## Physics

- AST 206/PHY 206: Black HolesBlack holes are amazing: so much mass is contained in such a small region of space that nothing, not even light, can escape. In this class, we will learn to understand what black holes are, and (equally importantly) what they are not (sorry, science fiction!). We will grapple with the seeming simplicity of black holes and their weirdness. We will also study how black holes are discovered and how they give rise to some of the most astonishing phenomena in the Universe. We will cover concepts at the forefront of modern astronomy and physics and highlight the power of quantitative thinking (algebra only) and the scientific method.
- AST 309/MAE 309/PHY 309/ENE 309: The Science of Fission and Fusion EnergyPower from the nucleus offers a low-carbon source of electricity. Fission power is well developed, but carries risks associated with safety, waste, and nuclear weapons proliferation. Fusion energy research, which presents less such risk, is making important scientific progress and progress towards commercialization. We will study the scientific underpinnings of both of these energy sources, strengthening your physical insight and exercising your mathematical and computational skills. We will also ask ourselves the thorny ethical questions scientists should confront as they contribute to the development of new technologies.
- AST 403/PHY 402: Stars and Star FormationStars form from interstellar gas, and eventually return material to the interstellar medium (ISM). Nuclear fusion powers stars, and is also the main energy source in the ISM. This course discusses the structure and evolution of the ISM and of stars. Topics include: physical properties and methods for studying ionized, atomic, and molecular gas in the ISM; dynamics of magnetized gas flows and turbulence; gravitational collapse and star formation; the structure of stellar interiors; production of energy by nucleosynthesis; stellar evolution and end states; the effects of stars on the interstellar environment.
- CHM 510/PHY 544: Topics in Physical Chemistry: Computational Quantum ChemistryThis course is an introduction to modern computational quantum chemistry methods. The lectures cover Hartree-Fock theory, density functional theory, geometry optimizations, thermochemistry, vibrational spectra, transition states, minimum energy paths, continuum solvation models, electron correlation methods, modeling excited states, molecular mechanical force fields, and molecular dynamics. Special emphasis is on the hands-on use of computational packages for current applications spanning organic, inorganic, and biochemical reactions. In the second part of the course, each student works on an independent computational project.
- ECE 569/PHY 568/QSE 504: Quantum Information and EntanglementQuantum information theory is a set of ideas and techniques that were developed in the context of quantum computation but now guide our thinking about a range of topics from black holes to semiconductors. This course introduces the central ideas of quantum information theory and surveys their applications. Topics include: quantum channels and open quantum systems; quantum circuits and tensor networks; a brief introduction to quantum algorithms; quantum error correction; and applications to sensing, many-body physics, black holes, etc.
- GEO 320/AST 320/PHY 320: Introduction to Earth and Planetary PhysicsWhat makes Earth habitable? How have we unraveled the mysteries of planetary interiors? Using a physics-centered approach, we'll explore a range of captivating subjects in earth and planetary science, including the origin of solar systems, tectonic plates, mantle convection, earthquakes, and volcanoes. You will learn methods to study the inner structures and dynamics of planets, not just Earth, but also celestial neighbors like Mars, Venus, Mercury, the Moon, and even exoplanets.
- ISC 233/MOL 233/PHY 233/CHM 233: An Integrated, Quantitative Introduction to Life Sciences IIThe four-course sequence ISC 231-234 integrates introductory topics in calculus-based physics, chemistry, molecular biology, and scientific computing with Python, with an emphasis on laboratory experimentation, quantitative reasoning, and data-oriented thinking. It best suits students interested in complex problems in living organisms and prepares them for interdisciplinary research in the life sciences. The spring courses ISC 233 and 234 must be taken together.
- ISC 234/CHM 234/PHY 234/PHY 234: An Integrated, Quantitative Introduction to Life Sciences IIThe four-course sequence ISC 231-234 integrates introductory topics in calculus-based physics, chemistry, molecular biology, and scientific computing with Python, with an emphasis on laboratory experimentation, quantitative reasoning, and data-oriented thinking. It best suits students interested in complex problems in living organisms and prepares them for interdisciplinary research in the life sciences. The spring courses ISC 233 and 234 must be taken together.
- MSE 504/CHM 560/PHY 512/CBE 520: Monte Carlo and Molecular Dynamics Simulation in Statistical Physics & Materials ScienceThis course examines methods for simulating matter at the atomistic scale with emphasis on the concepts that underline modern computational methodologies for classical many-body systems at or near statistical equilibrium. The course covers Monte Carlo and Molecular Dynamics (from basics to advanced techniques), and includes an introduction to ab-initio Molecular Dynamics and the use of Machine Learning techniques in molecular simulations.Central to the learning experience will be a set of self-contained numerical projects on simple model systems, using popular simulation packages to provide hands-on experience on the matter of the course.
- PHY 102: Introductory Physics IIThis course presents an introduction to the fundamental laws of nature, especially optics, electricity/magnetism, nuclear and atomic theory. These are treated quantitatively with an emphasis on problem solving. The laboratory is intended to give students an opportunity to observe physical phenomena and to gain "hands-on" experience with apparatus and instruments.
- PHY 104: General Physics IIThis calculus-based course is primarily geared to students majoring in engineering and physics, but is also well suited to majors in other sciences. Our goal is for you to develop an understanding of the fundamental laws of electricity and magnetism along with some applications to electronics and optics.
- PHY 106: Advanced Physics (Electromagnetism)This course features the classical theory of electricity and magnetism, with emphasis on the unification of these forces through the special theory of relativity. While the subject matter is similar to that of PHY 104, the treatment is more sophisticated. The topics also include DC and AC circuits and the electromagnetic behavior of matter.
- PHY 108: Physics for the Life SciencesPHY108 is designed to introduce physics and its applications to students interested in the life sciences. The course is broadly organized around 4 major concepts: Optics, Radiation & Electromagnetism, Fluids and Oscillators. Specific topics are chosen to be directly relevant to modern life science research and techniques. Classes are carried out in a lab-like setting and include hands-on demos to introduce material. The laboratory experience emphasizes exposure to physical concepts related to the life sciences. Weekly help sessions will be offered throughout the semester.
- PHY 109: Physics Methods and ApplicationsPHY 109 will focus on physics concepts, methodologies, and problem solving techniques, with a selection of topics drawn from the PHY 103 and 104 curriculum. PHY 109 has no lab component. The goal of the course is a mastery of mechanics (PHY 103), together with the related mathematical tools, and a first exposure to concepts from electricity and magnetism (PHY 104). This is the first course in a two-course sequence, concluding with PHY 110 in the summer term.
- PHY 208: Principles of Quantum MechanicsThis is the Physics Department's introductory quantum mechanics course. Its intent is to present the subject in a fashion that will allow both mastery of its conceptual basis and techniques and appreciation of the excitement inherent in looking at the world in a profoundly new way. Topics to be covered include: state functions and the probability interpretation, the Schroedinger equation, uncertainty principle, the eigenvalue problem, angular momentum, perturbation theory, and the hydrogen atom.
- PHY 210: Experimental Physics SeminarThis seminar introduces fundamental techniques of electronics and instrumentation. The course consists of weekly hands-on labs that introduce the students to the fascinating world of electronics. We begin with learning how to build circuits and probe their behavior and then explore what can be done to create instrumentation and make measurements. No prerequisites.
- PHY 304: Advanced ElectromagnetismElectromagnetic theory based on Maxwell's equations. Electrostatics, including boundary valve problems, dielectrics, and energy considerations leading to the Maxwell stress tensor. Magnetostatics and simple magnetic materials. Electromagnetic waves, retarded potentials and radiation. Familiarity with vector calculus is assumed.
- PHY 312: Experimental PhysicsThis is an advanced course in experimental physics, including four experiments and an electronics lab. Examples of experiments include muon decay, beta decay, optical pumping, the Mossbauer effect, holography, positron annihilation, electron diffraction, single photon interference, NMR, the Josephson effect, quantum optics, and the observation of Galactic hydrogen. Weekly lectures will provide an overview of various experimental techniques and data analysis.
- PHY 502: Communicating Physics (Half-Term)Becoming an effective communicator requires time and practice refining a number of skills. This course focuses on the subset of skills most helpful to students during their time in graduate school. The primary goals of the course are: learn to create a fair and inclusive environment; learn research-proven teaching methods; practice communicating in a number of settings; and more generally gain insights into how to become a more effective communicator.
- PHY 506/MSE 576: Advanced Quantum MechanicsThis is a one-semester course in advanced quantum mechanics, and counts as a "core course" in the physics graduate program. The emphasis is on topics relevant to quantum information, quantum computation, entanglement, and many-body quantum dynamics.
- PHY 510: Advanced Quantum Field TheoryRelations between Quantum Field Theory and Statistical Mechanics, Renormalization Group, Non-Abelian Gauge Theories, Asymptotic Freedom, Quantum Chromodynamics, Chiral Lagrangians.
- PHY 536/MSE 577: Advanced Condensed Matter Physics IICourse introduces and presents ongoing theoretical investigations of new research topics in condensed matter physics: topological insulators and Chern numbers, topological superconductors, the fractional quantum Hall effect and non-abelian statistics, flat-band systems, spin liquids. The techniques needed to deal with such systems, such as Chern numbers, topological band theory, Berry phases, conformal field theory, Chern-Simons theory, t-J models, Gutzwiller wavefunctions, Hubbard models, are explained.
- PHY 540: Selected Topics in Theoretical High-Energy Physics: Scattering AmplitudesThis course will focus on scattering amplitudes which are central objects in quantum field theory used to confront theory with experiment. Topics covered include: foundations of scattering theory, classification of particles, relativistic kinematics, spinor-helicity formalism, unitarity and causality constraints, on-shell recursion relations, effective field theories, infrared and ultraviolet divergences, theory of complex angular momenta, emergence of classical physics, gravitational S-matrix.
- PHY 562: BiophysicsThe living world presents many beautiful phenomena that challenge our understanding of physics. We survey these phenomena, on all scales from single molecules to groups of organisms, discuss experimental progress in "taming" the complexity of these systems, and explore the opportunities for theory. We address explicitly how simplicity can emerge from the underlying complexity and try out physical principles that are special to life.
- PHY 563: Physics of the Universe: Origin & EvolutionThe course is the first of a two-semester survey (along with PHY 564) of fundamental concepts which underly contemporary cosmology. The first semester focuses on the nearly homogeneous evolution of the universe including the standard big bang picture, inflationary cosmology, dark matter, and the possibility of present-day accelerated expansion. The second semester focuses on the late stages in the evolution of the universe, when gravity results in the growth of large-scale structure, perturbations in the cosmic microwave background, gravitational lensing and other non-linear phenomena.