Astronomy 21. Stars, Planets, Life: Astrobiology
This course aims to acquaint the students with the basic concepts of astrobiology, which is the study of the origin, evolution and distribution of life in the universe. We will focus on two questions: How does life begin and evolve? Is there life outside of Earth and, if so, how can it be detected? The topics covered during this semester-long course will include basic orbital mechanics, thermal equilibrium of planets and criteria for habitability, the search for habitable planets outside our Solar System and planetary exploration inside our Solar System, appearance and evolution of organic compounds throughout our Universe leading to the appearance of self-organizing molecules, impact of planetary properties on the possibility of life forming and evolving, and, finally, a review of the common theories concerning the origin of life on Earth. 3 credit hours.
Astronomy 62. Introduction to Astrophysics
A general survey of modern astrophysics. Topics covered include electromagnetic radiation, gravitation, stellar structure and evolution, the interstellar medium and the birth of stars, supernovae and the death of stars (including the physics of neutron stars and black holes), synthesis of the elements, and the formation, structure and evolution of galaxies and of the universe. Offered jointly with Pomona and Keck Sciences. Prerequisites: Physics 51 3 credit hours.
Astronomy 101. Observational Astronomy
Complete survey of the techniques of observational astronomy, including optical, infrared, radio and X-ray astronomy. Four to six observational projects, including observations using The Claremont Colleges Table Mountain Observatory, plus computer projects analyzing radio and infrared data. Observational techniques used include CCD photometry, stellar spectroscopy, radio interferometry and analysis of infrared satellite data. In addition to observational techniques, the course will also cover the physics of basic emission mechanisms at the various wavelengths. Offered jointly with Pomona and Keck Sciences. Prerequisites: Astronomy 62 3 credit hours.
Astronomy 120. Star Formation and the Interstellar Medium
A survey of formation of stars and planets in the universe, the galactic interstellar medium, and the theoretical and observational aspects of understanding the physical state of matter in the galaxy. Topics include formation and detection of extrasolar planets and protostars, radio and infrared diagnostics of star forming regions and interstellar clouds, optical emission and absorption-line studies of the interstellar medium, and the role of supernovae in evolution of the interstellar medium and star formation. Offered jointly with Pomona and Keck Sciences. Prerequisites: Astronomy 62 and Physics 52 2 credit hours.
Astronomy 121. Cosmology and Extragalactic Astrophysics
Examines the large-scale structures of the universe and the evolution of the universe from the Big Bang to the present epoch. Topics include alternate cosmologies, dark matter, cosmic background radiation, and formation and evolution of galaxies and clusters of galaxies. Offered jointly with Pomona and Keck Sciences. Prerequisites: Astronomy 62 and Physics 52 2 credit hours.
Astronomy 122. High Energy Astrophysics
A survey of the physical processes and astrophysical systems that produce high-energy photons and presents a survey of the new ultraviolet, X-ray, and gamma-ray observations. Topics include active galactic nuclei, black holes, neutron stars, supernova remnants, and cosmic rays. Offered jointly with Pomona and Keck Sciences. Prerequisites: Astronomy 62 and Physics 52 2 credit hours.
Astronomy 123. Stellar Structure and Evolution
A rigorous treatment of stellar atmospheres and radiative transfer. Topics include spectral line formation, stellar energy generation, evolution on and away from the main sequence, and the internal structures of stars and other self-gravitating objects. Offered jointly with Pomona and Keck Sciences. Prerequisites: Astronomy 62 and Physics 52 2 credit hours.
Astronomy 124. Planetary Astrophysics
The physics and chemistry of the planets, their natural satellites and the small bodies of the solar system. Topics include evolution and dynamics of planetary atmospheres; planetary interiors, alteration processes on planetary surfaces; the formation and dynamics of the solar system, evolution of small bodies and extra-solar systems. Offered jointly with Pomona and Keck Sciences. Half-course. Prerequisites: Astronomy 62 2 credit hours.
Astronomy 125. Galactic Astronomy
A detailed phenomenological investigation of galaxy structure, formation and evolution. We will explore galaxies as both aggregate stellar populations and signposts of cosmic evolution. The course will have a special focus on recent advances in the field. Offered jointly with Pomona and Keck Sciences. Half-course. Prerequisites: Astronomy 62 2 credit hours.
Physics 19. Physics at the Edge
This course is about the conceptual foundations of modern physics. It covers a wide range of examples and concepts that span many sub-disciplines while emphasizing the unity of physics and its fundamental character. It discusses general concepts from Relativity to Quantum Mechanics to Cosmology and Black holes, from superconductivity to the Standard Model of particle physics. The course relies on high school math, while visual interactive simulations replace equations wherever possible, and homework assignments help one explore explicit cases with basic computations. Near the end of the semester, the student chooses a topic from current physics news for presentation. Prerequisites: HMC first-year students only. 3 credit hours.
Physics 23. Special Relativity
Einstein's special theory of relativity is developed from the premises that the laws of physics are the same in all inertial frames and that the speed of light is a constant. The relationship between mass and energy is explored and relativistic collisions analyzed. The families of elementary particles are described and the equivalence principle developed. 1.5 credit hours.
Physics 24. Mechanics and Wave Motion
Classical mechanics is introduced beginning with inertial frames and the Galilean transformation, followed by momentum and momentum conservation in collisions, Newton's laws of motion, spring forces, gravitational forces and friction. Differential and integral calculus are used extensively throughout. Work, kinetic energy and potential energy are defined, and energy conservation is discussed in particle motion and collisions. Rotational motion is treated, including angular momentum, torque, cross-products and statics. Other topics include rotating frames, pseudoforces and central-force motion. Simple harmonic and some nonlinear oscillations are discussed, followed by waves on strings, sound and other types of waves, and wave phenomena such as standing waves, beats, two-slit interference, resonance and the Doppler effect. 4 credit hours.
Physics 24A. Mechanics and Wave Motion
Kinematics, dynamics, linear and angular momentum, work and energy, harmonic motion, waves and sound. 3 credit hours.
Physics 24R. Mechanics Tutorial
0 credit hours.
Physics 31. What’s the Matter?
Students in this course will examine ordinary objects and discuss what aspects of their composition determine their usefulness. The class will discuss how materials are described, classified, and tested, and look at them from the perspectives of physics, chemistry, materials science, geology, economics, and psychology. 3 credit hours.
Physics 32. Gravitation
The theory and applications of Newtonian gravitation and an introduction to the ideas of gravitation in general relativity. Topics covered include gravitational potentials, orbits and celestial mechanics, tidal forces, atmospheres, Einstein's equivalence principle, black holes, and cosmology. The target audience is students with a strong interest in fundamental physics and the mathematical as well as conceptual underpinnings of gravity and its applications. Corequisites: Physics 24 1.5 credit hours.
Physics 49B. The Science of Cooking
This course is designed as a “hands on” course. In the words of Thomas Dewey, “Learn by doing.” We will discuss what is going on when we prepare food and what goes on after we consume it. Every day, without a second thought, we pop things into the microwave, toss dinner on the BBQ, heat something up on the stovetop, whip something up with our mixer or run it through our food processor. We heat stuff, we cool stuff and we freeze stuff. We use pots and pans made of cast iron, stainless steel, glass, aluminum and copper. We set temperatures and we set timers. We boil, simmer, braise, caramelize, liquefy, steep, brew and marinate. Did you ever stop to think that there is a method to the madness? Those seemingly abstract concepts of wave mechanics, electricity and magnetism, thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, solid state physics and even quantum mechanics dictate how tasty and healthy your meal ends up being. But what about nutrition and health...? Can we bake our cake and eat it too? It’s all about conservation of energy! In this country we spend in excess of $40 billion dollars a year on dieting and another 2.6 billion on gym memberships. Is this all a scam, a hopeless quest? Consider that 68.8% of US adults are either overweight or obese (CDC). Obesity is a contributing factor is deaths due to heart disease, cancer, stroke, kidney disease and diabetes (CDC). Losing as little as 5 to 7 percent of a person’s total body weight lowers blood pressure, improves sugar levels, and lowers diabetes by nearly 60% in those with pre diabetes (CDC). The average size of a bagel in the US more than doubled between 1983 and 2003 (going from 4 inches in diameter and 140 calories to 6 inches in diameter and 350 calories (National Heart Lung and Blood Institute). At the current rate of increase, yearly obesity related healthcare costs are expected to exceed $300 billion dollars by 2018 — up from the reported $147 billion in 2008. Can we have it all? Can we prepare amazing meals and treats and still retain our health. Take the course and find out! 1 credit hour.
Physics 50. Physics Laboratory
This course emphasizes the evidence-based approach to understanding the physical world through hands-on experience, experimental design, and data analysis. Experiments are drawn from a broad range of physics subjects, with applications relevant to modern society and technology. Prerequisites: Physics 24 Corequisites: Physics 51 1 credit hour.
Physics 51. Electromagnetic Theory and Optics
An introduction to electricity and magnetism leading to Maxwell's electromagnetic equations in differential and integral form. Selected topics in classical and quantum optics. Prerequisites: Physics 23 and Physics 24 Corequisites: Mathematics 82 3 credit hours.
Physics 52. Quantum Physics
The development and formulation of quantum mechanics, and the application of quantum mechanics to topics in atomic, solid state, nuclear, and particle physics. Prerequisites: Physics 51 and Mathematics 65 3 credit hours.
Physics 54. Modern Physics Lab
Classical experiments of modern physics, including thermal radiation and Rutherford scattering. Nuclear physics experiments, including alpha, beta and gamma absorption, and gamma spectra by pulse height analysis. Analysis of the buildup and decay of radioactive nuclei. Corequisites: Physics 50 and Physics 52 1 credit hour.
Physics 64. Mathematical and Computational Methods for Physicists
This course combines mathematical and computational methods that are useful for studying physical systems. Topics include: Linear algebra, Hilbert spaces, the eigenvalue problem and numerical algorithms for solving problems in linear algebra, including various modes of decomposition; Fourier series and transforms, convolution, correlation and numerical methods using fast Fourier transforms; computer simulation methods based on integrating coupled differential equations and also using pseudorandom numbers, including Monte Carlo methods; partial differential equations, separation of variables, Laplace and Poisson equations in various dimensions, the wave equation, and numerical approaches to solution. 3 credit hours.
Physics 78. Climate and Energy
Our Core curriculum provides a springboard for understanding the science that governs how our climate behaves. This course will use what you’ve learned in the Core to study the most important levers that drive our climate and to educate you about carbon-free energy resources. In addition, the course we will explore how human activity currently affects our climate and how we might provide energy to meet our future needs while reducing our impact on the climate. 3 credit hours.
Physics 84. Quantum Information
Quantum computation and communication. Fundamentals of discrete-state quantum mechanics as appropriate for quantum information science. Possible topics include universal logic gates for quantum computing, quantum computing algorithms, quantum error correction, quantum cryptography and communication, adiabatic quantum computing, and hardware platforms for quantum computation and communication. Prerequisites: Physics 51, (cs005 or cs005gr or cs042), m040, and Mathematics 65 3 credit hours.
Physics 111. Theoretical Mechanics
The application of mathematical methods to the study of particles and of systems of particles; Newton, Lagrange, and Hamilton equations of motion; conservation theorems; central force motion, collisions, damped oscillators, rigid body dynamics, systems with constraints, variational methods. Prerequisites: Physics 23, Physics 24, and Mathematics 65 3 credit hours.
Physics 116. Quantum Mechanics
The elements of nonrelativistic quantum mechanics. Topics include the general formalism, one-dimensional and three-dimensional problems, angular momentum states, perturbation theory and identical particles. Applications to atomic and nuclear systems. Prerequisites: Physics 52 3 credit hours.
Physics 117. Statistical Mechanics
Classical and quantum statistical mechanics, including their connection with thermodynamics. Kinetic theory of gases. Applications of these concepts to various physical systems. Prerequisites: Physics 52 Corequisites: Physics 111 3 credit hours.
Physics 133. Electronics Laboratory
An intermediate laboratory in electronics involving the construction and analysis of rectifiers, filters, transistor and operational amplifier circuits. Prerequisites: Physics 54 1 credit hour.
Physics 134. Optics Laboratory
A laboratory-lecture course on the techniques and theory of classical and modern optics. Topics of study include diffraction, interferometry, Fourier transform spectroscopy, grating spectroscopy, lasers, quantum mechanics and quantum optics, coherence of waves and least-squares fitting of data. Prerequisites: Physics 51 and Physics 54 2 credit hours.
Physics 147. Materials Science for Energy Conversion and Storage
Materials science of energy conversion and storage, dealing with photovoltaics, fuel cells, batteries, thermoelectrics, and other devices. Seminar format. Prerequisites: c052 or Physics 52 or e086 2 credit hours.
Physics 151. Electromagnetic Fields
The theory of static and dynamic electromagnetic fields. Topics include multipole fields, Laplace's equation, the propagation of electromagnetic waves, radiation phenomena and the interaction of the electromagnetic field with matter. Prerequisites: (Physics 111 or Physics 116) and Mathematics 115 3 credit hours.
Physics 154. Fields and Waves
The theory of deformable media. Field equations for elastic and fluid media and for conducting fluids in electromagnetic fields. Particular emphasis on body and surface wave solutions of the field equations. Prerequisites: Mathematics 115 3 credit hours.
Physics 156. Classical Field Theory
This course explores concepts, methods, and applications of the classical theory of fields. On the physics side, we will learn about cosmological inflation, superconductivity, electroweak theory, solitons, the nuclear force, and magnetic monopoles. On the mathematics side, we will learn the basics of differential geometry and Lie algebras. Throughout the course, we will emphasize the unity of physical principles and techniques across a wide range of systems and disciplines. Prerequisites: Physics 111 and Mathematics 115 3 credit hours.
Physics 161. Topics in Quantum Theory
Scattering, including the Born approximation and partial wave expansion. Path integrals. Time-dependent perturbation theory. Quantum theory of the electromagnetic field. Prerequisites: Physics 116 2 credit hours.
Physics 162. Solid State Physics
Selected topics in solid-state physics, including lattice structure, lattice excitations, and the motion and excitations of electrons in metals. Prerequisites: Physics 117 2 credit hours.
Physics 164. Particle Physics
Topics in high-energy physics including the fundamental interactions, space-time symmetries, isospin, SU(3) and the quark model and the Standard Model. Prerequisites: Physics 116 2 credit hours.
Physics 166. Geophysics
Special topics in geophysical methods and their application to construction of earth models. Prerequisites: Physics 23 and Physics 24 2 credit hours.
Physics 168. Electrodynamics
Selected topics in electrodynamics including wave propagation in material media. Prerequisites: Physics 151 2 credit hours.
Physics 170. Computational Methods in Physics
Typical numerical methods for solving a wide range of problems of current interest in physics. Examples are drawn from mechanics, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, solid state and chemical physics. Prerequisites: Physics 52 and the ability to program 2 credit hours.
Physics 172. General Relativity and Cosmology
The principle of equivalence, Riemannian geometry, and the Schwarzschild and cosmological solutions of the field equations. Prerequisites: Physics 111 2 credit hours.
Physics 174. Biophysics
Selected topics in biophysics focusing on active research in the field. Possible topics include: biolocomotion, membrane biophysics, imaging techniques. Seminar format. Prerequisites: b052 and Physics 51 2 credit hours.
Physics 178. Topics in Physics
The study of an area in physics not covered in other courses, chosen each year at the discretion of the Department of Physics. Prerequisites: Dependent on topic 1-2 credit hours.
Physics 178B. Physics of Stuff
1 credit hour.
Physics 178E. Topics in Solid State Physics
2 credit hours.
Physics 178F. Computational Physics
3 credit hours.
Physics 181. Advanced Laboratory
Experiments are selected from the fields of nuclear and solid-state physics, biophysics, quantum mechanics and quantum optics, and atomic, molecular and optical physics. Fast-time coincidence instrumentation and photon-counting detectors are employed, as well as an X-ray machine and a UV/VIS/ NIR spectrophotometer. Prerequisites: Physics 134 2 credit hours.
Physics 183. Teaching Internship
An Introduction to K–12 classroom teaching and curriculum development. Internship includes supervision by an appropriate K–12 teacher and a member of the physics department and should result in a report of a laboratory experiment, teaching module, or other education innovation or investigation. Internship includes a minimum of three hours per week of classroom participation. Prerequisites: EDUC170G CG (or as corequisite by permission of instructor) 3 credit hours.
Physics 184. Teaching Internship
An Introduction to K-12 classroom teaching and curriculum development. Internship includes supervision by an appropriate K-12 teacher and a member of the physics department and should result in a report of a laboratory experiment, teaching module, or other education innovation or investigation. Internship includes a minimum of 3 hours per week of classroom participation. 3 credit hours.
Physics 191. Physics Research
Original experimental or theoretical investigations in physics undertaken in consultation with a faculty member. Projects may be initiated by the student or by a faculty member. Present faculty research areas include astronomy, atomic and nuclear physics, optics, solid-state and low-temperature physics, general relativity, quantum mechanics, particle physics, geophysics and biophysics. 1-3 credit hours.
Physics 192. Physics Research
Original experimental or theoretical investigations in physics undertaken in consultation with a faculty member. Projects may be initiated by the student or by a faculty member. Present faculty research areas include astronomy, atomic and nuclear physics, optics, solid-state and low-temperature physics, general relativity, quantum mechanics, particle physics, geophysics, and biophysics. 1-3 credit hours.
Physics 193. Physics Clinic
Team projects in applied physics, with corporate affiliation. Prerequisites: Seniors only 3 credit hours.
Physics 194. Physics Clinic
Team projects in applied physics, with corporate affiliation. Prerequisites: Seniors only 3 credit hours.
Physics 195. Physics Colloquium
Oral presentations and discussions of selected topics, including recent developments. Participants include physics majors, faculty members, and visiting speakers. Required for all junior and senior physics majors. No more than 2.0 credits can be earned for departmental seminars/colloquia. 0.5 credit hours.
Physics 196. Physics Colloquium
Oral presentations and discussions of selected topics, including recent developments. Participants include physics majors, faculty members, and visiting speakers. Required for all junior and senior physics majors. 0.5 credit hours.
Physics 197. Readings in Physics
Directed reading in selected topics. 1-3 credit hours per semester. Signed form required. 1-3 credit hours.
Physics 198. Reading in Physics
Directed reading in selected topics. Open to seniors only. 1-3 credit hours.
Physics 199. Senior Thesis in Physics
Original experimental or theoretical investigations in physics undertaken in consultation with a faculty member. Projects may be initiated by the student or by a faculty member. Present faculty research areas include astrophysics, biophysics, optics, solid-state and low-temperature physics, general relativity, quantum mechanics, particle physics, geophysics, and soft matter physics. Students are responsible for an oral presentation on progress and plans in the first half of the thesis research. Prerequisites: Permission of department. Senior standing. 1-3 credit hours.