Physics Graduate Courses

Graduate Courses

Core courses taken by most graduate students in their first year:

PHYS 2010 - Techniques in Experimental Physics

Recent Textbooks Used:
Daryl Preston, Eric Dietz The Art of Experimental Physics
Adrian Melissinos Experiments in Modern Physics
William Leo Techniques for Nuclear and Particle Physics Experiments: A How- To Approach
Philip Bevington, D. Keith Robinson Data Reduction and Error Analysis for the Physical Sciences
John Taylor An Introduction to Error Analysis: The Study of Uncertainties in Physical Measurements

PHYS 2030 - Classical Theoretical Physics I

Recent Textbooks Used:
Alexander Fetter, John Walecka Theoretical Mechanics of Particles and Continua
Alexander Fetter, John Walecka Nonlinear Mechanics: A Supplement to Theoretical Mechanics of Particles and Continua
Jorge Jose, Eugene Saletan Classical Dynamics: A Contemporary Approach
L.D. Landau, E.M. Lifshitz Mechanics, 3E
Herbert Goldstein, Charles Poole, John Safko Classical Mechanics, 3E
Edward Ott Chaos in Dynamical Systems
V.I. Arnold Mathematical Methods of Classical Mechanics

PHYS 2040 - Classical Theoretical Physics II

Recent Textbooks Used:
J. Schwinger, L. Deraad, K. Milton, W. Tsai Classical Electrodynamics (The Advanced Book Program)
John Jackson Classical Electrodynamics, 3E

PHYS 2050 - Quantum Mechanics

Recent Textbooks Used:
R. Shankar Principles of Quantum Mechanics, 2E
J.J. Sakurai Modern Quantum Mechanics (revised edition)
G. Baym Lectures in Quantum Mechanics

PHYS 2060 - Quantum Mechanics

Recent Textbooks Used:
R. Shankar Principles of Quantum Mechanics, 2E
J.J. Sakurai Modern Quantum Mechanics (revised edition)
G. Baym Lectures in Quantum Mechanics
David Griffiths Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, 2E

PHYS 2140 - Statistical Mechanics

Recent Textbooks Used:
Mehran Kardar Statistical Physics of Particles
F. Reif Statistical and Thermal Mechanics

Advanced Course Options:

PHYS 2020 - Mathematical Methods of Engineers and Physicists

Recent Textbooks Used:
K.F. Riley, M.P. Hobson Mathematical Methods for Physics and Engineering: A Comprehensive Guide
George Arfken, Hans Weber Mathematical Methods for Physicists

PHYS 2070 - Advanced Quantum Mechanics

Recent Textbooks Used:
Lewis Ryder Quantum Field Theory, 2E
Lowell Brown Quantum Field Theory
James Bjorken, Sidney Drell Relativistic Quantum Fields
B. Sakita Quantum Theory of Many-Variable Systems and Fields

PHYS 2100 - General Relativity and Cosmology
Given every other year.

Recent Textbooks Used:
Sean Carroll Spacetime and Geometry: An Introduction to General Relativity
R. d’Inverno Introducing Einstein’s Relativity
James Hartie Gravity: An Introduction to Einstein’s General Relativity

PHYS 2170 - Introduction to Nuclear and High Energy Physics

Recent Textbooks Used:
D. Griffiths Introduction to Elementary Particles, 2E

W.N. Cottingham, D.A. Greenwood An Introduction to the Standard Model of Particle Physics, 2E
Cliff Burgess, Guy Moore The Standard Model: A Primer
Pierre Raymond Journeys Beyond the Standard Model
Michael Dine Supersymmetry and String Theory: Beyond the Standard Model

PHYS 2200 - Elementary Particle Physics I
Alternates with Physics 221.

PHYS 2210 - Elementary Particle Physics II

PHYS 2280 - Astrophysics and Cosmology
This course serves as a graduate-level introduction to modern cosmology, including current topics of research on both observational and theoretical fronts. Topics include relativistic cosmology, inflation and the early Universe, observational cosmology, galaxy formation. Prerequisites for undergraduates: PHYS 1280 and PHYS 1530.

Recent Textbooks Used:
E. Kolb, M. Turner The Early Universe
Scott Dodelson Modern Cosmology
J. Binney, S. Tremaine Galactic Dynamics, 2E

PHYS 2300 - Quantum Theory of Fields I

Recent Textbooks Used:
Lowell Brown Quantum Field Theory
B. Sakita Quantum Theory of Many-Variable Systems and Fields
Mark Srednicki Quantum Field Theory

PHYS 2320 - Quantum Theory of Fields II
Instructor permission required. 

Recent Textbooks Used:
B. Sakita Quantum Theory of Many-Variable Systems and Fields
M. Kaku Quantum Field Theory: A Modern Introduction
A. Polyakov Gauge Fields and Strings

PHYS 2340 - Group Theory
Offered every other year.

Recent Textbooks Used:
Howard Georgi Lie Algebra in Particle Physics

PHYS 2410 - Solid State Physics I

Recent Textbooks Used:
N. Ashcroft, N. D. Mermin Solid State Physics

PHYS 2420 - Solid State Physics II

Recent Textbooks Used:
Gerald Mahan Condensed Matter in a Nutshell
Richard Mattuck A Guide to Feynman Diagrams in the Many-Body Problem
H. Bruus, K. Flensberg Many-Body Quantum Theory in Condensed Matter Physics
C. Kittel Quantum Theory of Solids

PHYS 2430 - Quantum Many Body Theory

Recent Textbooks Used:
Gerald Mahan Condensed Matter in a Nutshell

PHYS 2450 - Exchange Scholar Program

PHYS 2470 - Advanced Statistical Mechanics

Recent Textbooks Used:
P.M. Chaikin, T.C. Lubensky Principles of Condensed Matter Physics
J. Cardy Scaling and Renormalization in Statistical Physics
G. Parisi Statistical Field Theory
J. Zinn-Justin Quantum Field Theory and Critical Phenomena

PHYS 2610 - Special Topic in Physics

PHYS 2610A - Selected Topics in Modern Cosmology
Aims to provide a working knowledge of some main topics in modern cosmology. Combines study of the basics with applications to current research.

PHYS 2610B - Theory of Relativity

PHYS 2610C - Selected Topics in Condensed Matter Physics

PHYS 2610D - Selected Topics in Condensed Matter Physics
The objective of this course is to introduce recent development in condensed matter physics. Selected topics include: nanoscale physics, materials, and devices; spintronics and magnetism; high temperature superconductivity; strongly correlated systems; Bose-Einstein condensate; and applications of condensed matter physics. In addition to discussing physics, some experimental techniques used in current research will also be introduced. The course will help students broaden their scope of knowledge in condensed matter physics, learn how to leverage their existing background to select and conduct research, and develop a sense of how to build their professional career based on condensed matter physics.

PHYS 2610E - Selected Topics in Physics of Locomotion
This special topics graduate course deals with the physical processes involved in the locomotion of organisms, with a particular focus on locomotion at small scales in fluids. Topics include mechanisms of swimming motility for microorganisms, fluid mechanics at low Reynolds number, diffusion and Brownian motion, physical actuation, hydrodynamic interactions, swimming in complex fluids, artificial swimmers, and optimization. Prerequisites: (PHYS0470 or ENGN0510) and (PHYS 0500 or ENGN0810 or ENGN1370), or permission of the instructor.

Recent Textbooks Used:
Etienne Guyon Physical Hydrodynamics

 PHYS 2610F - Selected Topics in Collider Physics
The course will cover basic aspects of conducting precision measurements and searches for new physics at modern high-energy colliders, with the emphasis given to physics at the Large Hadron Collider. The course will cover major aspects of conducting physics analysis from the underlying theory to experimental methods, such as optimization of the analysis, mutivariate analysis techniques, use of statistical methods to establish a signal or set the limit. There will be reading assignments, in-class student presentations, and hands-on exercises offered as the part of the course. Prerequisite: PHYS 1170 or 2170. Open to graduate students in Physics and Math.

PHYS 2620 - Special Topic in Physics

Recent Textbooks Used:
Michael Dine Supersymmetry and String theory: Beyond the Standard Model

PHYS 2620A - Astrophysical and Cosmological Constraints on Particle Physics

 PHYS 2620B - Green's Functions and Ordered Exponentials

 PHYS 2620C - Introduction to String Theory

 PHYS 2620D - Modern Cosmology

 PHYS 2620E - Selected Topics in Quantum Mechanics: Fuzzy Physics

 PHYS 2620F - Selected Topics in Molecular Biophysics

PHYS 2620G - The Standard Model and Beyond
Topics to be covered will include: Yang-Mills theory, origin of masses and couplings of particles, effective field theory, renormalization, confinement, lattice gauge theory, anomalies and instantons, grand unification, magnetic monopoles, technicolor, introduction to supersymmetry, supersymmetry breaking, the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model, and dark matter candidates. Prerequisite: PHYS 2300.

Other Specialized Courses:

PHYS 2710 - Seminar in Research Topics
Instruction via reading assignments and seminars for graduate students on research projects. Credit may vary. Section numbers vary by instructor. Please check Banner for the correct section number and CRN to use when registering for this course.

PHYS 2711 - Seminar in Research Topics
See Seminar In Research Topics (PHYS 2710) for course description. Section numbers vary by instructor. Please check Banner for the correct section number and CRN to use when registering for this course.

PHYS 2970 - Preliminary Examination Preparation
For graduate students who have met the tuition requirement and are paying the registration fee to continue active enrollment while preparing for a preliminary examination.

PHYS 2980 - Research in Physics
Section numbers vary by instructor. Please check Banner for the correct section number and CRN to use when registering for this course.

PHYS 2981 - Research in Physics
Section numbers vary by instructor. Please check Banner for the correct section number and CRN to use when registering for this course.

PHYS 2990 - Thesis Preparation
For graduate students who have met the tuition requirement and are paying the registration fee to continue active enrollment while preparing a thesis.

Other Potential Electives:

PHYS 1100 - Introduction to General Relativity
An introduction to Einstein's theory of gravity, including special relativity, spacetime curvature, cosmology and black holes. Prerequisites: PHYS 0500 and MATH 0520 or MATH 0540 or equivalent, or permission of the instructor. Recommended: PHYS 0720. Offered every other year.

Recent Textbooks Used:
Sean Carroll Spacetime and Geometry: An Introduction to General Relativity
James Hartle Gravity: In Introduction to Einstein’s General Relativity
Bernard Schutz A First Course in General Relativity, 2E
Ray D’Inverno Introducing Einstein’s Relativity

PHYS 1170 - Introduction to Nuclear and High Energy Physics
A study of modern nuclear and particle physics, with emphasis on the theory and interpretation of experimental results. Prerequisites: PHYS 1410, 1420, or written permission.

Recent Textbooks Used:
David Griffiths Introduction to Elementary Particles Physics
Brian Martin, Graham Shaw Particle Physics
Donald Perkins Introduction to High Energy Physics
A. Das, T. Ferbel Introduction to Nuclear and Particle Physics

PHYS 1250 - Stellar Structure and the Interstellar Medium
This class is an introduction to the physics of stars and their environment. The course covers the fundamental physics that set the physical properties of stars, such as their luminosity, size, spectral properties and how these quantities evolve with time. In addition, it includes a study of the physics that takes place in the gaseous environment surrounding stars, the InterStellar Medium (ISM). The ISM is very important because it contains a wealth of information on the evolutionary history of galaxies, their composition, formation and future. Prerequisites: PHYS 0270, PHYS 0500, or instructor permission. PHYS 1530 (perhaps taken concurrently) is strongly recommended but not required. 

Recent Textbooks Used:
A.C. Phillips The Physics of Stars (The Manchester Physics Series)
Rudolf Kippenhahn, Alfred Weigert Stellar Structure and Evolution (Astronomy and Astrophysics Library)
Donald Clayton Principles of Stellar Evolution and Nucleosynthesis

PHYS 1270 - Extragalactic Astronomy and High-Energy Astrophysics
This course provides an introduction to the astrophysics of galaxies, their structure and evolution, with an emphasis on physical introduction of the observations. Underlying physics concepts such as radiative transfer, nuclear reactions and accretion physics will be introduced. Intended for students at the junior level. Prerequisites: PHYS 0270 and PHYS 0470, and either MATH 0190 or MATH 0200, or instructor permission.

Recent Textbooks Used:
Linda Sparke, John Gallagher Galaxies in the Universe: An Introduction
Fulvio Melia High Energy Astrophysics (Princeton Series in Astrophysics)
M.S. Longair High Energy Astrophysics

PHYS 1280 - Introduction to Cosmology
The course presents an introduction to the study of the origin, evolution and contents of the Universe. Topics include the expansion of the Universe, relativistic cosmologies, thermal evolution, primordial nucleosynthesis, structure formation and the Cosmic Microwave Background. Prerequisites: PHYS 0160, MATH 0190, or MATH 0200, or instructor permissioin. 

Recent Textbooks Used:
Barbara Ryden Introduction to Cosmology
Bradley Carroll, Dale Ostlie An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics

PHYS 1410 - Quantum Mechanics A
A unified treatment of quanta, photons, electrons, atoms, molecules, matter, nuclei, and particles. Quantum mechanics developed at the start and used to link and explain both the older and newer experimental phenomena of modern physics. Prerequisites: PHYS 0500 and 0560; and MATH 0520, 0540 or PHYS 0720; or approved equivalents. 

Recent Textbooks Used:
R. Shankar Principles of Quantum Mechanics
David Griffiths Introduction to Quantum Mechanics

PHYS 1420 - Quantum Mechanics B
See Quantum Mechanics A, (PHYS 1410) for course description. 

Recent Textbooks Used:
R. Shankar Principles of Quantum Mechanics
David Griffiths Introduction to Quantum Mechanics

PHYS 1510 - Advanced Electromagnetic Theory
Maxwell's laws and electromagnetic theory. Electromagnetic waves and radiation. Special relativity. Prerequisites: PHYS 0470 and MATH 0180 or 0200, or approved equivalents. 

Recent Textbooks Used:
David Griffiths Introduction to Electrodynamics

PHYS 1530 - Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics
The laws of thermodynamics and heat transfer. Atomic interpretation in terms of kinetic theory and elementary statistical mechanics. Applications to physical problems. Prerequisites: MATH 0180 or 0200 or 0350. Corequisite: PHYS 1410. 

Recent Textbooks Used:
Ralph Baierlein Thermal Physics
Daniel Schroeder An Introduction to Thermal Physics
Charles Kittel, Herbert Kroemer Thermal Physics
Kerson Huang Introduction to Statistical Physics
F. Reif Fundamentals of Statistical and Thermal Physics
L.D. Landau, E. M. Lifshitz Statistical Physics

 PHYS 1600 - Computational Physics
This course provides students with an introduction to scientific computation, primarily as applied to physical science problems. It will assume a basic knowledge of programming and will focus on how computational methods can be used to study physical systems complementing experimental and theoretical techniques. Prerequisites: PHYS 0070, 0160 (or 0050, 0060) and 0470 (or ENGN 0510); MATH 0180 or 0200 or 0350; the ability to write a simple computer program in Fortran, Matlab, C or C++. 

Recent Textbooks Used:
Nicholas Giordano, Hisao Nakanishi Computational Physics

PHYS 1610 - Biological Physics
Introduction on structures of proteins, nucleotides, and membranes; electrostatics and hydration; chemical equilibrium; binding affinity and kinetics; hydrodynamics and transport; cellular mechanics and motions; biophysical techniques including sedimentation, electrophoresis, microscopy and spectroscopy. Suitable for undergraduate science and engineering majors and graduate students with limited background in life science. Prerequisites: MATH 0180. 

Recent Textbooks Used:
Philip Nelson Biological Physics: Energy, Information, Life

PHYS 1970 - Special Topics in Experimental and Theoretical Physics
Please see individual topics for descriptions. 

Recent Textbooks Used:
Carl Hansen, Steven Kawaler, Virginia Trimble Stellar Interiors – Physical Principles, Structure, and Evolution
Donald Osterbrock, Gary Ferland Astrophysics of Gaseous Nebulae and Active Galactic Nuclei
T. Padmanabhan Theoretical Astrophysics, V2 Stars and Stellar Systems

PHYS 1970A - Stellar Physics and the Interstellar Medium

PHYS 1970B - Introductory Optics
Introduction to optical principles and techniques. Offered to students who have a foundation in physics and are especially interested in optics. The course covers the interaction of light with matter, geometric and wave optics, polarization, fluorescence, and optical instruments (e.g. interferometer, spectrometer, microscope and telescope). Recommended are one physics course (PHYS 0040, PHYS 0060, or ENGN 0040) and one calculus course (MATH 0180, MATH 0200, or MATH 0350), or per instructor's permission.

PHYS 1970C - String Theory for Undergraduates
This course will concentrate on String Theory. It will be given at introductory/intermediate level with some review of the background material. Topics covered will include dynamical systems, symmetries and Noether’s Theorem; nonrelativistic strings; relativistic systems (particle and string); quantization, gauge fixing, Feynman’s sum over paths; electrostatic analogy; string in curved space-time; and supersymmetry. Some advanced topics will also be addressed, i.e., D-Branes and M-Theory. Recommended prerequisites: PHYS 0470 and 0500, or 0160.

PHYS 1970E - Physics of Energy
An introduction to the fundamental laws that govern energy and its use. Fundamental concepts will be introduced and analyzed quantitatively in the context of important applications of energy. The concepts include mechanical energy, thermodynamics, the Carnot cycle, electricity and magnetism, quantum mechanics, nuclear physics, and photosynthesis. The technologies include wind, hydro, and geothermal energy, engines and fuels, electrical energy transmission and storage, solar energy and photovoltaics, nuclear reactors, and biomass. This course is intended for sophomores, juniors and seniors interested in building a quantitative understanding of energy science, but who have not necessarily taken an advanced course in physics. Prerequisites: PHYS 0030 and 0040; or PHYS 0050 and 0060; or PHYS 0070 and 0160; or ENGN 0040 and 0051.