Graduate Classes

For more information, contact Barbara Conner

Fall 2016 Classes

Core Courses:
503A Classical Mechanics I
506A Quantum Mechanics I

Electives:
502 Mathematical Physics
534 Physical Biology
564 Introduction to Polymers
544 Advanced Lab
741R: Measuring & Modeling Animal Behavior

599R Thesis Research (pre-candidacy)
799R Advanced Research (post-candidacy)

598 Research Summary

597R Directed Study

590A Seminar in Teaching


PHYSICS 503A: Classical Mechanics I
Urazhdin MWF 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM MAX: 16 Credit: 3 Hours Room: MSC N215

Content: An advanced-level graduate course on classical mechanics. Topics to be covered include: Lagrangian mechanics; conservation laws; integration of equations of motion; central forces and planetary motion; collisions between particles; small oscillations; motions of rigid bodies; motion in non-inertial frames; Hamilton's equations.

Prerequisites: Consent of instructor.


PHYSICS 506A: Quantum Physics I
Harutyunyan TTh 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM MAX: 16 Credit: 3 Hours Room: MSC N301

Content: General formulation of quantum mechanics and applications to various types of problems including: matrix formulation, quantization of physical observables, time evolution of a system state, perturbation theory, theory of angular momentum, two level systems, magnetic dipole-dipole interactions, spin-orbit interactions, anomalous Zeeman effect, exchange degeneracy and systems of identical particles, atomic structures, and scattering theory.

Particulars: Grades are based on homework assignments and class presentations. Problems are assigned on a regular basis. Subjects of presentations will be assigned by the instructor with the consent of the presenting students. Prerequisite-Physics 503A or consent of the instructor.


PHYSICS 511A: Electrodynamics
Hentschel WF 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM MAX: 16 Credit: 3 Hours Room: MSC N301

Content: Maxwell's Equations; Variational Principles; Conservation Laws; Green's Functions; Retarded Green's Functions; Radiation-Field and Source Viewpoints; Models of Antennas; Spectral Distribution of Radiation; Cerenkov Radiation; Synchrotron Radiation; Propagation in Dielectric Media; Waveguides; Scattering by Small Obstacles; Diffraction.

Prerequisites: Consent of instructor.


PHYSICS 526: Statistical Physics
Family TTh 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM MAX: 16 Credit: 3 Hours Room: MSC E301A

Content: Entropy, temperature, free energy, statistical mechanics, Gibbs ensembles, partition function, ideal gas, Fermi and Bose gases, principles of classical thermodynamics, Carnot Theorem, phase transitions, and critical phenomena.

Prerequisites: Physics 421 or equivalent.


Electives


PHYSICS 502: Mathematical Physics
Hentschel WF 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM MAX: 16 Credit: 3 Hours Room: MSC N301

Content: Physics 502 is a graduate course in mathematical methods that have proved useful in solving theoretical problems in physics and that should form part of the toolkit of any theoretical physicist. In this course we will follow a modular structure in which some of the most important mathematical methods are introduced. We have selected the following modules: Probability theory and stochastic processes; Random matrix theory with applications to disordered system; An introduction to path integrals in quantum mechanics and stochastic processes; Nonlinear dynamical systems and chaos theory; Green’s functions with applications to electromagnetism.

Prerequisites: Consent of instructor.


PHYSICS 506B: Quantum Mechanics II
Faculty TBA TBA MAX: 10 Credit: 3 Hours

Content: General formulation of quantum mechanics and applications to various types of problems, matrix formulation, quantization of physical observables, time evolution of a system state, perturbation theory, theory of angular momentum, two level systems, magnetic dipole-dipole interactions, spin-orbit interactions, anomalous Zeeman effect, exchange degeneracy and systems of identical particles, atomic structure, scattering theory.

Prerequisites: Physics 506A, or consent of instructor.


PHYSICS 525: Solid State Physics
Srivastava TTh 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM MAX: 10 Credit: 3 Hours

Content: An introduction is given to the quantum mechanics of solids. Properties of metals, insulators and semiconductors will be discussed. Equations governing the charge transport inside materials and at their interfaces will be derived. Applications such as solid state diodes, transistors, photovoltaic and thermoelectric structures will be discussed. Quantum phenomena arising in reduced dimensions, including mesoscopic/nanoscale systems, quantum wells, surfaces and interfaces, will be discussed. Topics will also include the phenomena of superconductivity and magnetism, and the Quantum Hall state.

Text: Solid State Physics, Aschcroft, NW


Nanophotonics (taught as 751R Special Topics in Solid State Physics)
Harutyunyan TTh 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM MAX: 16 Credit: 3 Hours Room: MSC N301

Content: Theoretical foundations, propagation and focusing of optical fields, resolution and localization, confocal microscopy, nanoscale optical microscopy, optical super-resolution techniques, optical interactions, quantum emitters, surface plasmons, optical antennas and nanophotonic devices, optical metamaterials, optical forces.


PHYSICS 544: Advanced Laboratory
Brody M 2:30 PM - 5:30 PM MAX: 10 Credit: 3 Hours Room: MSC N309
Brody Lab W 2:30 PM - 5:30 PM MAX: 10 Room: MSC N309

Content: Modern experimental techniques and hands-on laboratory projects, including semiconductor device physics, chaos in electronics, X-ray crystallography, and astronomical photometry.

Particulars: Each student will complete written reports for at least three experimental projects. All students must register for both M 2:30-5:30 and W 2:30-5:30

Prerequisites: Physics 253 and consent of the instructor.


PHYSICS 552: Biomacromolecules
Finzi TTh 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM MAX: 10 Credit: 3 Hours Room: MSC N301

Content: Biomacromolecules is a course meant to provide graduate students and advanced undergraduates with the fundamental knowledge necessary to perform research in biophysics. Toward this goal, the first part of the course will introduce the structure of different types of biomacromolecules including an overview of the nature of the chemical bonds involved in the structure and function of biomacromolecules. The course then discusses the interaction of biomacromolecules with different types of environments, biomacromolecular driving forces and mechanics, biopolymer bending and torsional elasticity and molecular motors.


PHYSICS 554: Molecular Biophysics
Warncke TTh 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM MAX: 16 Credit: 3 Hours Room: MSC N301

Content: The course focuses on how structure and dynamics at the molecular level contribute to the observed function of biological systems, with a specific emphasis on proteins. An introduction to protein structure and dynamics is given, followed by a detailed examination of specific protein systems, including those involved in solar energy conversion, visual transduction and molecular motion (motors). A parallel focus is on the physical techniques of spectroscopy and scattering that are used to obtain the molecular-scale information. The physical techniques are described in the context of the problems in molecular biophysics that they have solved.


PHYSICS 556: Single Molecule Biophysics
Finzi TTh 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM MAX: 10 Credit: 3 Hours

Content: Single Molecule Biophysics covers the fundamental single-molecule techniques (physical principles, chemical strategies for sample preparations and methods of analysis) and illustrates how they may be used in studies of biological significance. In particular, the course discusses atomic force microscopy (static and dynamic) electron microscopy and electron energy loss spectroscopic imaging, tethered particle motion (TPM), molecular manipulation techniques (magnetic and optical tweezers), fluorescence and fluorescence resonance energy transfer microscopy, super-resolution techniques, and other recent developments in single-molecule approaches. Demonstrations of some of these techniques with “field trips” to labs and facilities on campus are offered. The flipped classroom method is implemented so that much class time is dedicated to student presentations of current single-molecule literature and student-led discussions. Finally, elements of research project development and grant writing are taught as the students are coached through a research project they have to individually develop and turn in as a major part of their grade.


PHYSICS 741R: Measuring & Modeling Animal Behavior (taught as Special Topics in Biophysics Fall 2016)
Berman WF 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM   Room:1462 Clifton Rd., RM 126

Content: This seminar will provide a survey of modern methods for quantitatively measuring and modeling animal behavior, focusing primarily on the scientific literature. Readings will be composed of a combination of experimental, theoretical, and computational studies, with the overall goals of outlining the current state of our knowledge and highlighting areas of recent investigation. Covered topic will include: measuring behavior from images and time series, analyzing patterns and sequences of behavior, biomechanics and control, collective and social behavior, and aspects of genetic and neurobiological mechanisms. Lectures are concurrent with BIOL 485. All students will be responsible for reading and presenting articles and for completing a final project. Graduate enrollees of PHYS 741R will also be required to complete approximately bi-weekly assignments.


PHYSICS 562: Introduction to Soft Matter
Weeks MWF 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM MAX: 16

Content: This survey course covers materials such as emulsions, gels, colloids, foams, polymers, liquid crystals, surfactants, simple liquids, and sand; methods such as rheology, microscopy, laser tweezers, scattering, and simulation; and diverse other topics such as energy landscapes, effective temperatures, percolation, diffusion, nonlinear dynamics, spin glasses, and fractals.

Prerequisite: (Written Permission of Instructor Required Prior to Pre-Registration)

Audience: Graduate Students and Advanced Undergraduates


PHYSICS 564: Introduction to Polymers
Roth TTh 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM MAX: 16 Credit: 3 Hours Room: MSC N302

Content: Polymer structures and conformations, polymer synthesis, molecular weight distribution and characterization; properties of polymer solutions, solubility and miscibility, polymer blends; properties of bulk polymers, glass and melt transitions, crystallization, rubber elasticity, viscous flow and viscoelasticity, time-temperature superposition; polymer dynamics, Rouse and reptation models. This course is intended to give students an overview of important concepts in polymer science, and highlight some of the current areas of research and how it relates to technological applications.

Text: Polymer Chemistry, 2nd Ed., Hiemenz & Lodge, 2007.

Audience: Graduate Students and Advanced Undergraduates.


PHYSICS 528: Continuum Mechanics
Burton MWF 1:00 PM - 1:50 PM MAX: 16 Credit: 3 Hours Room: MSC N301

Content: This course provides students with the basic physics necessary to describe continuous media such as fluids and solids. It is an introductory course intended for graduate students as well as upper-level undergraduate students. Students will learn how to apply Newtonian mechanics and conservation laws to deformable systems which can bend, stretch, and flow. Topics include hydrostatics, buoyancy, surface tension, elastostatics, buckling, stress and strain tensors, Navier-Stokes equations, incompressible flow, viscosity and viscous flow, elastic vibrations, and dimensionless numbers. The course will also include selected special topics such as turbulence, seismology, jumps and shocks, instabilities and linear stability analysis, vorticies, boundary layers, and convection.

Prerequisite: (Written Permission of Instructor Required Prior to Pre-Registration)

Audience: Graduate Students and Advanced Undergraduates


PHYSICS 534: Physical Biology
Nemenman MWF 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM MAX: 10 Credit: 3 Hours Room: MSC E301A

Content: This course will emphasize that all living systems have evolved to perform certain tasks in specific contexts. There are a lot fewer tasks and contexts than there are different biological solutions that nature has created. The problems, which live on the intersection of physics and biology, are universal, while the solutions may be organism-specific. Thus a lot can be understood about the physical structure of biological systems by focusing on understanding why they do what they do in addition to how they do it on molecular or cellular scales. In particular, this way we can uncover phenomena that generalize across different organisms, thus increasing the value of experiments and building a coherent understanding of the underlying physiological processes. The physical concepts explored in this class will be random walks and other nonequilibrium statistical processes, information, dynamical systems. The graduate version of this class involves different homework assignments compared to undergraduate students.

Prerequisite: (Written Permission of Instructor Required Prior to Pre-Registration)


PHYSICS 726: Advanced Statistical Physics
Hentschel MWF 2:00 PM - 2:50 PM MAX: 16 Credit: 3 Hours Room: Emerson 101

Content: The course will first cover topics related to the non equilibrium statistical mechanics of stochastic processes in physics, chemistry and biology. Topics covered will include Langevin equations, the fluctuation dissipation theorem, Fokker-Planck equations, master equations, reaction rate theory and kinetic models. We shall also study (as time permits) some topics in quantum dynamics and linear response theory, first-passage problems in physics, and biological topics such as chemotaxis, chemoreception and movement of ions across membranes.

Prerequisite: (Written Permission of Instructor Required Prior to Pre-Registration)

Audience: Graduate Students and Advanced Undergraduates


PHYSICS 731R: Special Topics in Theoretical Physics
Faculty TBA TBA MAX: 10

Prerequisite: (Written Permission of Instructor Required Prior to Pre-Registration)


PHYSICS 741R: Special Topics in Biophysics
Faculty TBA TBA MAX: 10

Prerequisite: (Written Permission of Instructor Required Prior to Pre-Registration)


PHYSICS 751R: Special Topics in Solid State Physics
Faculty TBA TBA MAX: 10

Prerequisite: (Written Permission of Instructor Required Prior to Pre-Registration)


PHYSICS 761R: Special Topics in Soft Matter Physics
Faculty TBA TBA MAX: 10

Prerequisite: (Written Permission of Instructor Required Prior to Pre-Registration)


Research Courses


PHYSICS 599R: Thesis Research (Pre-Candidacy)
Faculty TBA TBA

Prerequisite: (Written Permission of Instructor Required Prior to Pre-Registration)


PHYSICS 799R: Advanced Research (Post-Candidacy)
Faculty TBA TBA

Prerequisite: (Written Permission of Instructor Required Prior to Pre-Registration)


PHYSICS 598: Research Summary
Faculty TBA TBA

Prerequisite: (Written Permission of Instructor Required Prior to Pre-Registration)


PHYSICS 796: Qualifier Proposal
Faculty TBA TBA

Prerequisite: (Written Permission of Instructor Required Prior to Pre-Registration)


Directed Studies


PHYSICS 597R: Directed Study
Faculty TBA TBA

Prerequisite: (Written Permission of Instructor Required Prior to Pre-Registration)


Teaching Courses


PHYSICS 590A/B: Seminar in Teaching
Bing Monday 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM MAX: 16 Credit: 1 Hour Room: MSC W204

This seminar serves two purposes: (1) to set up and prepare to teach each week¿s specific undergraduate laboratory experiment and (2) to read and discuss important studies that have come from the field of physics education research. In the short term, this survey of physics education research is meant to inform and improve the beginning teaching assistant¿s effectiveness in the undergraduate classroom. In the long term, this seminar provides our graduate students with a significantly deeper teaching experience than the standard job as an introductory lab TA.

Audience: Required for physics graduate students, to be taken concurrently with the first semester of service as a teaching assistant.