 : Teaching Experience II
PHYS 4487 Teaching Experience III

Continuation of PHYS 4486. Teaching experience for qualified undergraduate students to help with PHYS 1101/PHYS 1102. Contact time will be in the course's Learning Center, in a team environment with graduate student TAs and faculty. Activities include tutoring individual students, working with small groups, assisting students with lab experiments, and participating in course development initiatives.Continuation of PHYS 4486. Teaching experience for qualified undergraduate students in PHYS 1101/PHYS 1102. Contact time will be in the course's Learning Center, in a team environment with graduate student TAs and faculty. Activities include tutoring individual students, working with small groups, assisting students with lab experiments, and participating in course development initiatives.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Nicholas Taylor (nwt2)
Full details for PHYS 4487 : Teaching Experience III
PHYS 4488 Statistical Mechanics

This course focuses on those topics in statistical mechanics of interest to scholars in many fields. Topics include random walks and emergent properties; temperature and equilibrium; phase space dynamics and ergodicity; entropy; free energies; quantum statistical mechanics; calculation and computation; order parameters, broken symmetries, and topology; correlations, response, and dissipation; abrupt phase transitions; and continuous phase transitions, fractals, and the renormalization group. Taught in conjunction with the graduate course PHYS 6562, this version is advised for undergraduates and interested graduates outside of Physics.

Distribution: (PBS-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: James Sethna (jps6)
Full details for PHYS 4488 : Statistical Mechanics
PHYS 4490 Independent Study in Physics

Individual project work (reading or laboratory) in any branch of physics.  Products vary, but may include a thesis. Evaluation criteria are decided between student and faculty member.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Eanna Flanagan (eef3)
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PHYS 4500 Cultivating Public Engagement in Physics
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Erik Herman (eah229)
Full details for PHYS 4500 : Cultivating Public Engagement in Physics
PHYS 6500 Informal Graduate Laboratory

Experiments of widely varying difficulty in one or more areas, as listed under PHYS 6510, may be done to fill special requirements.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Jim Alexander (jpa6)
Full details for PHYS 6500 : Informal Graduate Laboratory
PHYS 6510 Advanced Experimental Physics

Over 50 available experiments on various topics including atomic and molecular spectroscopy, optics, condensed matter physics, nuclear physics, electrical and microwave circuits, x-rays, and magnetic resonance. Each student selects and performs three experiments. Independent work is stressed, and scientific writing and presentation skills are emphasized. Weekly lectures will cover techniques and skills necessary for the class and experimental physics in general.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Jim Alexander (jpa6)
Full details for PHYS 6510 : Advanced Experimental Physics
PHYS 6520 Projects in Experimental Physics

Projects of modern topical interest that involve some independent development work by student. Opportunity for more initiative in experimental work than is possible in PHYS 6510.

Academic Career: GR Full details for PHYS 6520 : Projects in Experimental Physics
PHYS 6562 Statistical Physics I

A broad, graduate level view of statistical mechanics, with applications to not only physics and chemistry, but to computation, mathematics, dynamical and complex systems, and biology. Some traditional focus areas will not be covered in detail (thermodynamics, phase diagrams, perturbative methods, interacting gasses and liquids).  

Academic Career: GR Instructor: James Sethna (jps6)
Full details for PHYS 6562 : Statistical Physics I
PHYS 6574 Applications of Quantum Mechanics II

Possible topics include identical particles, many electron atoms, second quantization, quantization of the electromagnetic field, scattering of complex systems, radiative transitions, and introduction to the Dirac equation.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Thomas Hartman (th447)
Full details for PHYS 6574 : Applications of Quantum Mechanics II
PHYS 7636 Solid-State Physics II

Continuation of PHYS 7635. Topics include theory of measurements such as response and correlation, spontaneous symmetry breaking, superconductivity, free fermion and interacting topological phases.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Eun-Ah Kim (ek436)
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PHYS 7645 An Introduction to the Standard Model of Particle Physics

This course is an introduction to the Standard Model of particle physics. Familiarity with Feynman rules, Lagrangians, and relativistic wave equations at the level of PHYS 7651 is required. Topics covered include strong and electro-weak interactions, Higgs mechanism, and phenomenology of weak interactions, the quark model, and particle detectors. The course is taught at the level of Particle Physics: A Comprehensive Introduction by Abe Seiden, and The Standard Model and Beyond by Paul Langacker.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Lawrence Gibbons (lkg5)
Full details for PHYS 7645 : An Introduction to the Standard Model of Particle Physics
PHYS 7652 Relativistic Quantum Field Theory II

A continuation of PHYS 7651. Introduces more advanced methods and concepts in quantum field theory. Topics include functional integral methods, quantization of spin-1 fields, quantum electrodynamics, non-Abelian gauge theories, renormalization group techniques, spontaneous symmetry breaking, and anomalies.  At the level of An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory by Peskin and Schroeder.  

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Csaba Csaki (cc338)
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PHYS 7654 Basic Training in Condensed Matter Physics

Advanced topics in condensed-matter physics are taught by several members of the faculty. Past modules include random matrix theory, the quantum Hall effect, disordered systems and computational complexity, asymptotic analysis, superfluid physics, generalized rigidity, many-body methods applied to nanotubes, constraint problems, quantum optics, Luttinger liquids, and quantum antiferromagnets. Future topics may include dilute cold gases and exotic quantum phenomena, thermodynamic Green's functions, 1/N expansions, density functional theory, instantons, dynamical mean-field theory, conformal field theory, Fermi liquid theory and superconductivity, localization and disordered metals, renormalization groups, duality transformations, and Chern-Simons gauge theory. Detailed course content will be announced at the end of the fall semester.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Cyrus Umrigar (cju1)
Full details for PHYS 7654 : Basic Training in Condensed Matter Physics
PHYS 7684 Teaching and Learning Physics

This 1.5-hour weekly seminar provides undergraduate and graduate students with an introduction to core concepts in physics education. Participants discuss articles and videos drawn from physics and science education research and from cognitive science, and engage in collaborative activities that help them become more effective teachers, communicators and learners. This seminar is especially valuable for those considering teaching physics at some point in their careers. Topics include: Questioning Strategies, Classroom Discourse, Teaching through misconceptions, Argumentation approach to instruction, Learning Theory, Conceptions and Conceptual Change and Fixed vs Growth Mind-set, Science communication. Text: Articles from science, engineering, and math education journals.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Robert Thorne (ret6)
Full details for PHYS 7684 : Teaching and Learning Physics
PHYS 7690 Independent Study in Physics

Special graduate study in some branch of physics, either theoretical or experimental, under the direction of any professorial member of the staff.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Natasha Holmes (ngh35)
Full details for PHYS 7690 : Independent Study in Physics