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1 - 10 of 104 results for: PHYSICS

PHYSICS 12N: Black Holes: Fact and Fancy

Black Holes have been observed throughout the universe using radio waves, light, X- and gamma-rays and now with gravitational radiation. They are well-described using Einstein's theory of relativity and provide dramatic demonstrations of how physicists think about matter, energy, space, and time. They have also stimulated much science fiction. This seminar is intended primarily for non-science freshmen who should learn how some really big ideas were developed, debated, and then demonstrated to be correct. Movies and popular books will be critiqued and used to illustrate basic properties of black holes. Special attention will be paid to understanding what it takes for an interesting idea to become accepted or rejected as scientific fact. There will be visits to Stanford labs where instruments used to observe black holes were conceived, constructed and combined.
Terms: Win | Units: 3 | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PHYSICS 14N: Quantum Information: Visions and Emerging Technologies

What sets quantum information apart from its classical counterpart is that it can be encoded non-locally, woven into correlations among multiple qubits in a phenomenon known as ¿entanglement.¿ Will discuss paradigms for harnessing entanglement to solve hitherto intractable computational problems or to push the precision of sensors to their fundamental quantum mechanical limits. Will also examine challenges that physicists and engineers are tackling in the laboratory today to enable the quantum technologies of the future.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-FR | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PHYSICS 15: Stars and Planets in a Habitable Universe

Is the Earth unique in our galaxy? Students learn how stars and our galaxy have evolved and how this produces planets and the conditions suitable for life. Discussion of the motion of the night sky and how telescopes collect and analyze light. The life-cycle of stars from birth to death, and the end products of that life cycle -- from dense stellar corpses to supernova explosions. Course covers recent discoveries of extrasolar planets -- those orbiting stars beyond our sun -- and the ultimate quest for other Earths. Intended to be accessible to non-science majors, material is explored quantitatively with problem sets using basic algebra and numerical estimates. Sky observing exercise and observatory field trips supplement the classroom work.
Terms: Aut, Sum | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER: DB-NatSci, WAY-SMA | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PHYSICS 16: The Origin and Development of the Cosmos

How did the present Universe come to be? The last few decades have seen remarkable progress in understanding this age-old question. Course will cover the history of the Universe from its earliest moments to the present day, and the physical laws that govern its evolution. The early Universe including inflation and the creation of matter and the elements. Recent discoveries in our understanding of the makeup of the cosmos, including dark matter and dark energy. Evolution of galaxies, clusters, and quasars, and the Universe as a whole. Implications of dark matter and dark energy for the future evolution of the cosmos. Intended to be accessible to non-science majors, material is explored quantitatively with problem sets using basic algebra and numerical estimates.
Terms: Win, Sum | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER: DB-NatSci, WAY-SMA | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PHYSICS 17: Black Holes and Extreme Astrophysics

Black holes represent an extreme frontier of astrophysics. Course will explore the most fundamental and universal force -- gravity -- and how it controls the fate of astrophysical objects, leading in some cases to black holes. How we discover and determine the properties of black holes and their environment. How black holes and their event horizons are used to guide thinking about mysterious phenomena such as Hawking radiation, wormholes, and quantum entanglement. How black holes generate gravitational waves and powerful jets of particles and radiation. Other extreme objects such as pulsars. Relevant physics, including relativity, is introduced and treated at the algebraic level. No prior physics or calculus is required, although some deep thinking about space, time, and matter is important in working through assigned problems.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER: DB-NatSci, WAY-SMA | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PHYSICS 18N: Frontiers in Theoretical Physics and Cosmology

Preference to freshmen. The course will begin with a description of the current standard models of gravitation, cosmology, and elementary particle physics. We will then focus on frontiers of current understanding including investigations of very early universe cosmology, string theory, and the physics of black holes.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER: DB-NatSci, WAY-SMA | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PHYSICS 19: How Things Work: An Introduction to Physics

Introduction to the principles of physics through familiar objects and phenomena, including airplanes, cameras, computers, engines, refrigerators, lightning, radio, microwave ovens, and fluorescent lights. Estimates of real quantities from simple calculations. Prerequisite: high school algebra and trigonometry.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER: DB-NatSci, WAY-SMA | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PHYSICS 21: Mechanics, Fluids, and Heat

How are the motions of objects and the behavior of fluids and gases determined by the laws of physics? Students learn to describe the motion of objects (kinematics) and understand why objects move as they do (dynamics). Emphasis on how Newton's three laws of motion are applied to solids, liquids, and gases to describe phenomena as diverse as spinning gymnasts, blood flow, and sound waves. Understanding many-particle systems requires connecting macroscopic properties (e.g., temperature and pressure) to microscopic dynamics (collisions of particles). Laws of thermodynamics provide understanding of real-world phenomena such as energy conversion and performance limits of heat engines. Everyday examples are analyzed using tools of algebra and trigonometry. Problem-solving skills are developed, including verifying that derived results satisfy criteria for correctness, such as dimensional consistency and expected behavior in limiting cases. Physical understanding fostered by peer interaction and demonstrations in lecture, and interactive group problem solving in discussion sections. Prerequisite: high school algebra and trigonometry; calculus not required.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER: DB-NatSci, WAY-SMA | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PHYSICS 21S: Mechanics, Fluids, and Heat with Laboratory

How are the motions of objects and the behavior of fluids and gases determined by the laws of physics? Students learn to describe the motion of objects (kinematics) and understand why objects move as they do (dynamics). Emphasis on how Newton's three laws of motion are applied to solids, liquids, and gases to describe phenomena as diverse as spinning gymnasts, blood flow, and sound waves. Understanding many-particle systems requires connecting macroscopic properties (e.g., temperature and pressure) to microscopic dynamics (collisions of particles). Laws of thermodynamics provide understanding of real-world phenomena such as energy conversion and performance limits of heat engines. Everyday examples are analyzed using tools of algebra and trigonometry. Problem-solving skills are developed, including verifying that derived results satisfy criteria for correctness, such as dimensional consistency and expected behavior in limiting cases. Physical understanding fostered by peer interaction and demonstrations in lecture, and interactive group problem solving in discussion sections. Labs are an integrated part of the summer course. Prerequisite: high school algebra and trigonometry; calculus not required.
Terms: Sum | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER: DB-NatSci, WAY-SMA | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Betre, K. (PI)

PHYSICS 22: Mechanics, Fluids, and Heat Laboratory

Guided hands-on exploration of concepts in classical mechanics, fluids, and thermodynamics with an emphasis on student predictions, observations and explanations. Pre- or corequisite: PHYSICS 21.
Terms: Aut | Units: 1 | Grading: Satisfactory/No Credit
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