Spring 2021
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.
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.
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.
Physics 24A — Mechanics and Wave Motion  
Kinematics, dynamics, linear and angular momentum, work and energy, harmonic motion, waves and sound.
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. 
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.
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.
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.

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Physics 172 — General Relativity and Cosmology  
The principle of equivalence, Riemannian geometry, and the Schwarzschild and cosmological solutions of the field equations.
Physics 174 — Biophysics  
Selected topics in biophysics focusing on active research in the field. Possible topics include: biolocomotion, membrane biophysics, imaging techniques. Seminar format.
Physics 194 — Physics Clinic  
Team projects in applied physics, with corporate affiliation.
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.

Fall 2021 (Tentative)
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.
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.

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.
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.
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.
Physics 133 — Electronics Laboratory  
An intermediate laboratory in electronics involving the construction and analysis of rectifiers, filters, transistor and operational amplifier circuits.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Physics 193 — Physics Clinic  
Team projects in applied physics, with corporate affiliation.
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. 
Physics 197 — Readings in Physics  
Directed reading in selected topics. 1-3 credit hours per semester. Signed form required.
Writing 1 — Introduction to Academic Writing  

A seminar devoted to effective writing strategies and conventions that apply across academic disciplines. The course emphasizes clarity, concision, and coherence in sentences, paragraphs, and arguments.