Physics & Astronomy (PHYS)
PHYS 3111 Quantum Physics I (4 Credits)
First of a two-quarter sequence. The Schrödinger equation: interpretation of wave functions; the uncertainty principle; stationary states; the free particle and wave packets; the harmonic oscillator; square well potentials. Hilbert space: observables, commutator algebra, eigenfunctions of a Hermitian operator; the hydrogen atom and hydrogenic atoms. Prerequisites: PHYS 2252, PHYS 2260, PHYS 2556, PHYS 3612 and MATH 2070.
PHYS 3112 Quantum Physics II (4 Credits)
Second of a two-quarter sequence. Angular momentum and spin; identical particles; the Pauli exclusion principle; atoms and solids: band theory; perturbation theory; the fine structure of hydrogen; the Zeeman effect; hyperfine splitting; the variational principle; the WKB approximation; tunneling; time dependent perturbation theory; emission and absorption of radiation. Scattering: partial wave analysis; the Born approximation. Prerequisite: PHYS 3111.
PHYS 3251 Astrophysics: Radiative Processes (4 Credits)
Because light is the primary means by which astronomers learn about the Universe, understanding the production and subsequent behavior of light is key to interpreting astronomical observations. This course introduces students to the physics of astrophysical radiation and its interaction with matter as it travels from its source to our detectors. Topics may include radiative transfer, emission and absorption processes, Compton processes, synchrotron radiation, thermodynamic equilibrium, radiative and collisional excitation, and spectroscopy of atoms and molecules. The course is aimed at advanced undergraduates, as well as graduate students focusing on astrophysics research. Credit can apply toward physics or astrophysics minor. Prerequisites: PHYS 2252 and MATH 1953, or instructor's permission.
PHYS 3252 Astrophysics: Observations (4 Credits)
Astronomy is fundamentally an observational science and as such it is important for practitioners to understand how their data are collected and analyzed. This course is therefore a comprehensive review of current observational techniques and instruments, aimed at advanced undergraduates, as well as graduate students focusing on astrophysics research. This class introduces students to the capabilities and limitations of different types of instruments while exploring the sources and types of noise and providing statistical tools necessary for interpreting observational data. Credit can apply toward physics or astrophysics minor. Prerequisites: PHYS 2252 and MATH 1953, or instructor's permission.
PHYS 3270 Workshop: Practical Astronomy (1-5 Credits)
Capstone coursework featuring studies in experimental, computational, and/or theoretical work in astronomy and astrophysics. Credit can apply toward physics or astrophysics minor.
PHYS 3510 Analytical Mechanics I (4 Credits)
PHYS 3611 Electromagnetism I (4 Credits)
First of a two-quarter sequence. Vector algebra; differential vector calculus (gradient, divergence and curl); integral vector calculus (gradient, divergence and Stokes’ Theorems); line, surface and volume integrals; Electrostatics: the electric field, electric potential, work and energy in electrostatics; method of images, boundary value problems and solutions to Laplace’s equation in Cartesian, spherical and cylindrical coordinates; multipole expansion of the electric potential; electric fields in matter: polarization; the electric displacement vector; boundary conditions, linear dielectrics. Magnetostatics: magnetic fields and forces. Prerequisites: PHYS 1113, PHYS 1213, or PHYS 1214 and MATH 2070.
PHYS 3612 Electromagnetism II (4 Credits)
Second of a two-quarter sequence. Magnetic vector potential; magnetic fields in matter: magnetization; fields of magnetized objects; linear and nonlinear magnetic materials; electromotive force, Ohm’s law; electromagnetic induction; Faraday’s law; Maxwell’s equations; the displacement current; boundary conditions; the Poynting theorem; momentum and energy density of the fields; the Maxwell stress tensor; the wave equation and electromagnetic waves in vacuum and matter; absorption and dispersion; wave guides; the potential formulation and gauge transformations; retarded potentials; dipole radiation. Prerequisite: PHYS 3611.
PHYS 3700 Advanced Topics: General (3 Credits)
Offered irregularly, depending on demand. May be taken more than once for credit. Prerequisite: instructor's permission.
PHYS 3711 Optics I (4 Credits)
First of a two-quarter sequence. Gaussian optics and ray tracing; matrix methods and application to optical design; elementary theory of aberrations; light as electromagnetic wave, diffraction and interference; interferometers and their applications. Elementary theory of coherence; selected topics. May include laboratory work as appropriate. Prerequisites: PHYS 1113, PHYS 1213 or PHYS 1214, and MATH 2070.
PHYS 3841 Thermal Physics I (4 Credits)
First of a two-quarter sequence. Laws of thermodynamics; thermal properties of gases and condensed matter; kinetic theory of gases, classical and quantum statistics. Prerequisites: PHYS 1113, PHYS 1213 or PHYS 1214 and MATH 2070.
PHYS 3991 Independent Study (1-10 Credits)
PHYS 3995 Independent Research (1-10 Credits)
PHYS 4001 Introduction to Research I (1,2 Credit)
This course is the first of the 3-course sequence designed to provide the opportunity of learning fundamental skills to conduct independent research in any physical science discipline. In this course, students review essential material in mathematical physics, learn basic programming techniques and improve upon their skills in literature search and scientific writing, especially proposal writing. Special in-class seminars in collaboration with the Penrose Library and Writing and Research Center are scheduled. Student are introduced to research conducted by Physics and Astronomy faculty so that they can choose a faculty member with whom to take on a Winter Research Project during the winter interterm and winter quarter as part of Introduction to Research II. Students must prepare and submit a research proposal before the end of the fall quarter.
PHYS 4002 Introduction to Research II (1-3 Credits)
This is the second of the 3-course sequence to provide the opportunity of learning fundamental skills to conduct independent research in any physical science discipline. In this course, students conduct an independent research or study project that they have outlined in the research proposal they submitted as part of Introduction to Research I under supervision of a faculty advisor of their choosing. At the same time, students have time to review issues that we face as researchers. Prerequisites: PHYS 4001 and consent of a faculty research advisor.
PHYS 4003 Introduction to Research III (1,2 Credit)
This is the third of the 3-course sequence to provide students with the opportunity of learning fundamental skills to conduct independent research in any physical science disciplines. In this course, students complete their Winter research project conducted as part of Introduction to Research II and present the results in writing as a term paper and in oral presentation as part of the Departmental Colloquia. Special in-class sessions in collaboration with the Writing and Research Center are included. Prerequisite: PHYS 4002.
PHYS 4100 Foundations of Biophysics (3 Credits)
Focus of the course is on application of basic physics principles to the study of cells and macromolecules. Topics include diffusion, random processes, thermodynamics, reaction equilibriums and kinetics, computer modeling. Must be admitted to the MCB PhD program or related graduate program with instructor approval. Cross listed with BIOP 4100.
PHYS 4111 Quantum Mechanics I (3 Credits)
PHYS 4112 Quantum Mechanics II (3 Credits)
PHYS 4251 Intro to Astrophysics I (3 Credits)
PHYS 4252 Intro to Astrophysics II (3 Credits)
PHYS 4350 Physics and information (4 Credits)
Students in Physical Sciences are often well versed in the art of model building but less so in the process of model-selection when multiple models can describe the same data. Students rarely learn tools beyond curve fitting and least square error minimization for model selection. Consequently, students are often unaware of the scope of different tools and fail to make judicious choice of algorithms/theories when faced with diverse problems. For example, building a model from data is very different from generating data (stochastic or deterministic) from a model. Next consider two contrasting challenges of model building i) when there is limited data vs ii) when there is too much data. For the first problem -- inferring models from limited data -- the solution can be traced back to Boltzmann's formulation of Statistical Physics describing motion of atoms. The connection between Information theory, Inference and Boltzmann's description, however, is often overlooked in introductory or even advanced classes in Physics, and Statistics. Studying these similarities can unlock novel solutions for problems well outside of thermodynamics, even as far as Image processing, Biology and Network science. Inference also requires us to appreciate fundamental topics in Probability -- difference between frequentist and non-frequentist approach, Bayesian formalism -- that are rarely taught to physical scientists, life scientists or engineers. At the other extreme, faced with data deluge, we routinely ask: how do we make sense of too much data ? We use clustering, PCA, Neural Networks. In this course we will discuss and connect all these seemingly disparate concepts and apply them -- at the appropriate context -- to diverse problems in Physics, Chemistry, Biology and beyond. In the process we will gain an in-depth knowledge about commonly heard but perhaps less understood topics such as: Entropy, Likelihood maximization, Bayesian statistics, PCA, Classification algorithms, and Neural Networks. We will also address another often overlooked but fundamental and fascinating topic, biology's inherent ability to encode and decode information. Currently there is no such course that address all these topics in Information and Data Science in an unified manner -- deeply connecting their formal basis, regime of applicability -- grounded on physical principles, with a forward looking approach towards application in many areas well outside of traditional sciences. A lot of learning in the course will happen `on the fly', where the tools and application problems are learnt as needed.
PHYS 4411 Advanced Condensed Matter I (3 Credits)
Materials structure; structure analysis; elastic properties; defects; plastic mechanical properties; thermal properties and phonons; free electron gas; energy bands and Fermi surfaces; crystalline and amorphous semiconductors; quasiparticles and excitations; electrical properties and ferroelectrics; magnetic properties and ferromagnetics; classical and high-Tc superconductors; other advanced materials. Co-requisite: PHYS 4111.
PHYS 4412 Advanced Condensed Matter II (3 Credits)
Materials structure; structure analysis; elastic properties; defects; plastic mechanical properties; thermal properties and phonons; free electron gas; energy bands and Fermi surfaces; crystalline and amorphous semiconductors; quasiparticles and excitations; electrical properties and ferroelectrics; magnetic properties and ferromagnetics; classical and high-Tc superconductors; other advanced materials. Co-requisite: PHYS 4112.
PHYS 4511 Advanced Dynamics I (4 Credits)
PHYS 4611 Adv Electricity & Magnetism I (3 Credits)
PHYS 4612 Adv Electricity & Magnetism II (3 Credits)
PHYS 4720 Light-Matter Interaction (4 Credits)
This course will introduce the theory and applications of light-matter interactions. Fundamental theory will be explored from both semi-classical and quantum perspectives, and photon-carrier interactions will be studied in a variety of physical systems, including atoms, glasses, semiconductors, and metals. Experimental techniques will also be discussed, such as absorption, photoluminescence, and coherent spectroscopies, in addition to ultrafast nonlinear optical interactions. Students will also build their own demonstration and teaching module for elementary-age children, and will use their module to teach children at a local school.
PHYS 4750 Seminar in Physics (1 Credit)
PHYS 4811 Statistical Mechanics I (4 Credits)
Fundamentals of thermodynamics, microcanonical and canonical ensemble, quantum formulation noninteracting particle systems.
PHYS 4860 Numerical and Computational Methods in Physics (4 Credits)
The main goal of this course is to gain a better understanding of physical problems by solving them numerically; in the process, students learn about several numerical methods and computational techniques that have a very broad range of applications in many other scientific fields. Depending on the problem, students work with a software package (Mathematica), and also acquire coding experience in different programming languages. Graduate students carry out projects involving more complex simulation and numerical methods currently used in many areas of condensed matter physics, quantum chemistry and biophysics, such as Density Functional calculations, Monte Carlo and Molecular Dynamics methods.
PHYS 4910 Special Topics Physics (1-5 Credits)
PHYS 4991 Independent Study (1-10 Credits)
PHYS 4995 Independent Research (1-10 Credits)