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Applied Physics Courses
AP 50a is the first half of a one-year, team-based and project-based introduction to physics. This course teaches students to develop scientific reasoning and problem-solving skills. AP50a topics include: kinematics; linear and rotational motion; conservation of momentum and energy; forces; gravity; oscillations and waves. Multivariable and vector calculus is introduced and used extensively in the course. Students work in teams on three, month-long projects, each culminating in a project fair.
AP 50b is the second half of a one-year, team-based and project-based introduction to physics. This course teaches students to develop scientific reasoning and problem-solving skills. AP50b topics include: electrostatics; electric currents; magnetostatics; electromagnetic induction; Maxwell's Equations; electromagnetic radiation; geometric optics; and, wave optics. Multivariable and vector calculus is introduced and used extensively in the course. Students work in teams on three, month-long projects, each culminating in a project fair. The twice-weekly class periods are all inclusive: there are no separate labs or discussion sections.
The physics of crystalline solids and their electric, magnetic, optical, and thermal properties. Designed as a first course in solid-state physics. Topics: free electron model; Drude model; the physics of crystal binding; crystal structure and vibration (phonons); electrons in solids (Bloch theorem) and electronic band structures; metals and insulators; semiconductors (and their applications in pn junctions and transistors); plasmonic excitations and screening; optical transitions; solid-state lasers; magnetism, spin waves, magnetic resonance, and spin-based devices; dielectrics and ferroelectrics; superconductivity, Josephson junctions, and superconducting circuits; electronic transport in low-dimensional systems, quantum Hall effect, and resonant tunneling devices.
The first half of the course will cover the interaction of quantized atoms with electromagnetic fields, introducing a number of basic concepts such as coherent Rabi transitions vs. rate-equation dynamics, stimulated & spontaneous transitions, and energy & phase relaxations. These will be then used to study a range of applications of atom-field interactions, such as nuclear magnetic resonance, molecular beam and paramagnetic masers, passive and active atomic clocks, dynamic nuclear polarization, pulse sequence techniques to coherently manipulate atomic quantum states, and laser oscillators with applications. We will also touch upon the interaction of quantized atoms with quantized fields, discussing the atom + photon (Jaynes-Cummings) Hamiltonian, dressed states, and cavity quantum electrodynamics. The second half will cover the classical interaction of electromagnetic fields with matter, with special attentions to collective electrodynamics in particular, magnetohydrodynamics and plasma physics with applications in astrophysics, space physics, and Bloch electrons in crystalline solids.
Optical systems and lasers have revolutionized both technology and basic research. We cover the fundamental physics of light and of light-matter interactions, including optical wave-propagation, ray optics, optical imaging and Fourier optics, quantization of electromagnetic fields, and nano-optics. We will illustrate the material with its applications in atomic physics and biological imaging.
This course covers the electrical, optical and magnetic properties of several technologically important materials systems. It provides a general introduction of structure-property relations; defect chemistry including Kroger-Vink diagram and charged point defect; ionic conductivity in electrochemical intercalation energy storage materials; optical properties of wide bandgap metal oxides; spin, charge and crystal structure coupling, and their ordering and disordering.
Introduction to the physics of soft matter, also called complex fluids or squishy physics, includes the study of capillarity, thin films, polymers, polymer solutions, surfactants, and colloids,. Emphasis is on physical principles which scale bulk behavior. Students will understand the concepts, experimental techniques, and, especially, the open questions. Lecture notes are supplied in place of a textbook.
This course will teach theoretical background and practical applications of modern computational methods used to understand and design properties of advanced functional materials. Topics will include classical potentials and quantum first-principles energy models, density functional theory methods, Monte Carlo sampling and molecular dynamics simulations of phase transitions and free energies, fluctuations and transport properties, and machine learning approaches. Examples will be based on rational design of industrially relevant materials for energy conversion and storage, electronic and magnetic devices, and nanotechnology.
This course will introduce students to state-of-the-art techniques in computational physics of fields and solids, covering ground-state and excited-state phenomena. Further this course will explore transport methods including Boltzmann Transport Methods (and associated numerical challenges with 3D electron and phonon transport calculations), computational methods to study the electron-phonon interaction and finite temperature calculations. We will discuss how to leverage GPU-accelerated computing for computational physics and materials calculations.
This course will also intersect with computational electrodynamics with ab initio material response incorporated. We will study electron-phonon interactions in solids from the point of view of ab initio calculations (including, but not limited to Wannier function methods and strategies for k-point sampling with large energy mismatch) and explore the origin of temperature dependence of optical spectra in direct and indirect-gap semiconductors, relaxation rates of photoexcited carriers and implications of excited-states in transport observed in quantum materials. The class with also cover recently discovered classes of quantum materials and describe these using single-particle and many-body computational techniques. Finally, we will cover linking electrodynamical and photonic calculations with intrinsic properties of quantum materials.
Basic principles of statistical mechanics with applications, including the equilibrium properties of classical and quantum gases; phase diagrams, phase transitions and critical points, as illustrated by the gas-liquid transition and simple magnetic models; Bose-Einstein condensation.
Lectures and laboratory instruction on transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and Cs corrected, aberration-correction microscopy and microanalysis. Lab classes include; diffraction, dark field imaging, X-ray spectroscopy, electron energy-loss spectroscopy, atomic imaging, materials sample preparation, polymers, and biological samples.
Kinetic principles underlying atomic motions, transformations, and other atomic transport processes in condensed matter. Application to atomic diffusion, continuous phase transformations, nucleation, growth, coarsening and mechanisms of plastic deformation.
Electrical, optical, thermal, magnetic, and mechanical properties of solids will be treated based on an atomic scale picture and using the independent electron approximation. Metals, semiconductors, and insulators will be covered, with possible special topics such as superconductivity.
This course presents theoretical description of solids focusing on the effects of interactions between electrons. Topics include Fermi liquid theory, dielectric response and RPA approximation, ferro and antiferromagnetism, RKKY interactions and Kondo effect, electron-phonon interactions and superconductivity.
Concepts of condensed matter physics are applied to the science and technology of beyond-CMOS devices, in particular, mesoscale, low-dimensional, and superconducting devices. Topics include: quantum dots/wires/wells and two-dimensional (2D) materials; optoelectronics with confined electrons; conductance quantization, Landauer-Buttiker formalism, and resonant tunneling; magneto oscillation; integer and fractional quantum Hall effects; Berry phase and topology in condensed matter physics; various Hall effects (anomalous, spin, valley, etc.); Weyl semimetal; topological insulator; spintronic devices and circuits; collective electron behaviors in low dimensions and applications; Cooper-pair boxes and superconducting quantum circuits.