Physics

[ undergraduate program | graduate program | faculty ]

All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice. Updates may be found on the Academic Senate website: http://senate.ucsd.edu/catalog-copy/approved-updates/.

Courses

For course descriptions not found in the UC San Diego General Catalog, 2014–15, please contact the department for more information.

Lower Division

The Physics 1 sequence is primarily intended for biology.

The Physics 2 sequence is intended for physical science and engineering majors and those biological science majors with strong mathematical aptitude.

The Physics 4 sequence is intended for all physics majors and for students with an interest in physics. This five-quarter sequence covers the same topics as the Physics 2 sequence, but it covers these topics more slowly and in more depth. The Physics 4 sequence provides a solid foundation for the upper-division courses required for the physics major.

Note: Since some of the material is duplicated in the Physics 1, 2 and 4 sequences, credit cannot be obtained for both (Example: Physics 2A followed by Physics 4A, no credit for Physics 4A.) Please review the individual course descriptions for complete information on credit limitations.

Physics 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13 are intended for nonscience majors. Physics 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, and 13 do not use calculus while Physics 11 uses some calculus.

1A. Mechanics (3)

First quarter of a three-quarter introductory physics course, geared towards life-science majors. Equilibrium and motion of particles in one and two dimensions in the framework of Newtonian mechanics, force laws (including gravity), energy, momentum, rotational motion, conservation laws, and fluids. Examples will be drawn from astronomy, biology, sports, and current events. Prerequisites: Mathematics 10A or 20A. Corequisites: Physics 1AL and Mathematics 10B or 20B (prior completion of mathematics corequisite is permitted). (F,W,S)

1AL. Mechanics Laboratory (2)

Physics laboratory course to accompany Physics 1A. Experiments in Mechanics. Prerequisites: Mathematics 10A or 20A. Corequisites: Physics 1A and Mathematics 10B or 20B (prior completion of mathematics corequisite is permitted). (F,W,S)

1B. Electricity and Magnetism (3)

Second quarter of a three-quarter introductory physics course geared toward life-science majors. Electric fields, magnetic fields, DC and AC circuitry. Prerequisites: Physics 1A or 2A, 1AL, and Mathematics 10B or 20B. Corequisites: Physics 1BL and Mathematics 10C or 20C or 11 (prior completion of mathematics corequisite is permitted). (F,W,S)

1BL. Electricity and Magnetism Laboratory (2)

Physics laboratory course to accompany Physics 1B. Experiments in electricity and magnetism. Program or material fee may apply. Prerequisites: Physics 1A or 2A, 1AL, and Mathematics 10B or 20B. Corequisites: Physics 1B and Mathematics 10C or 20C or 11 (prior completion of mathematics corequisite is permitted). (F,W,S)

1C. Waves, Optics, and Modern Physics (3)

Third quarter of a three-quarter introductory physics course geared toward life-science majors. The physics of oscillations and waves, vibrating strings and sound, the behavior of systems under combined thermal and electric forces, and the interaction of light with matter as illustrated through optics and quantum mechanics. Examples from biology, sports, medicine, and current events. Prerequisites: Physics 1B, 1BL, and Mathematics 10C or 20C or 11. Corequisites: Physics 1CL. (F,W,S)

1CL. Waves, Optics, and Modern Physics Laboratory (2)

Physics laboratory course to accompany Physics 1C. Experiments in waves, optics, and modern physics. Program or material fee may apply. Prerequisites: Physics 1B, 1BL, and Mathematics 10C or 20C or 11. Corequisites: Physics 1C. (F,W,S)

2A. Physics—Mechanics (4)

A calculus-based science-engineering general physics course covering vectors, motion in one and two dimensions, Newton’s first and second laws, work and energy, conservation of energy, linear momentum, collisions, rotational kinematics, rotational dynamics, equilibrium of rigid bodies, oscillations, gravitation. Students may not earn credit for Physics 2A and 4A. Prerequisites: Mathematics 20A. Corequisites: Mathematics 20B (prior completion of mathematics corequisite is permitted). (F,W,S)

2B. Physics—Electricity and Magnetism (4)

Continuation of Physics 2A covering charge and matter, the electric field, Gauss’s law, electric potential, capacitors and dielectrics, current and resistance, electromotive force and circuits, the magnetic field, Ampere’s law, Faraday’s law, inductance, electromagnetic oscillations, alternating currents and Maxwell’s equations. Students may not earn credit for both Physics 2B and Physics 4C. Prerequisites: Physics 2A or 4A and Mathematics 20B (prior completion of mathematics corequisite is permitted). Corequisites: Mathematics 20C. (F,W,S)

2BL. Physics Laboratory—Mechanics and Electrostatics (2)

Experiments include gravitational force, linear and rotational motion, conservation of energy and momentum, collisions, oscillations and springs, gyroscopes. Experiments on electrostatics involve charge, electric field, potential, and capacitance. Data reduction and error analysis are required for written laboratory reports. One-hour lecture and three hours’ laboratory. Program or material fee may apply. Prerequisites: Physics 2A or 4A. Corequisites: Physics 2B or 4C (prior completion of Physics 2B or 4C is permitted). (F,W,S)

2C. Physics—Fluids, Waves, Thermodynamics, and Optics (4)

Continuation of Physics 2B covering fluid mechanics, waves in elastic media, sound waves, temperature, heat and the first law of thermodynamics, kinetic theory of gases, entropy and the second law of thermodynamics, Maxwell’s equations, electromagnetic waves, geometric optics, interference and diffraction. Students may not earn credit for both Physics 2C and Physics 4B. Prerequisites: Physics 2A, 2B, and Mathematics 20C. Corequisites: Mathematics 20D (prior completion of mathematics corequisite is permitted). (F,W,S)

2CL. Physics Laboratory—Electricity and Magnetism, Waves, and Optics (2)

Experiments on refraction, interference/diffraction using lasers and microwaves; lenses and the eye; acoustics; oscilloscope and L-R-C circuits; oscillations, resonance and damping, measurement of magnetic fields; and the mechanical equivalence of heat. One-hour lecture and three hours’ laboratory. Program or Material Fee may apply. Prerequisites: Physics 2A or 4A and Physics 2B or 4C. Corequisites: Physics 2C or 4D (prior completion of Physics 2C or 4D is permitted). (F,W,S)

2D. Physics—Relativity and Quantum Physics (4)

A modern physics course covering atomic view of matter, electricity and radiation, atomic models of Rutherford and Bohr, relativity, X-rays, wave and particle duality, matter waves, Schrödinger’s equation, atomic view of solids, natural radioactivity. Prerequisites: Physics 2A, 2B and Mathematics 20D. Corequisites: Mathematics 20E (prior completion of mathematics corequisite is permitted). (F,W,S)

2DL. Physics Laboratory—Modern Physics (2)

One hour of lecture and three hours of laboratory. Experiments to be chosen from refraction, diffraction and interference of microwaves, Hall effect, thermal band gap, optical spectra, coherence of light, photoelectric effect, e/m ratio of particles, radioactive decays, and plasma physics. Program or material fee may apply. Prerequisites: 2BL or 2CL. Corequisites: Physics 2D or 4E (prior completion of Physics 2D or 4E is permitted). (S)

4A. Physics for Physics Majors—Mechanics (4)

The first quarter of a five-quarter calculus-based physics sequence for physics majors and students with a serious interest in physics. The topics covered are vectors, particle kinematics and dynamics, work and energy, conservation of energy, conservation of momentum, collisions, rotational kinematics and dynamics, equilibrium of rigid bodies. Students may not earn credit for both Physics 4A and Physics 2A. Prerequisites: Mathematics 20A. Corequisites: Mathematics 20B (prior completion of mathematics corequisite is permitted). (W)

4B. Physics for Physics Majors—Mechanics, Fluids, Waves, and Heat (4)

Continuation of Physics 4A covering oscillations, gravity, fluid statics and dynamics, waves in elastic media, sound waves, heat and the first law of thermodynamics, kinetic theory of gases, second law of thermodynamics, gaseous mixtures and chemical reactions. Students may not earn credit for both Physics 4B and Physics 2C. Prerequisites: Physics 2A or 4A and Mathematics 20B. Corequisites: Math 20C (prior completion of mathematics corequisite is permitted). (S)

4C. Physics for Physics Majors—Electricity and Magnetism (4)

Continuation of Physics 4B covering charge and Coulomb’s law, electric field, Gauss’s law, electric potential, capacitors and dielectrics, current and resistance, magnetic field, Ampere’s law, Faraday’s law, inductance, magnetic properties of matter, LRC circuits, Maxwell’s equations. Students may not earn credit for both Physics 4C and Physics 2B. Prerequisites: Physics 4A, 4B, and Mathematics 20C. Corequisites: Mathematics 20E (prior completion of mathematics corequisite is permitted). (F)

4D. Physics for Physics Majors—Electromagnetic Waves, Optics, and Special Relativity (4)

Continuation of Physics 4C covering electromagnetic waves and the nature of light, cavities and wave guides, electromagnetic radiation, reflection and refraction with applications to geometrical optics, interference, diffraction, holography, special relativity. Prerequisites: Physics 4A, 4B, 4C, and Mathematics 20E. Corequisites: Mathematics 20D (prior completion of mathematics corequisite is permitted). (W)

4E. Physics for Physics Majors—Quantum Physics (4)

Continuation of Physics 4D covering experimental basis of quantum mechanics: Schrödinger equation and simple applications; spin; structure of atoms and molecules; selected topics from solid state, nuclear, and elementary particle physics. Prerequisites: Physics 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, and Mathematics 20D and 20E. Corequisites: Mathematics 20F (prior completion of mathematics corequisite is permitted). (S)

5. Stars and Black Holes (4)

An introduction to the evolution of stars, including their birth and death. Topics include constellations, the atom and light, telescopes, stellar birth, stellar evolution, white dwarfs, neutron stars, black holes, and general relativity. This course uses basic algebra, proportion, radians, logs, and powers. Physics 5, 7, 9, and 13 form a four-quarter sequence and can be taken individually in any order. (F,S)

7. Galaxies and Cosmology (4)

An introduction to galaxies and cosmology. Topics include the Milky Way, galaxy types and distances, dark matter, large scale structure, the expansion of the Universe, dark energy, and the early Universe. This course uses basic algebra, proportion, radians, logs and powers. Physics 5, 7, 9, and 13 form a four-quarter sequence and can be taken individually in any order. (W)

8. Physics of Everyday Life (4)

Examines phenomena and technology encountered in daily life from a physics perspective. Topics include waves, musical instruments, telecommunication, sports, appliances, transportation, computers, and energy sources. Physics concepts will be introduced and discussed as needed employing some algebra. No prior physics knowledge is required. (S)

9. The Solar System (4)

An exploration of our Solar System. Topics include the Sun, terrestrial and giant planets, satellites, asteroids, comets, dwarf planets and the Kuiper Belt, exoplanets, and the formation of planetary systems. This course uses basic algebra, proportion, radians, logs and powers. Physics 5, 7, 9, and 13 form a four-quarter sequence and can be taken individually in any order. (S)

10. Concepts in Physics (4)

This is a one-quarter general physics course for nonscience majors. Topics covered are motion, energy, heat, waves, electric current, radiation, light, atoms and molecules, nuclear fission and fusion. This course emphasizes concepts with minimal mathematical formulation. Recommended preparation: college algebra. (W)

11. Survey of Physics (4)

Survey of physics for nonscience majors with strong mathematical background, including calculus. Physics 11 describes the laws of motion, gravity, energy, momentum, and relativity. A laboratory component consists of two experiments with gravity and conservation principles. Prerequisites: Mathematics 10A or 20A. Corequisites: Mathematics 10B or 20B. (F)

12. Energy and the Environment (4)

A course covering energy fundamentals, energy use in an industrial society and the impact of large-scale energy consumption. It addresses topics on fossil fuel, heat engines, solar energy, nuclear energy, energy conservation, transportation, air pollution and global effects. Concepts and quantitative analysis. (S)

13. Life in the Universe (4)

An exploration of life in the Universe. Topics include defining life; the origin, development, and fundamental characteristics of life on Earth; searches for life elsewhere in the Solar System and other planetary systems; space exploration; and identifying extraterrestrial intelligence. This course uses basic algebra, proportion, radians, logs, and powers. Physics 5, 7, 9, and 13 form a four-quarter sequence and can be taken individually in any order. (W)

30. Poetry for Physicists (4)

Physicists have spoken of the beauty of equations. The poet John Keats wrote, “Beauty is truth, truth beauty...” What did they mean? Students will consider such questions while reading relevant essays and poems. Requirements include one creative exercise or presentation. Cross-listed with LTEN 30. Students cannot earn credit for both Physics 30 and LTEN 30. Prerequisites: CAT 2 or DOC 2 or HUM 1 or MCWP 40 or MMW 12 or WARR 11A or WCWP 10A and CAT 3 or DOC 3 or HUM 2 or MCWP 50 or MMW 13 or WARR 11B or WCWP 10B. (S)

87. Freshman Seminar in Physics and Astrophysics (1)

The Freshman Seminar Program is designed to provide new students with the opportunity to explore an intellectual topic with a faculty member in a small seminar setting. Freshman Seminars are offered in all campus departments and undergraduate colleges, and topics vary from quarter to quarter. Enrollment is limited to fifteen to twenty students, with preference given to entering freshmen.

98. Directed Group Study (2)

Directed group study on a topic, or in a field not included in the regular departmental curriculum. P/NP grades only.

99. Independent Study (2)

Independent reading or research on a topic by special arrangement with a faculty member. P/NP grading only. Prerequisites: lower-division standing. Completion of thirty units at UC San Diego undergraduate study, a minimum UC San Diego GPA of 3.0, and a completed and approved Special Studies form. Department stamp required.

Upper Division

100A. Electromagnetism I (4)

Coulomb’s law, electric fields, electrostatics; conductors and dielectrics; steady currents, elements of circuit theory. Prerequisites: Physics 2C or 4D, and Mathematics 20D-E-F. (F)

100B. Electromagnetism II (4)

Magnetic fields and magnetostatics, magnetic materials, induction, AC circuits, displacement currents; development of Maxwell’s equations. Prerequisites: Physics 100A, 105A, and Mathematics 20F. (W)

100C. Electromagnetism III (4)

Electromagnetic waves, radiation theory; application to optics; motion of charged particles in electromagnetic fields; relation of electromagnetism to relativistic concepts. Prerequisites: Physics 100B. (S)

105A. Mathematical and Computational Physics I (4)

A combined analytic and mathematically-based numerical approach to the solution of common applied mathematics problems in physics and engineering. Topics: Fourier series and integrals, special functions, initial and boundary value problems, Green’s functions; heat, Laplace and wave equations. Prerequisites: Mathematics 20E, 20F and Physics 4E or 2D. (F)

105B. Mathematical and Computational Physics II (4)

A continuation of Physics 105A covering selected advanced topics in applied mathematical and numerical methods. Topics include statistics, diffusion and Monte-Carlo simulations; Laplace equation and numerical methods for nonseparable geometries; waves in inhomogeneous media, WKB analysis; nonlinear systems and chaos. Prerequisites: Physics 105A and Mathematics 20F. (W)

110A. Mechanics I (4)

Phase flows, bifurcations, linear oscillations, calculus of variations, Lagrangian dynamics, conservation laws, central forces, systems of particles, collisions, coupled oscillations. Prerequisites: Physics 2C or 4D and Mathematics 20D-E-F. (F)

110B. Mechanics II (4)

Noninertial reference systems, dynamics of rigid bodies, Hamilton’s equations, Liouville’s theorem, chaos, continuum mechanics, special relativity. Prerequisites: Physics 105A, 110A, and Mathematics 20E-F. (W)

111. Introduction to Ocean Waves (4)

The linear theory of ocean surface waves, including group velocity, wave dispersion, ray theory, wave measurement and prediction, shoaling waves, giant waves, ship wakes, tsunamis, and the physics of the surf zone. Cross-listed with SIO 111. Students cannot earn credit for both Physics 111 and SIO 111. Prerequisites: Physics 2A-C or Physics 4A-C and Mathematics 20A-E. (W)

120. Circuits and Electronics (5)

Laboratory and lecture course that covers principles of analog circuit theory and design, linear systems theory, and practical aspects of circuit realization, debugging, and characterization. Laboratory exercises include passive circuits, active filters and amplifiers with discrete and monolithic devices, nonlinear circuits, interfaces to sensors and actuators, and the digitization of analog signals. Physics 120 was formerly numbered Physics 120A. Program or material fee may apply. Recommended preparation: Physics 100A. Prerequisites: Physics 2A-C or 4A-C and Physics 2CL. (S)

122. Experimental Techniques (4)

Laboratory-lecture course covering practical techniques used in research laboratories. Possible topics include: computer interfacing of instruments, sensors, and actuators; programming for data acquisition/analysis; electronics; measurement techniques; mechanical design/machining; mechanics of materials; thermal design/control; vacuum/cryogenic techniques; optics; particle detection. Physics 122 was formerly numbered Physics 121. Program or material fee may apply. Prerequisites: Physics 120. (F)

124. Laboratory Projects (4)

A laboratory-lecture-project course featuring creation of an experimental apparatus in teams of about two. Emphasis is on electronic sensing of the physical environment and actuating physical responses. The course will use a computer interface such as the Arduino. Physics 124 was formerly numbered Physics 120B. Program or material fee may apply. Prerequisites: Physics 120. (W)

130A. Quantum Physics I (4)

Development of quantum mechanics. Wave mechanics; measurement postulate and measurement problem. Piece-wise constant potentials, simple harmonic oscillator, central field and the hydrogen atom. Three hours lecture, one-hour discussion session. Prerequisites: Physics 100B and 110A. (S)

130B. Quantum Physics II (4)

Matrix mechanics, angular momentum, spin, and the two-state system. Approximation methods and the hydrogen spectrum. Identical particles, atomic and nuclear structures. Scattering theory. Three hours lecture, one-hour discussion session. Prerequisites: Physics 130A. (F)

130C. Quantum Physics III (4)

Quantized electromagnetic fields and introductory quantum optics. Symmetry and conservation laws. Introductory many-body physics. Density matrix, quantum coherence and dissipation. The relativistic electron. Three-hour lecture, one-hour discussion session. Prerequisites: Physics 130B. (W)

133. Condensed Matter/Materials Science Laboratory (4)

A project-oriented laboratory course utilizing state-of-the-art experimental techniques in materials science. The course prepares students for research in a modern condensed matter-materials science laboratory. Under supervision, the students develop their own experimental ideas after investigating current research literature. With the use of sophisticated state-of-the-art instrumentation students conduct research, write a research paper, and make verbal presentations. Program or material fee may apply. Prerequisites: Physics 2CL, 2DL. (S)

137. String Theory (4)

Quantum mechanics and gravity. Electromagnetism from gravity and extra dimensions. Unification of forces. Quantum black holes. Properties of strings and branes. Prerequisites: Physics 100A, 110A, 130A. (S)

139. Physics Special Topics (4)

From time to time a member of the regular faculty or a resident visitor will give a self-contained short course on a topic in his or her special area of research. This course is not offered on a regular basis, but it is estimated that it will be given once each academic year. Course may be taken for credit up to two times as topics vary (the course subtitle will be different for each distinct topic). Students who repeat the same topic in Physics 139 will have the duplicate credit removed from their academic record. Prerequisites: Physics 2D or 4E and Mathematics 20F.

140A. Statistical and Thermal Physics I (4)

Integrated treatment of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics; statistical treatment of entropy, review of elementary probability theory, canonical distribution, partition function, free energy, phase equilibrium, introduction to ideal quantum gases. Prerequisites: Physics 130A. (F)

140B. Statistical and Thermal Physics II (4)

Applications of the theory of ideal quantum gases in condensed matter physics, nuclear physics and astrophysics; advanced thermodynamics, the third law, chemical equilibrium, low temperature physics; kinetic theory and transport in nonequilibrium systems; introduction to critical phenomena including mean field theory. Prerequisites: Physics 140A. (W)

141. Computational Physics I: Probabilistic Models and Simulations (4)

Project-based computational physics laboratory course with student’s choice of Fortran90/95, or C/C++. Applications from materials science to the structure of the early universe are chosen from molecular dynamics, classical and quantum Monte Carlo methods, physical Langevin/Fokker-Planck processes. Prerequisites: upper-division standing. (W)

142. Computational Physics II: PDE and Matrix Models (4)

Project-based computational physics laboratory course for modern physics and engineering problems with student’s choice of Fortran90/95, or C/C++. Applications of finite element PDE models are chosen from quantum mechanics and nanodevices, fluid dynamics, electromagnetism, materials physics, and other modern topics. Prerequisites: upper-division standing. (S)

151. Elementary Plasma Physics (4)

Particle motions, plasmas as fluids, waves, diffusion, equilibrium and stability, nonlinear effects, controlled fusion. Cross-listed with MAE 117A. Recommended preparation: Physics 100B and C or ECE 107. Students may not receive credit for both Physics 151 and MAE 117A. Prerequisites: Mathematics 20D or 21D or consent of instructor. (S)

152A. Condensed Matter Physics (4)

Physics of the solid-state. Binding mechanisms, crystal structures and symmetries, diffraction, reciprocal space, phonons, free and nearly free electron models, energy bands, solid-state thermodynamics, kinetic theory and transport, semiconductors. Prerequisites: Physics 130A or Chemistry 133, and Physics 140A. (W)

152B. Electronic Materials (4)

Physics of electronic materials. Semiconductors: bands, donors and acceptors, devices. Metals: Fermi surface, screening, optical properties. Insulators: dia-/ferro-electrics, displacive transitions. Magnets: dia-/para-/ferro-/antiferro-magnetism, phase transitions, low temperature properties. Superconductors: pairing, Meissner effect, flux quantization, BCS theory. Prerequisites: Physics 152A. (S)

154. Elementary Particle Physics (4)

The constituents of matter (quarks and leptons) and their interactions (strong, electromagnetic, and weak). Symmetries and conservation laws. Fundamental processes involving quarks and leptons. Unification of weak and electromagnetic interactions. Particle-astrophysics and the Big Bang. Prerequisites: Physics 130B.

160. Stellar Astrophysics (4)

Introduction to stellar astrophysics: observational properties of stars, solar physics, radiation and energy transport in stars, stellar spectroscopy, nuclear processes in stars, stellar structure and evolution, degenerate matter and compact stellar objects, supernovae and nucleosynthesis. Prerequisites: Physics 2A-D or 4A-E. Physics 160, 161, 162, and 163 may be taken as a four-quarter sequence in any order for students interested in pursuing graduate study in astrophysics or individually as topics of interest. (F)

161. Black Holes (4)

An introduction to Einstein’s theory of general relativity with emphasis on the physics of black holes. Topics will include metrics and curved space-time, the Schwarzchild metric, motion around and inside black holes, rotating black holes, gravitational lensing, gravity waves, Hawking radiation, and observations of black holes. Prerequisites: Physics 2A-D or 4A-E. Physics 160, 161, 162, and 163 may be taken as a four-quarter sequence in any order for students interested in pursuing graduate study in astrophysics or individually as topics of interest. (S)

162. Cosmology (4)

The expanding Universe, the Friedman-Robertson-Walker equations, dark matter, dark energy, and the formation of galaxies and large scale structure. Topics in observational cosmology, including how to measure distances and times, and the age, density, and size of the Universe. Topics in the early Universe, including the cosmic microwave background, creation of the elements, cosmic inflation, the big bang. Prerequisites: Physics 2A-D or 4A-E. Physics 160, 161, 162, and 163 may be taken as a four-quarter sequence in any order for students interested in pursuing graduate study in astrophysics or individually as topics of interest. (S)

163. Galaxies and Quasars (4)

Project-based course developing tools and techniques of observational astrophysical research: imaging, spectroscopy, time-series analysis; designing observational experiments; writing observing proposals; collecting data at the telescope; data reduction; error analysis techniques. Half of course devoted to individual projects from telescope or archival data. Physics 160, 161, 162, and 163 may be taken as a four-quarter sequence in any order for students interested in pursuing graduate study in astrophysics or individually as topics of interest. Prerequisites: Physics 2A-D or 4A-E. (W)

164. Observational Astrophysics Research Lab (4)

Project-based course developing tools and techniques of observational astrophysical research: imaging, spectroscopy, time-series analysis; designing observational experiments; writing observing proposals; collecting data at the telescope; data reduction; error analysis techniques. Half of course devoted to individual projects from telescope or archival data. Recommended preparation: Concurrent enrollment or completion of one course from Physics 160, 161, 162, or 163 is recommended. Prerequisites: Physics 2A-D or 4A-E.

170. Medical Instruments: Principles and Practice (4)

The principles and clinical applications of medical diagnostic instruments, including electromagnetic measurements, spectroscopy, microscopy; ultrasounds, X-rays, MRI, tomography, lasers in surgery, fiber optics in diagnostics. Prerequisites: Physics 1B-C or 2B-C or 4B-C. (F)

173. Modern Physics Laboratory: Biological and Quantum Physics (4)

A selection of experiments in contemporary physics and biophysics. Students select among pulsed NMR, Mossbauer, Zeeman effect, light scattering, holography, optical trapping, voltage clamp and genetic transcription of ion channels in oocytes, fluorescent imaging, and flight control in flies. Prerequisites: Physics 120, BILD 1, and Chemistry 7L. (S)

175. Fundamentals of Biological Physics (4)

This course teaches how quantitative models derived from statistical physics can be used to build quantitative, intuitive understanding of biological phenomena. Case studies include ion channels, cooperative binding, gene regulation, protein folding, molecular motor dynamics, cytoskeletal assembly, and biological electricity. Prerequisites: Physics 100A and 110A or Chemistry 132. Corequisites: Physics 140A. (F)

176. Quantitative Molecular Biology (4)

A quantitative approach to gene regulation including transcriptional and posttranscriptional control of gene expression, as well as feedback and stochastic effects in genetic circuits. These topics will be integrated into the control of bacterial growth and metabolism. Recommended preparation: An introductory course in biology is helpful but not necessary. Prerequisites: Physics 140A. (W)

177. Physics of the Cell (4)

The use of dynamic systems and nonequilibrium statistical mechanics to understand the biological cell. Topics chosen from: chemotaxis as a model system; signal transduction networks and cellular information processing; mechanics of the membrane; cytoskeletal dynamics; nonlinear Calcium waves. Recommended preparation: An introductory course in biology is helpful but not necessary. Prerequisites: Physics 175. (S)

178. Biophysics of Neurons and Networks (4)

Information processing by nervous system through physical reasoning and mathematical analysis. A review of the biophysics of neurons and synapses and fundamental limits to signaling by nervous systems is followed by essential aspects of the dynamics of phase coupled neuronal oscillators, the dynamics and computational capabilities of recurrent neuronal networks, and the computational capability of layered networks. Recommended preparation: A working knowledge of calculus and linear algebra. Prerequisites: upper-division standing. (W)

191. Undergraduate Seminar on Physics (1)

Undergraduate seminars organized around the research interests of various faculty members. P/NP grades only. Prerequisites: Physics 2A or 4A. (F)

192. Senior Seminar in Physics (1)

The Senior Seminar Program is designed to allow senior undergraduates to meet with faculty members in a small group setting to explore an intellectual topic in Physics (at the upper-division level). Senior Seminars may be offered in all campus departments. Topics will vary from quarter to quarter. Senior Seminars may be taken for credit up to four times, with a change in topic, and permission of the department. Enrollment is limited to twenty students, with preference given to seniors.

198. Directed Group Study (2 or 4)

Directed group study on a topic or in a field not included in the regular departmental curriculum. (P/NP grades only.) Prerequisites: consent of instructor and departmental chair. (F,W,S)

199. Research for Undergraduates (2 or 4)

Independent reading or research on a problem by special arrangement with a faculty member. (P/NP grades only.) Prerequisites: consent of instructor and departmental chair. (F,W,S)

199H. Honors Thesis Research for Undergraduates (2–4)

Honors thesis research for seniors participating in the Honors Program. Research is conducted under the supervision of a physics faculty member. Prerequisites: admission to the Honors Program in Physics. (F,W,S)

Graduate

200A. Theoretical Mechanics I (4)

Lagrange’s equations and Hamilton’s principle; symmetry and constants of the motion. Applications to: charged particle motion; central forces and scattering theory; small oscillations; anharmonic oscillations; rigid body motion; continuum mechanics. (F)

200B. Theoretical Mechanics II (4)

Hamilton’s equations, canonical transformations; Hamilton-Jacobi theory; action-angle variables and adiabatic invariants; introduction to canonical perturbation theory, nonintegrable systems and chaos; Liouville equation; ergodicity and mixing; entropy; statistical ensembles. Prerequisites: Physics 200A. (W)

201. Mathematical Physics (5)

An introduction to mathematical methods used in theoretical physics. Topics include: a review of complex variable theory, applications of the Cauchy residue theorem, asymptotic series, method of steepest descent, Fourier and Laplace transforms, series solutions for ODE’s and related special functions, Sturm Liouville theory, variational principles, boundary value problems, and Green’s function techniques. (F)

203A. Advanced Classical Electrodynamics I (5)

Electrostatics, symmetries of Laplace’s equation and methods for solution, boundary value problems, electrostatics in macroscopic media, magnetostatics, Maxwell’s equations, Green functions for Maxwell’s equations, plane wave solutions, plane waves in macroscopic media. (W)

203B. Advanced Classical Electrodynamics II (4)

Special theory of relativity, covariant formulation of electrodynamics, radiation from current distributions and accelerated charges, multipole radiation fields, waveguides and resonant cavities. Prerequisites: Physics 203A. (S)

210A. Equilibrium Statistical Mechanics (5)

Approach to equilibrium: BBGKY hierarchy; Boltzmann equation; H-theorem. Ensemble theory; thermodynamic potentials. Quantum statistics; Bose condensation. Interacting systems: Cluster expansion; phase transition via mean-field theory; the Ginzburg criterion. Prerequisites: Physics 200A–B. Corequisites: Physics 212C. (S)

210B. Nonequilibrium Statistical Mechanics (4)

Transport phenomena; kinetic theory and the Chapman-Enskog method; hydrodynamic theory; nonlinear effects and the mode coupling method. Stochastic processes; Langevin and Fokker-Planck equation; fluctuation-dissipation relation; multiplicative processes; dynamic field theory; Martin-Siggia-Rose formalism; dynamical scaling theory. Prerequisites: Physics 210A. (F)

211A. Solid-State Physics I (5)

The first of a two-quarter course in solid-state physics. Covers a range of solid-state phenomena that can be understood within an independent particle description. Topics include: chemical versus band-theoretical description of solids, electronic band structure calculation, lattice dynamics, transport phenomena and electrodynamics in metals, optical properties, semiconductor physics. (F)

211B. Solid-State Physics II (4)

Deals with collective effects in solids arising from interactions between constituents. Topics include electron-electron and electron-phonon interactions, screening, band structure effects, Landau Fermi liquid theory. Magnetism in metals and insulators, superconductivity; occurrence, phenomenology, and microscopic theory. Prerequisites: Physics 210A, 211A. (Offered in alternate years.) (W)

212A. Quantum Mechanics I (4)

Quantum principles of state (pure, composite, entangled, mixed), observables, time evolution, and measurement postulate. Simple soluble systems: two-state, harmonic oscillator, and spherical potentials. Angular momentum and spin. Time-independent approximations. (F)

212B. Quantum Mechanics II (4)

Symmetry theory and conservation laws: time reversal, discrete, translation and rotational groups. Potential scattering. Time-dependent perturbation theory. Quantization of Electromagnetic fields and transition rates. Identical particles. Open systems: mixed states, dissipation, decoherence. Prerequisites: Physics 212A. (W)

212C. Quantum Mechanics III (4)

Scattering with internal degrees of freedom. Path integrals, topological phases, and Bohm-Aharonov effect. Interacting fermions and bosons. Introductory quantum optics. The measurement problem. The relativistic electron. Prerequisites: Physics 212A–B. (S)

214. Physics of Elementary Particles (4)

Classification of particles using symmetries and invariance principles, quarks and leptons, quantum electrodynamics, weak interactions, e+p- interactions, deep-inelastic lepton-nucleon scattering, pp collisions, introduction to QCD. Prerequisites: Physics 215A. (W)

215A. Particles and Fields I (4)

The first quarter of a three-quarter course on field theory and elementary particle physics. Topics covered include the relation between symmetries and conservation laws, the calculation of cross sections and reaction rates, covariant perturbation theory, and quantum electrodynamics. (F)

215B. Particles and Fields II (4)

Gauge theory quantization by means of path integrals, SU(3) symmetry and the quark model, spontaneous symmetry breakdown, introduction to QCD and the Glashow-Weinberg-Salam model of weak interactions, basic issues of renormalization. Prerequisites: Physics 215A. (W)

215C. Particles and Fields III (4)

Modern applications of the renormalization group in quantum chromodynamics and the weak interactions. Unified gauge theories, particle cosmology, and special topics in particle theory. Prerequisites: Physics 215A-B. (Offered in alternate years.) (S)

217. Field Theory and the Renormalization Group (4)

Application of field theoretic and renormalization group methods to problems in condensed matter, or particle physics. Topics will vary and may include: phase transition and critical phenomena; many body quantum systems; quantum chromodynamics and the electroweak model. Prerequisites: Physics 210A.

218A. Plasma Physics I (4)

The basic physics of plasmas is discussed for the simple case of an unmagnetized plasma. Topics include: thermal equilibrium statistical properties, fluid and Landau theory of electron and ion plasma waves, velocity space instabilities, quasi-linear theory, fluctuations, scattering or radiation, Fokker-Planck equation. (F)

218B. Plasma Physics II (4)

This course deals with magnetized plasma. Topics include: Appleton-Hartree theory of waves in cold plasma, waves in warm plasma (Bernstein waves, cyclotron damping). MHD equations, MHD waves, low frequency modes, and the adiabatic theory of particle orbits. Prerequisites: Physics 218A. (W)

218C. Plasma Physics III (4)

This course deals with the physics of confined plasmas with particular relevance to controlled fusion. Topics include: topology of magnetic fields, confined plasma equilibria, energy principles, ballooning and kink instabilities, resistive MHD modes (tearing, rippling and pressure-driven), gyrokinetic theory, microinstabilities and anomalous transport, and laser-plasma interactions relevant to inertial fusion. Prerequisites: Physics 218B. (S)

219. Condensed Matter/Materials Science Laboratory (4)

A project-oriented laboratory course utilizing state-of-the-art experimental techniques in materials science. The course prepares students for research in a modern condensed matter-materials science laboratory. Under supervision, the students develop their own experimental ideas after investigating current research literature. With the use of sophisticated state-of-the-art instrumentation students conduct research, write a research paper, and make verbal presentations. Prerequisites: Physics 211A. (S)

220. Group Theoretical Methods in Physics (4)

Study of group theoretical methods with applications to problems in high energy, atomic, and condensed matter physics. Representation theory, tensor methods, Clebsh-Gordan series. Young tableaux. The course will cover discrete groups, Lie groups and Lie algebras, with emphasis on permutation, orthogonal, and unitary groups. Prerequisites: Physics 212C. (S)

221A. Nonlinear and Nonequilibrium Dynamics of Physical Systems (4)

An introduction to the modern theory of dynamical systems and applications thereof. Topics include maps and flows, bifurcation theory and normal form analysis, chaotic attractors in dissipative systems, Hamiltonian dynamics and the KAM theorem, and time series analysis. Examples from real physical systems will be stressed throughout. Prerequisites: Physics 200B. (Offered in alternate years.) (W)

222A. Elementary Particle Physics (4)

Weak interactions; neutrino physics; C,P, and CP violation; electroweak gauge theory and symmetry breaking. Design of detectors and experiments; searches for new phenomena. Prerequisites: Physics 214. (W)

223. Stellar Structure and Evolution (4)

Energy generation, flow, hydrostatic equilibrium, equation of state. Dependence of stellar parameters (central surface temperature, radius, luminosity, etc.) on stellar mass and relation to physical constants. Relationship of these parameters to the H-R diagram and stellar evolution. Stellar interiors, opacity sources, radiative and convective energy flow. Nuclear reactions, neutrino processes. Polytropic models. White dwarfs and neutron stars. (S/U grades permitted.) (Offered in alternate years.) (F)

224. Physics of the Interstellar Medium (4)

Gaseous nebulae, molecular clouds, ionized regions, and dust. Low-energy processes in neutral and ionized gases. Interaction of matter with radiation, emission and absorption processes, formation of atomic lines. Energy balance, steady state temperatures, and the physics and properties of dust. Masers and molecular line emission. Dynamics and shocks in the interstellar medium. (S/U grades permitted.) (Offered in alternate years.)

225A–B. General Relativity (4-4)

This is a two-quarter course on gravitation and the general theory of relativity. The first quarter is intended to be offered every year and may be taken independently of the second quarter. The second quarter will be offered in alternate years. Topics covered in the first quarter include special relativity, differential geometry, the equivalence principle, the Einstein field equations, and experimental and observational tests of gravitation theories. The second quarter will focus on more advanced topics, including gravitational collapse, Schwarzschild and Kerr geometries, black holes, gravitational radiation, cosmology, and quantum gravitation. (225B offered in alternate years.) (F,W)

226. Galaxies and Galactic Dynamics (4)

The structure and dynamics of galaxies. Topics include potential theory, the theory of stellar orbits, self-consistent equilibria of stellar systems, stability and dynamics of stellar systems including relaxation and approach to equilibrium. Collisions between galaxies, galactic evolution, dark matter, and galaxy formation. (Offered in alternate years.)

227. Cosmology (4)

An advanced survey of topics in physical cosmology. The Friedmann models and the large-scale structure of the universe, including the observational determination of Ho (the Hubble constant) and qo (the deceleration parameter). Galaxy number counts. A systematic exposition of the physics of the early universe, including vacuum phase transitions; inflation; the generation of net baryon number, fluctuations, topological defects and textures. Primordial nucleosynthesis, both standard and nonstandard models. Growth and decay of adiabatic and isocurvature density fluctuations. Discussion of dark matter candidates and constraints from observation and experiment. Nucleocosmo-chronology and the determination of the age of the universe. (Offered in alternate years.)

228. High-Energy Astrophysics and Compact Objects (4)

The physics of compact objects, including the equation of state of dense matter and stellar stability theory. Maximum mass of neutron stars, white dwarfs, and super-massive objects. Black holes and accretion disks. Compact X-ray sources and transient phenomena, including X-ray and g-ray bursts. The fundamental physics of electromagnetic radiation mechanisms: synchrotron radiation, Compton scattering, thermal and nonthermal bremsstrahlung, pair production, pulsars. Particle acceleration models, neutrino production and energy loss mechanisms, supernovae, and neutron star production. (Offered in alternate years.)

230. Advanced Solid-State Physics (4)

Selection of advanced topics in solid-state physics; material covered may vary from year to year. Examples of topics covered: disordered systems, surface physics, strong-coupling superconductivity, quantum Hall effect, low-dimensional solids, heavy fermion systems, high-temperature superconductivity, solid and liquid helium. Prerequisites: Physics 211B. (S)

232. Electronic Materials (4)

Physics of electronic materials. Semiconductors: bands, donors and acceptors, devices. Metals: Fermi surface, screening, optical properties. Insulators: dia-/ferro-electrics, displacive transitions. Magnets: dia-/para-/ferro-/antiferro-magnetism, phase transitions, low temperature properties. Superconductors: pairing, Meissner effect, flux quantization, BCS theory. Prerequisites: Physics 211A. (S)

235. Nonlinear Plasma Theory (4)

This course deals with nonlinear phenomena in plasmas. Topics include: orbit perturbation theory, stochasticity, Arnold diffusion, nonlinear wave-particle and wave-wave interaction, resonance broadening, basics of fluid and plasma turbulence, closure methods, models of coherent structures. Prerequisites: Physics 218C. (Offered in alternate years.) (W)

238. Observational Astrophysics Research Lab (4)

Project-based course developing tools and techniques of observational astrophysical research: imaging, spectroscopy, time-series analysis; designing observational experiments; writing observing proposals; collecting data at the telescope; data reduction; error analysis techniques. Half of course devoted to individual projects from telescope or archival data. Students will complete a final paper of publishable quality in the format of a peer-reviewed journal, as well as an oral presentation. Recommended preparation: undergraduate or graduate background in astrophysics.

239. Special Topics (4)

From time to time a member of the regular faculty or a resident visitor will find it possible to give a self-contained short course on an advanced topic in his or her special area of research. This course is not offered on a regular basis, but it is estimated that it will be given once each academic year. (S/U grades permitted.)

241. Computational Physics I: Probabilistic Models and Simulations (4)

Project-based computational physics laboratory course with student’s choice of Fortran90/95 or C/C++. Applications from materials science to the structure of the early universe are chosen from molecular dynamics, classical and quantum Monte Carlo methods, physical Langevin/Fokker-Planck processes, and other modern topics. (W)

242. Computational Physics II: PDE and Matrix Models (4)

Project-based computational physics laboratory course for modern physics and engineering problems with student’s choice of Fortran90/95 or C/C++. Applications of finite element PDE models are chosen from quantum mechanics and nanodevices, fluid dynamics, electromagnetism, materials physics, and other modern topics. (S)

243. Stochastic Methods (4)

Introduction to methods of stochastic modeling and simulation. Topics include: random variables; stochastic processes; Markov processes; one-step processes; the Fokker-Planck equation and Brownian motion; the Langevin approach; Monte-Carlo methods; fluctuations and the Boltzmann equation; and stochastic differential equations. (F)

244. Parallel Computing in Science and Engineering (4)

Introduction to basic techniques of parallel computing, the design of parallel algorithms, and their scientific and engineering applications. Topics include: parallel computing platforms; message-passing model and software; design and application of parallel software packages; parallel visualization; parallel applications. (S)

250. Condensed Matter Physics Seminar (0–1)

Discussion of current research in physics of the solid state and of other condensed matter. (S/U grades only.) (F,W,S)

251. High-Energy Physics Seminar (0–1)

Discussions of current research in nuclear physics, principally in the field of elementary particles. (S/U grades only.) (F,W,S)

252. Plasma Physics Seminar (0–1)

Discussions of recent research in plasma physics. (S/U grades only.) (F,W,S)

253. Astrophysics and Space Physics Seminar (0–1)

Discussions of recent research in astrophysics and space physics. (S/U grades only.) (F,W,S)

254. Biophysics Seminar (1)

Presentation of current research in biological physics and quantitative biology by invited speakers from the U.S. and abroad. (S/U grades only.) May be taken for credit thirty times. (F,W,S)

255. Biophysics Research Talks (1)

Discussion of recent research in biological physics and quantitative biology by current graduate students. (S/U grades only.) May be taken for credit thirty times. (F,W,S)

256. Critical Reading in Quantitative Biology (1)

Critical analysis of classic and current literature in quantitative biology, involving written critiques and group discussion. (S/U grades only.) May be taken for credit thirty times. (F,W,S)

257. High-Energy Physics Special Topics Seminar (0–1)

Discussions of current research in high-energy physics. (S/U grades only.) (F,W,S)

258. Astrophysics and Space Physics Special Topics Seminar (0–1)

Discussions of current research in astrophysics and space physics. (S/U grades only.) (F,W,S)

260. Physics Colloquium (0–1)

Discussions of recent research in physics directed to the entire physics community. (S/U grades only.) (F,W,S)

261. Seminar on Physics Research at UC San Diego (0–1)

Discussions of current research conducted by faculty members in the Department of Physics. (S/U grades only.) (W,S)

264. Scientific Method Seminar (1)

Discussions of the application of the scientific method in the natural sciences. (S/U grades only.) May be taken for credit twenty-five times. (F,W,S)

270A. Experimental Techniques for Quantitative Biology (4)

A hands-on laboratory course in which the students learn and use experimental techniques, including optics, electronics, chemistry, machining, and computer interface, to design and develop simple instruments for quantitative characterization of living systems. Lab classes will comprise five two-week modules. Recommended preparation: knowledge of electronics and optics at the level of introductory calculus, basic statistics, programming skills; knowledge of introductory biology. (F)

270B. Quantitative Biology Laboratory (4)

A project-oriented laboratory course in which students are guided to develop their own ideas and tools, along with using state-of-art instruments to investigate a biological problem of current interest, under the direction of a faculty member. A range of current topics in quantitative biology is available, including microbiology, molecular and cell biology, developmental biology, synthetic biology, and evolution. This course may be repeated up to ten times for credit as long as the student works on a different project. Prerequisites: Physics 270A. (F,W,S)

273. Information Theory and Pattern Formation in Biological Systems (4)

This course discusses how living systems acquire information on their environment and exploit it to generate structures and perform functions. Biological sensing of concentrations, reaction-diffusion equations, the Turing mechanism, and applications of information theory to cellular transduction pathways and animal behavior will be presented. Recommended preparation: familiarity with probabilities at the level of undergraduate statistical mechanics and major cellular processes; basic knowledge of information theory. (W)

274. Stochastic Processes in Population Genetics (4)

The course explores genetic diversity within biological populations. Genetics fundamentals, mutation/selection equilibria, speciation, Wright-Fisher model, Kimura’s neutral theory, Luria–Delbrück test, the coalescent theory, evolutionary games and statistical methods for quantifying genetic observables such as SNPs, copy number variations, etc., will be discussed. Recommended preparation: familiarity with probabilities and PDEs at the undergraduate level; an introduction to basic evolutionary processes. (S)

275. Fundamentals of Biological Physics (4)

This course teaches how quantitative models derived from statistical physics can be used to build quantitative, intuitive understanding of biological phenomena. Case studies include ion channels, cooperative binding, gene regulation, protein folding, molecular motor dynamics, cytoskeletal assembly, and biological electricity. Recommended preparation: an introduction to statistical mechanics, at least at the level of Physics 140A or Chemistry 132. (F)

276. Quantitative Molecular Biology (4)

A quantitative approach to gene regulation, including transcriptional and posttranscriptional control of gene expression, as well as feedback and stochastic effects in genetic circuits. These topics will be integrated into the control of bacterial growth and metabolism. Recommended preparation: an introductory course in biology is helpful but not necessary. (W)

277. Physics of the Cell (4)

The use of dynamic systems and nonequilibrium statistical mechanics to understand the biological cell. Topics chosen from chemotaxis as a model system, signal transduction networks and cellular information processing, mechanics of the membrane, cytoskeletal dynamics, nonlinear Calcium waves. Recommended preparation: an introductory course in biology is helpful but not necessary. Prerequisites: Physics 275. (S)

278. Biophysics of Neurons and Networks (4)

Information processing by nervous system through physical reasoning and mathematical analysis. A review of the biophysics of neurons and synapses and fundamental limits to signaling by nervous systems is followed by essential aspects of the dynamics of phase coupled neuronal oscillators, the dynamics and computational capabilities of recurrent neuronal networks, and the computational capability of layered networks. Recommended preparation: a working knowledge of calculus and linear algebra. (W)

281. Extensions in Physics (1–3)

This course covers topics not traditionally taught as part of a normal physics curriculum, but nonetheless useful extensions to the classic pedagogy. Example topics may include estimation, nuclear physics, fluid mechanics, and scaling relationships.

295. MS Thesis Research in Materials Physics (1–12)

Directed research on MS dissertation topic. (F,W,S)

297. Special Studies in Physics (1–4)

Studies of special topics in physics under the direction of a faculty member. Prerequisites: consent of instructor and departmental vice chair, education. (S/U grades permitted.) (F,W,S)

298. Directed Study in Physics (1–12)

Research studies under the direction of a faculty member. (S/U grades permitted.) (F,W,S)

299. Thesis Research in Physics (1–12)

Directed research on dissertation topic. (F,W,S)

500. Instruction in Physics Teaching (1–4)

This course, designed for graduate students, includes discussion of teaching, techniques and materials necessary to teach physics courses. One meeting per week with course instructors, one meeting per week in an assigned recitation section, problem session, or laboratory section. Students are required to take a total of two units of Physics 500. (F,W,S)