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: DBNatSci, WAYSMA

Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors:
Wagoner, R. (PI)
;
Teo, M. (TA)
PHYSICS 25: Modern Physics
How do the discoveries since the dawn of the 20th century impact our understanding of 21stcentury physics? This course introduces the foundations of modern physics: Einstein's theory of special relativity and quantum mechanics. Combining the language of physics with tools from algebra and trigonometry, students gain insights into how the universe works on both the smallest and largest scales. Topics may include atomic, molecular, and laser physics; semiconductors; elementary particles and the fundamental forces; nuclear physics (fission, fusion, and radioactivity); astrophysics and cosmology (the contents and evolution of the universe). Emphasis on applications of modern physics in everyday life, progress made in our understanding of the universe, and open questions that are the subject of active research. Physical understanding fostered by peer interaction and demonstrations in lecture, and interactive group problem solving in discussion sections. Prerequisite:
PHYSICS 23 or
PHYSICS 23S.
Terms: Spr

Units: 4

UG Reqs: GER: DBNatSci, WAYSMA

Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors:
Irwin, K. (PI)
PHYSICS 26: Modern Physics Laboratory
Guided handson and simulationbased exploration of concepts in modern physics, including special relativity, quantum mechanics and nuclear physics with an emphasis on student predictions, observations and explanations. Pre or corequisite:
PHYSICS 25.
Terms: Spr

Units: 1

Grading: Satisfactory/No Credit
PHYSICS 43: Electricity and Magnetism
What is electricity? What is magnetism? How are they related? How do these phenomena manifest themselves in the physical world? The theory of electricity and magnetism, as codified by Maxwell's equations, underlies much of the observable universe. Students develop both conceptual and quantitative knowledge of this theory. Topics include: electrostatics; magnetostatics; simple AC and DC circuits involving capacitors, inductors, and resistors; integral form of Maxwell's equations; electromagnetic waves. Principles illustrated in the context of modern technologies. Broader scientific questions addressed include: How do physical theories evolve? What is the interplay between basic physical theories and associated technologies? Discussions based on the language of mathematics, particularly differential and integral calculus, and vectors. 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 42 or
MATH 51 or
CME 100 or equivalent. Recommended corequisite:
MATH 52 or
CME 102.
Terms: Spr

Units: 4

UG Reqs: GER: DBNatSci, WAYSMA

Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors:
Kasevich, M. (PI)
;
Cheung, A. (TA)
;
Dodaro, J. (TA)
...
more instructors for PHYSICS 43 »
Instructors:
Kasevich, M. (PI)
;
Cheung, A. (TA)
;
Dodaro, J. (TA)
;
Ghazi Nezami, S. (TA)
;
Henighan, T. (TA)
;
Hughes, A. (TA)
;
Salton, G. (TA)
;
Solt, M. (TA)
PHYSICS 43A: Electricity and Magnetism: Concepts, Calculations and Context
Additional assistance and applications for
Physics 43. Inclass problems in physics and engineering. Exercises in calculations of electric and magnetic forces and field to reinforce concepts and techniques; Calculations involving inductors, transformers, AC circuits, motors and generators. Highly recommended for students with limited or no high school physics or calculus. Corequisite:
PHYSICS 43.
Terms: Spr

Units: 1

Grading: Satisfactory/No Credit
Instructors:
Church, S. (PI)
;
Nanavati, C. (PI)
PHYSICS 44: Electricity and Magnetism Lab
Handson exploration of concepts in electricity, magnetism, and circuits. Introduction to multimeters, function generators, oscilloscopes, and graphing techniques. Pre or corequisite:
PHYSICS 43.
Terms: Spr

Units: 1

Grading: Satisfactory/No Credit
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.
Terms: Spr

Units: 4

UG Reqs: GER: DBNatSci, WAYFR, WAYSMA

Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
PHYSICS 67: Introduction to Laboratory Physics
Methods of experimental design, data collection and analysis, statistics, and curve fitting in a laboratory setting. Experiments drawn from electronics, optics, heat, and modern physics. Lecture plus laboratory format. Required for
PHYSICS 60 series Physics and Engineering Physics majors; recommended, in place of
PHYSICS 44, for PHYSICS 40 series students who intend to major in Physics or Engineering Physics. Pre or corequisite:
PHYSICS 65 or
PHYSICS 43.
Terms: Spr

Units: 2

Grading: Satisfactory/No Credit
Instructors:
Pam, R. (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 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 91SI: Practical Computing for Scientists
Essential computing skills for researchers in the natural sciences. Helping students transition their computing skills from a classroom to a research environment. Topics include the Unix operating system, the Python programming language, and essential tools for data analysis, simulation, and optimization. More advanced topics as time allows. Prerequisite: CS106A or equivalent.
Terms: Spr

Units: 2

Grading: Satisfactory/No Credit
Instructors:
Shin, K. (PI)
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