PHYSICS 45: Light and Heat
What is temperature? How do the elementary processes of mechanics, which are intrinsically reversible, result in phenomena that are clearly irreversible when applied to a very large number of particles, the ultimate example being life? In thermodynamics, students discover that the approach of classical mechanics is not sufficient to deal with the extremely large number of particles present in a macroscopic amount of gas. The paradigm of thermodynamics leads to a deeper understanding of realworld phenomena such as energy conversion and the performance limits of thermal engines. In optics, students see how a geometrical approach allows the design of optical systems based on reflection and refraction, while the wave nature of light leads to interference phenomena. The two approaches come together in understanding the diffraction limit of microscopes and telescopes. Discussions based on the language of mathematics, particularly calculus. Physical understanding fostered by peer interaction and demonstrations in lecture, and discussion sections based on interactive group problem solving. Prerequisite:
PHYSICS 41 or equivalent.
MATH 21 or
MATH 51 or
CME 100 or equivalent.
Terms: Aut

Units: 4

UG Reqs: GER: DBNatSci, WAYSMA

Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors:
Hartnoll, S. (PI)
PHYSICS 50: Astronomy Laboratory and Observational Astronomy
Introduction to observational astronomy emphasizing the use of optical telescopes. Observations of stars, nebulae, and galaxies in laboratory sessions with telescopes at the Stanford Student Observatory. Meets at the observatory one evening per week from dusk until well after dark, in addition to daytime lectures each week. No previous physics required. Limited enrollment.
Terms: Aut, Sum

Units: 3

UG Reqs: GER: DBNatSci, WAYAQR, WAYSMA

Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors:
Kuo, C. (PI)
PHYSICS 61: Mechanics and Special Relativity
(First in a threepart advanced freshman physics series:
PHYSICS 61,
PHYSICS 63,
PHYSICS 65.) This course covers Einstein's special theory of relativity and Newtonian mechanics at a level appropriate for students with a strong high school mathematics and physics background, who are contemplating a major in Physics or Engineering Physics, or are interested in a rigorous treatment of physics. Postulates of special relativity, simultaneity, time dilation, length contraction, the Lorentz transformation, causality, and relativistic mechanics. Central forces, contact forces, linear restoring forces. Momentum transport, work, energy, collisions. Angular momentum, torque, moment of inertia in three dimensions. Damped and forced harmonic oscillators. Uses the language of vectors and multivariable calculus. Recommended prerequisites: Mastery of mechanics at the level of AP Physics C and AP Calculus BC or equivalent. Corequisite:
MATH 51 or
MATH 61CM or
MATH 61DM.
Terms: Aut

Units: 4

UG Reqs: GER: DBNatSci, WAYFR, WAYSMA

Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors:
Burchat, P. (PI)
PHYSICS 63: Electricity, Magnetism, and Waves
(Second in a threepart advanced freshman physics series:
PHYSICS 61,
PHYSICS 63,
PHYSICS 65.) This course covers the foundations of electricity and magnetism for students with a strong high school mathematics and physics background, who are contemplating a major in Physics or Engineering Physics, or are interested in a rigorous treatment of physics. Electricity, magnetism, and waves with some description of optics. Electrostatics and Gauss' law. Electric potential, electric field, conductors, image charges. Electric currents, DC circuits. Moving charges, magnetic field, Ampere's law. Solenoids, transformers, induction, AC circuits, resonance. Relativistic point of view for moving charges. Displacement current, Maxwell's equations. Electromagnetic waves, dielectrics. Diffraction, interference, refraction, reflection, polarization. Prerequisite:
PHYSICS 61 and
MATH 51 or
MATH 61CM or
MATH 61DM. Pre or corequisite:
MATH 52 or
MATH 62CM or
MATH 62DM.
Terms: Win

Units: 4

UG Reqs: GER: DBNatSci, WAYFR, WAYSMA

Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors:
Graham, P. (PI)
;
Wiser, T. (SI)
PHYSICS 65: Quantum and Thermal Physics
(Third in a threepart advanced freshman physics series:
PHYSICS 61,
PHYSICS 63,
PHYSICS 65.) This course introduces the foundations of quantum and statistical mechanics for students with a strong high school mathematics and physics background, who are contemplating a major in Physics or Engineering Physics, or are interested in a rigorous treatment of physics. Quantum mechanics: atoms, electrons, nuclei. Quantization of light, Planck's constant. Photoelectric effect, Compton and Bragg scattering. Bohr model, atomic spectra. Matter waves, wave packets, interference. Fourier analysis and transforms, Heisenberg uncertainty relationships. Schrödinger equation, eigenfunctions and eigenvalues. Particleinabox, simple harmonic oscillator, barrier penetration, tunneling, WKB and approximate solutions. Timedependent and multidimensional solution concepts. Coulomb potential and hydrogen atom structure. Thermodynamics and statistical mechanics: ideal gas, equipartition, heat capacity. Probability, counting states, entropy, equilibrium, chemical potential. Laws of thermodynamics. Cycles, heat engines, free energy. Partition function, Boltzmann statistics, Maxwell speed distribution, ideal gas in a box, Einstein model. Quantum statistical mechanics: classical vs. quantum distribution functions, fermions vs. bosons. Prerequisites:
PHYSICS 61 &
PHYSICS 63. Pre or corequisite:
MATH 53 or
MATH 63CM or
MATH 63DM.
Terms: Spr

Units: 4

UG Reqs: GER: DBNatSci, WAYFR, WAYSMA

Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors:
Gratta, G. (PI)
PHYSICS 70: Foundations of Modern Physics
Required for Physics or Engineering Physics majors who completed the PHYSICS 40 series. Introduction to special relativity: reference frames, MichelsonMorley experiment. Postulates of relativity, simultaneity, time dilation. Length contraction, the Lorentz transformation, causality. Doppler effect. Relativistic mechanics and mass, energy, momentum relations. Introduction to quantum physics: atoms, electrons, nuclei. Quantization of light, Planck constant. Photoelectric effect, Compton and Bragg scattering. Bohr model, atomic spectra. Matter waves, wave packets, interference. Fourier analysis and transforms, Heisenberg uncertainty relationships. Schrödinger equation, eigenfunctions and eigenvalues. Particleinabox, simple harmonic oscillator, barrier penetration, tunneling, WKB and approximate solutions. Timedependent and multidimensional solution concepts. Coulomb potential and hydrogen atom structure. Prerequisites:
PHYSICS 41,
PHYSICS 43. Pre or corequisite:
PHYSICS 45. Recommended: prior or concurrent registration in
MATH 53.
Terms: Aut

Units: 4

UG Reqs: GER: DBNatSci, WAYSMA

Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors:
Kachru, S. (PI)
PHYSICS 83N: Physics in the 21st Century
Preference to freshmen. Current topics at the frontier of modern physics. This course provides an indepth examination of two of the biggest physics discoveries of the 21st century: that of the Higgs boson and Dark Energy. Through studying these discoveries we will explore the big questions driving modern particle physics, the study of nature's most fundamental pieces, and cosmology, the study of the evolution and nature of the universe. Questions such as: What is the universe made of? What are the most fundamental particles and how do they interact with each other? What can we learn about the history of the universe and what does it tell us about it's future? We will learn about the tools scientists use to study these questions such as the Large Hadron Collider and the Hubble Space Telescope. We will also learn to convey these complex topics in engaging and diverse terms to the general public through writing and reading assignments, oral presentations, and multimedia projects. The syl
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Preference to freshmen. Current topics at the frontier of modern physics. This course provides an indepth examination of two of the biggest physics discoveries of the 21st century: that of the Higgs boson and Dark Energy. Through studying these discoveries we will explore the big questions driving modern particle physics, the study of nature's most fundamental pieces, and cosmology, the study of the evolution and nature of the universe. Questions such as: What is the universe made of? What are the most fundamental particles and how do they interact with each other? What can we learn about the history of the universe and what does it tell us about it's future? We will learn about the tools scientists use to study these questions such as the Large Hadron Collider and the Hubble Space Telescope. We will also learn to convey these complex topics in engaging and diverse terms to the general public through writing and reading assignments, oral presentations, and multimedia projects. The syllabus includes a tour of SLAC, the site of many major 20th century particle discoveries, and a virtual visit of the control room of the ATLAS experiment at CERN amongst other activities. No prior knowledge of physics is necessary; all voices are welcome to contribute to the discussion about these big ideas. Learning Goals: By the end of the quarter you will be able to explain the major questions that drive particle physics and cosmology to your friends and peers. You will understand how scientists study the impossibly small and impossibly large and be able to convey this knowledge in clear and concise terms.
Terms: Spr

Units: 3

UG Reqs: GER: DBNatSci, WAYSMA

Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors:
Tompkins, L. (PI)
PHYSICS 95Q: The Philosophies of Three Great Physicists
Richard Feynman has famously said, Philosophy of science is about as useful to scientists as ornithology is to birds. A closer look at key moments in the history of physics, however, reveals a different picture. Contrary to the misconception that philosophy has nothing to offer to science in general, and physics in particular, watershed moments in the development of physics were inspired and motivated by deeply held philosophical principles. Similarly, important developments in physics have generated important and difficult philosophical questions. In this sophomore seminar we will explore three significant moments in the development of physics surrounding the works of Newton, Einstein, and Bohr. We will analyze the relationship between the prevailing philosophical views they espoused and the physics they produced. How did Newton come to the view of absolute and fixed space and time? What led Einstein to reject the notion of a fixed space and time and propose a relativistic, and even dynamic spacetime? What is Bohr's influential doctrine of complementary, and why did several generations of physicists believe it to be an adequate philosophical response to quantum mechanics? We will see that the relationship between philosophy and physics is more similar to the relationship between mathematics and physics where progress in one area is often preceded and followed by progress in the second.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Winter 2017

Units: 3

UG Reqs: WAYSMA

Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
PHYSICS 100: Introduction to Observational Astrophysics
Designed for undergraduate physics majors but open to all students with a calculusbased physics background and some laboratory and coding experience. Students make and analyze observations using the telescopes at the Stanford Student Observatory. Topics covered include navigating the night sky, the physics of stars and galaxies, telescope instrumentation and operation, imaging and spectroscopic techniques, quantitative error analysis, and effective scientific communication. The course concludes with an independent project where student teams propose and execute an observational astronomy project of their choosing, using techniques learned in class to gather and analyze their data, and presenting their findings in the forms of professionalstyle oral presentations and research papers. Enrollment by permission. To get a permission number please complete form:
http://web.stanford.edu/~elva/physics100prelim.fb If you have not heard from us by the beginning of class, please come to the first class session.
Terms: Spr

Units: 4

UG Reqs: GER: DBNatSci, WAYAQR, WAYSMA

Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors:
Macintosh, B. (PI)
PHYSICS 105: Intermediate Physics Laboratory I: Analog Electronics
Analog electronics including Ohm's law, passive circuits and transistor and op amp circuits, emphasizing practical circuit design skills to prepare undergraduates for laboratory research. Short design project. Minimal use of math and physics, no electronics experience assumed beyond introductory physics. Prerequisite:
PHYSICS 43 or
PHYSICS 63.
Terms: Aut

Units: 4

UG Reqs: GER: DBNatSci, WAYAQR, WAYSMA

Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors:
Fox, J. (PI)
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