This course serves as a physics club, meeting weekly to discuss and analyze real-world problems in physical sciences. A broad range of topics will be considered, such as energy production, space and atmospheric phenomena, astrophysics, nano-science, and others. Students will use basic physics knowledge to produce simplified and perhaps speculative models of complex natural phenomena.

In addition to regular assignments, students will also compete in solving challenge problems each quarter with prizes given in recognition of the best solutions. Instructors: Refael, Patterson. Oral and Written Communication. Provides practice and guidance in oral and written communication of material related to contemporary physics research. Students will choose a topic of interest, make presentations of this material in a variety of formats, and, through a guided process, draft and revise a technical or review article on the topic.

The course is intended for senior physics majors. Instructor: Hitlin. Ph 77 abc. Advanced Physics Laboratory. Advanced preparation for laboratory research. Dual emphasis on practical skills used in modern research groups and historic experiments that illuminate important theoretical concepts.

Topics include advanced signal acquisition, conditioning, and data processing, introductions to widely-used optical devices and techniques, laser-frequency stabilization, and classic experiments such as magnetic resonance, optical pumping, and doppler-free spectroscopy. Fundamentals of vacuum engineering, thin-film sample growth, and cryogenics are occasionally offered. Special topics and student-led projects are available on request. Ay 78 abc. Senior Thesis. Previous SURF or independent study work can be useful experience.

Course is open to senior astronomy majors only. Research must be supervised by a faculty member. The student will work with an advisor to formulate a research project, conduct original research, present new results, and evaluate them in the context of previously published work in the field. During the first term, the student should be fully engaged in and make significant progress on the research project. During second term, the research continues and an outline of the thesis itself should be reviewed with the advisor and the option representative.

During third term, the research work is completed and the focus should turn to thesis writing. The written thesis of pages must be completed and approved by the adviser and the option representative before the end of the third term. Ph 78 abc.

Open only to senior physics majors. This research must be supervised by a faculty member, the student's thesis adviser. Two minute presentations to the Physics Undergraduate Committee are required, one at the end of the first term and the second at the midterm week of the third term. The written thesis must be completed and distributed to the committee one week before the second presentation. A grade will not be assigned in Ph 78 until the end of the third term. P grades will be given the first two terms, and then changed at the end of the course to the appropriate letter grade.

Ma 92 abc. Open only to senior mathematics majors who are qualified to pursue independent reading and research. This research must be supervised by a faculty member.

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The research must begin in the first term of the senior year and will normally follow up on an earlier SURF or independent reading project. Two short presentations to a thesis committee are required: the first at the end of the first term and the second at the midterm week of the third term. A draft of the written thesis must be completed and distributed to the committee one week before the second presentation. Research in Mathematics. Units to be arranged in accordance with work accomplished:. This course is designed to allow students to continue or expand summer research projects and to work on new projects.

Students registering for more than 6 units of Ma 97 must submit a brief no more than 3 pages written report outlining the work completed to the undergraduate option rep at the end of the term. Approval from the research supervisor and student's advisor must be granted prior to registration. Independent Reading. Occasionally a reading course will be offered after student consultation with a potential supervisor. Topics, hours, and units by arrangement. Physics of Stars. Physics of stellar interiors and atmospheres.

### Description:

Properties of stars, stellar spectra, radiative transfer, line formation. Stellar structure, stellar evolution. Nucleosynthesis in stars. Stellar oscillations. Instructor: Fuller. Order-of-Magnitude Physics. Emphasis will be on using basic physics to understand complicated systems. Examples will be selected from properties of materials, geophysics, weather, planetary science, astrophysics, cosmology, biomechanics, etc. Offered in alternate years.

Physics of the Interstellar Medium. An introduction to observations of the inter-stellar medium and relevant physical processes. The structure and hydrodynamic evolution of ionized hydrogen regions associated with massive stars and supernovae, thermal balance in neutral and ionized phases, star formation and global models for the interstellar medium. Relativistic Astrophysics. This course is designed primarily for junior and senior undergraduates in astrophysics and physics. Instructor: Instructor: Kasliwal.

Optical Astronomy Instrumentation Lab. An opportunity for astronomy and physics undergraduates juniors and seniors to gain firsthand experience with the basic instrumentation tools of modern optical and infrared astronomy. The 10 weekly lab experiments include radiometry measurements, geometrical optics, polarization, optical aberrations, spectroscopy, CCD characterization, vacuum and cryogenic technology, infrared detector technology, adaptive optics wavefront sensors, deformable mirrors, closed loop control and a coronography tuturial.

Instructor: Mawet. A laboratory course intended for graduate students, it covers the design, construction, and testing of simple, practical analog and interface circuits useful for signal conditioning and experiment control in the laboratory. Students will use operational amplifiers, analog multipliers, diodes, bipolar transistors, and passive circuit elements.

Ph abc. Topics in Classical Physics. An intermediate course in the application of basic principles of classical physics to a wide variety of subjects. Pha will be devoted to mechanics, including Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations of mechanics, small oscillations and normal modes, central forces, and rigid-body motion.

Phb will be devoted to fundamentals of electrostatics, magnetostatics, and electrodynamics, including boundary-value problems, multipole expansions, electromagnetic waves, and radiation. It will also cover special relativity. Phc will cover advanced topics in electromagnetism and an introduction to classical optics. Instructors: Weinstein, Golwala, Hutzler. Ma abc. Classical Analysis. Second term: brief introduction to ordinary differential equations; Lebesgue integration and an introduction to Fourier analysis. Third term: the theory of functions of one complex variable. Instructors: Lazebnik, Durcik, Makarov.

Introduction to Geometry and Topology. First term: aspects of point set topology, and an introduction to geometric and algebraic methods in topology. Second term: the differential geometry of curves and surfaces in two- and three-dimensional Euclidean space. Third term: an introduction to differentiable manifolds. Transversality, differential forms, and further related topics. Instructors: Markovic, Gekhtman, Chen. Second term: basic complex analysis: analytic functions, conformal maps and fractional linear transformations, idea of Riemann surfaces, elementary and some special functions, infinite sums and products, entire and meromorphic functions, elliptic functions.

Third term: harmonic analysis; operator theory. Operator theory: compact operators, trace and determinant on a Hilbert space, orthogonal polynomials, the spectral theorem for bounded operators. If time allows, the theory of commutative Banach algebras. Instructors: Angelopoulos, Rains, Durcik. Ay a. Introduction to Current Astrophysics Research. This course is intended primarily for first-year Ay graduate students, although participation is open and encouraged. Students are required to attend seminar-style lectures given by astrophysics faculty members, describing their research, to attend the weekly astronomy colloquia, and to follow these with additional readings on the subject.

At the end of each term, students are required to summarize in oral or written form at the discretion of the instructor , one of the covered subjects that is of most interest to them. Instructor: Kirby. Topics in Analysis. This course will discuss advanced topics in analysis, which vary from year to year. Ma ab.

### What Are the Branches of Physics?

The first term covers general methods of testing hypotheses and constructing confidence sets, including regression analysis, analysis of variance, and nonparametric methods. The second term covers permutation methods and the bootstrap, point estimation, Bayes methods, and multistage sampling. Physics of Momentum Transport in Hydrodynamic Systems. Contemporary research in many areas of physics requires some knowledge of the principles governing hydrodynamic phenomena such as nonlinear wave propagation, symmetry breaking in pattern forming systems, phase transitions in fluids, Langevin dynamics, micro- and optofluidic control, and biological transport at low Reynolds number.

This course offers students of pure and applied physics a self-contained treatment of the fundamentals of momentum transport in hydrodynamic systems. Mathematical techniques will include formalized dimensional analysis and rescaling, asymptotic analysis to identify dominant force balances, similitude, self-similarity and perturbation analysis for examining unidirectional and Stokes flow, pulsatile flows, capillary phenomena, spreading films, oscillatory flows, and linearly unstable flows leading to pattern formation.

Advanced solution methods will be taught in class as needed.

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Instructor: Troian. Contemporary research in many areas of physics requires some knowledge of how momentum transport in fluids couples to diffusive phenomena driven by thermal or concentration gradients. This course will first examine processes driven purely by diffusion and progress toward description of systems governed by steady and unsteady convection-diffusion and reaction-diffusion. Topics will include Fickian dynamics, thermal transfer in Peltier devices, Lifshitz-Slyozov growth during phase separation, thermocouple measurements of oscillatory fields, reaction-diffusion phenomena in biophysical systems, buoyancy driven flows, and boundary layer formation.

Advanced solution methods such as singular perturbation, Sturm-Liouville and Green's function analysis will be taught in class as needed. Mathematical Logic and Axiomatic Set Theory. First term: Introduction to first-order logic and model theory. Definability, elementary equivalence, complete theories, categoricity. The Skolem-Lowenheim Theorems. The back and forth method and Ehrenfeucht-Fraisse games. Farisse theory. Elimination of quantifiers, applications to algebra and further related topics if time permits. Second and third terms: Axiomatic set theory, ordinals and cardinals, the Axiom of Choice and the Continuum Hypothesis.

Models of set theory, independence and consistency results. Topics in descriptive set theory, combinatorial set theory and large cardinals. Instructor: Panagiotopolous.

Bayesian Statistics and Data Analysis. In modern fields of planetary science and astronomy, vast quantities of data are often available to researchers. The challenge is converting this information into meaningful knowledge about the universe. The primary focus of this course is the development of a broad and general tool set that can be applied to the student's own research. We will use case studies from the astrophysical and planetary science literature as our guide as we learn about common pitfalls, explore strategies for data analysis, understand how to select the best model for the task at hand, and learn the importance of properly quantifying and reporting the level of confidence in one's conclusions.

Instructor: Knutson. Computability Theory. Various approaches to computability theory, e. Church's thesis. Theory of computable functions and effectively enumerable sets.

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Decision problems. Undecidable problems: word problems for groups, solvability of Diophantine equations Hilbert's 10th problem. Decidable problems, from number theory, algebra, combinatorics, and logic. Complexity of decision procedures. Inherently complex problems of exponential and superexponential difficulty. Feasible polynomial time computations. Polynomial deterministic vs. Topics in Mathematical Logic: Geometrical Paradoxes. This course will provide an introduction to the striking paradoxes that challenge our geometrical intuition.

Topics to be discussed include geometrical transformations, especially rigid motions; free groups; amenable groups; group actions; equidecomposability and invariant measures; Tarski's theorem; the role of the axiom of choice; old and new paradoxes, including the Banach-Tarski paradox, the Laczkovich paradox solving the Tarski circle-squaring problem , and the Dougherty-Foreman paradox the solution of the Marczewski problem. Physics of Measurement. This course focuses on exploring the fundamental underpinnings of experimental measurements from the perspectives of responsivity, noise, backaction, and information.

Its overarching goal is to enable students to critically evaluate real measurement systems, and to determine the ultimate fundamental and practical limits to information that can be extracted from them. Topics will include physical signal transduction and responsivity, fundamental noise processes, modulation, frequency conversion, synchronous detection, signal-sampling techniques, digitization, signal transforms, spectral analyses, and correlations.

The first term will cover the essential fundamental underpinnings, while topics in second term will include examples from optical methods, high-frequency and fast temporal measurements, biological interfaces, signal transduction, biosensing, and measurements at the quantum limit. Part c not offered in Instructor: Roukes. This class is an introduction to the data science skills from the applied computer science, statistics, and information technology, that are needed for a modern research in any data-intensive field, but with a special focus on the astronomical applications.

Open to graduate and upper-divisibe on undergraduate students in all options. The topics covered include design of data systems, regression techniques, supervised and unsupervised machine learning, databases, Bayesian statistics, high performance computing, software carpentry, deep learning, and visualization. The class will feature real-world examples from cutting-edge projects in which the instructors are involved. Instructors: Djorgovski, Graham, Mahabal. Quantum Cryptography.

This course is an introduction to quantum cryptography: how to use quantum effects, such as quantum entanglement and uncertainty, to implement cryptographic tasks with levels of security that are impossible to achieve classically. The course covers the fundamental ideas of quantum information that form the basis for quantum cryptography, such as entanglement and quantifying quantum knowledge. We will introduce the security definition for quantum key distribution and see protocols and proofs of security for this task. We will also discuss the basics of device-independent quantum cryptography as well as other cryptographic tasks and protocols, such as bit commitment or position-based cryptography.

Instructor: Vidick. Abstract Algebra. This course will discuss advanced topics in algebra. Among them: an introduction to commutative algebra and homological algebra, infinite Galois theory, Kummer theory, Brauer groups, semisimiple algebras, Weddburn theorems, Jacobson radicals, representation theory of finite groups. Instructors: Ramakrishnan, Zhu, Graber. Radiative Processes. The interaction of radiation with matter: radiative transfer, emission, and absorption. Compton processes, coherent emission processes, synchrotron radiation, collisional excitation, spectroscopy of atoms and molecules.

Instructor: Phinney. Combinatorial Analysis. A survey of modern combinatorial mathematics, starting with an introduction to graph theory and extremal problems. Flows in networks with combinatorial applications. Counting, recursion, and generating functions.

Theory of partitions. Partially ordered sets. Latin squares, finite geometries, combinatorial designs, and codes. Algebraic graph theory, graph embedding, and coloring. Instructors: Tyomkyn, Conlon. Computational Physics Lab. Many of the recent advances in physics are attributed to progress in computational power. In the advanced computational lab, students will hone their computational skills bu working through projects inspired by junior level classes such as classical mechanics and E, statistical mechanics, quantum mechanics and quantum many-body physics.

This course will primarily be in Python and Mathematica. Instructors: Simmons-Duffin, Motrunich.

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Ay abc. Astronomical Measurements and Instrumentation. Measurement and signal analysis techniques througout the electromagnetic spectrum. Courses may include lab work and field trips to Caltech observatories. Imaging devices and image processing. Ay b concentrates on radio through submillimeter techniques: antennae, receivers, mixers, and amplifiers. Interferometers and aperture synthesis arrays. Signal analysis techniques and probability and statistics, as relevant to astronomical measurement.

Ay c not offered concentrates on X-ray through gamma-ray techniques. Instructors: Howard, Martin, Hallinan, Ravi. Structure and Evolution of Stars. Thermodynamics, equation of state, convection, opacity, radiative transfer, stellar atmospheres, nuclear reactions, and stellar models. Evolution of low- and high-mass stars, supernovae, and binary stars. Instructors: Hillenbrand, Kirby. Classification of Simple Lie Algebras. This course is an introduction to Lie algebras and the classification of the simple Lie algebras over the complex numbers.

This will include Lie's theorem, Engel's theorem, the solvable radical, and the Cartan Killing trace form. The classification of simple Lie algebras proceeds in terms of the associated reflection groups and a classification of them in terms of their Dynkin diagrams. Structure and Dynamics of Galaxies. Stellar dynamics and properties of galaxies; kinematics and dynamics of our galaxy; spiral structure; stellar composition, masses, and rotation of external galaxies; star clusters; galactic evolution; binaries, groups, and clusters of galaxies. Instructor: Hopkins.

Elliptic Curves. The ubiquitous elliptic curves will be analyzed from elementary, geometric, and arithmetic points of view. Possible topics are the group structure via the chord-and-tangent method, the Nagel-Lutz procedure for finding division points, Mordell's theorem on the finite generation of rational points, points over finite fields through a special case treated by Gauss, Lenstra's factoring algorithm, integral points. Other topics may include diophantine approximation and complex multiplication.

High-Energy Astrophysics. High-energy astrophysics, the final stages of stellar evolution; supernovae, binary stars, accretion disks, pulsars; extragalactic radio sources; active galactic nuclei; black holes. Instructors: Kasliwal, Kulkarni. Algebraic Curves. An elementary introduction to the theory of algebraic curves. Topics to be covered will include affine and projective curves, smoothness and singularities, function fields, linear series, and the Riemann-Roch theorem.

Possible additional topics would include Riemann surfaces, branched coverings and monodromy, arithmetic questions, introduction to moduli of curves. Quantum Mechanics. A one-year course in quantum mechanics and its applications, for students who have completed Ph 12 or Ph 2. Instructor: Wise. Interstellar and Intergalactic Medium. Physical processes in the interstellar medium. Ionization, thermal and dynamic balance of interstellar medium, molecular clouds, hydrodynamics, magnetic fields, H II regions, supernova remnants, star formation, global structure of interstellar medium.

Instructor: Kulkarni. Information Theory. Shannon's mathematical theory of communication, present. Entropy, relative entropy, and mutual information for discrete and continuous random variables. Shannon's source and channel coding theorems. Mathematical models for information sources and communication channels, including memoryless, Markov, ergodic, and Gaussian. Calculation of capacity and rate-distortion functions.

Universal source codes. Optics began with the creation of lenses by the ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians. This was followed up by theories of light and vision developed by ancient Greek philosophers and the development of geometric optics in the Greco-Roman world. These earlier studies on optics are known as classical optics. Studies that came after the 20th century, such as wave optics and quantum optics, are known as modern optics. Thermodynamics is a branch of physics that deals with heat and temperature and their relation to energy and work.

The behaviour of these quantities is governed by the four laws of thermodynamics. The Scottish physicist Lord Kelvin was the first to come up with a concise definition of thermodynamics. His definition stated:. The word "astrophysics" is a combination of two Latin-derived words: astro , which means "star," and phisis , which means "nature. Thus, astrophysics can be defined as a branch of astronomy which is concerned with the study of universe i. Technically speaking, astronomers only measure the positions and characteristics of celestial bodies, whereas astrophysicists use the application physics to understand astronomy.

However, the terms are now used interchangeably, since all astronomers use physics to conduct their research. Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites. I really want to thank you fro this. I'm actually doing researches to keep in a journal for further classes. Physics usually is really complex fro me.

But thanks to you new words like "thermal equilibrium" or even "Astrophysics" looks easy and simple to understand. So thank you a lot,you are helping a lot of people! This is really informative. Physics seems a lot more easier when summarized like this. Thank you a lot,it really helped me.

Keep it up and I hope you get more people that will appreciate you work! Thanks allot for your support and please continue to do this so as to help so many students like me. I like your simplification. I like this article. Very useful to physics lovers,And to me. Please write more articles on physics. It really helps to spark the tone in tge discussion in getting thw interest of thw student. Benjamin Barnabas from Adamawa state colledge of agriculture Ganye.

This is the simplest explanation i have ever come across so far in physics, it is very easy to comprehend. Sir, I am immeasurably grateful to you for your detailed treatment of Physics and it's various branches. It has greatly assisted me in my Ph. Thanks for this great job. The author tried he is so enlightened to impact knowledge ,but pls add many quiz to answer and scores. Really all the definition and branches of physics explain vry well I am impressed love it Rafiq, M See of remaining comments.

Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners. HubPages and Hubbers authors may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others. HubPages Inc, a part of Maven Inc. As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, owlcation. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so. Physics: Definition and Branches Updated on August 21, Muhammad Rafiq more.

What Is Physics? The word physics is derived from the Latin word physica , which means "natural thing. What Are the Branches of Physics? As Newton's Laws are one of the main features of classical physics, let's examine them. What Are the Three Laws of Physics? Modern Physics Modern physics is a branch of physics that is mainly concerned with the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics.

The two pillars of modern physics are as follows. Albert Einstein's theory of relativity Max Plank's quantum theory. What Is the Theory of Relativity? Einstein's Theory of Relativity Explained Video. What Is Quantum Theory? Nuclear Physics Nuclear physics is a branch of physics that deals with the constituents, structure, behaviour and interactions of atomic nuclei. Who Discovered Nuclear Physics?

With this, studies began on the nuclei of atoms, thus nuclear physics was born. Atomic Physics Atomic physics is a branch of physics that deals with the composition of the atom apart from the nucleus. The personalized aspects of the tutorial system occasionally make it possible for us to accept students who have not marked well on standardized measures of ability but who demonstrate exceptional aptitude in other ways.

Below are outlined two curricula, one for the single-degree program and the other for the two-degree program using, as an example, a student studying Electrical and Computer Engineering. At the heart of both programs is the tutorial. In a tutorial the student studies from selected written material in a given subject area under the guidance of a professor as tutor. At individual weekly meetings, usually lasting about 90 minutes, the student and tutor discuss the current reading, solutions of problems, and other assignments.

Taken alone, the B. The program is basically the Honors Tutorial Physics curriculum with an engineering component. Unlike the two-degree program, this curriculum may cross engineering disciplines and will include an undergraduate thesis project. Requirements are outlined below. It should be noted that such a degree will generally NOT satisfy the accreditation criteria of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology, which some students regard as a disadvantage.

On the other hand, there is more flexibility in designing a curriculum to meet individual interests. The two-degree program takes five years to complete. One must be accepted into the Honors Tutorial Program to work on a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Physics and into the College of Engineering and Technology to work on a second degree, a Bachelor of Science in one of the engineering disciplines offered. Detailed descriptions are available in the Undergraduate Catalog or from the College of Engineering and Technology. An example which integrates the requirements for a B.

Some especially good students are able to bypass the B. This has the advantage that, as a graduate student, one may receive a fee waiver and graduate stipend; however, this will not meet the certification requirements for an engineer in the State of Ohio.