Applied Physics Courses

For more information on specific courses, including prerequisites, registration details and any last-minute changes, visit my.harvard

Physics as a Foundation for Science and Engineering, Part I

APPHY 50A
2017 Fall
Philippe Cluzel,
Kelly Miller
Tuesday, Thursday
10:00 am to 11:59 am

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.

Physics as a Foundation for Science and Engineering, Part II

APPHY 50B
2018 Spring
Eric Mazur,
Federico Capasso
Tuesday, Thursday
10:00 am to 11:59 am

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.

Introduction to Solid State Physics

APPHY 195
2017 Fall
Donhee Ham
Wednesday, Friday
1:00 pm to 2:29 pm

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.

Electromagnetic Interactions with Matter

APPHY 216
2018 Spring
Jene Golovchenko
Wednesday, Friday
10:30 am to 11:59 am

The first half of the course will cover the interaction of quantized atoms with electromagnetic fields, introducing several key concepts such as coherent Rabi oscillation vs. non-coherent rate equation dynamics, stimulated & spontaneous transition, and energy & phase relaxations. These will be then used as an integrated language to study a range of applications of atom-field interactions, especially, nuclear magnetic resonance, molecular beam & paramagnetic masers, atomic clocks, electromagnetically induced transparency, dynamic nuclear polarization, and importantly, lasers. We will briefly touch upon the interaction of quantized atoms with photons, discussing the atom + photon (Jaynes-Cummings) Hamiltonian, dressed states, and cavity QED. The second half will cover the classical interaction of electromagnetic fields and waves with matter, with special attentions to collective electrodynamics—magnetohydrodynamics and plasma physics—with applications in astrophysics, space physics, and Bloch electrons in crystalline solids.

Electrical, Optical, and Magnetic Properties of Materials

APPHY 218
2018 Spring
Xin Li
Monday, Wednesday
1:00 pm to 2:29 pm

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 Soft Matter

APPHY 225
2017 Fall
Jennifer Lewis,
Shmuel Rubinstein
Tuesday, Thursday
11:30 am to 12:59 pm

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.

Chemistry in Materials Science and Engineering

APPHY 235
2018 Spring
Joanna Aizenberg
Tuesday, Thursday
2:30 pm to 3:59 pm

Select topics in materials chemistry, focusing on chemical bonds, crystal chemistry, organic and polymeric materials, hybrid materials, surfaces and interfaces, self-assembly, electrochemistry, biomaterials, and bio-inspired materials synthesis.

Solids: Structure and Defects

APPHY 282
2017 Fall
Frans Spaepen
Tuesday, Thursday
8:30 am to 9:59 am

Bonding, crystallography, diffraction, phase diagrams, microstructure, point defects, dislocations, and grain boundaries.

Electron Microscopy Laboratory

APPHY 291
2018 Spring
David Bell
Monday
2:30 pm to 3:59 pm

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.

Quantum Theory of Solids

APPHY 295B
2017 Fall
Eugene Demler
Monday, Wednesday
10:00 am to 11:29 am

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.

Introduction to Quantum Theory of Solids

APPHY 295A
2018 Spring
Efthimios Kaxiras
Tuesday, Thursday
10:00 am to 11:29 am

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.

Mesoscale and Low Dimensional Devices

APPHY 296
2018 Spring
Donhee Ham
Wednesday, Friday
1:00 pm to 2:29 pm

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.

Frontier Topics in Molecular Biology

APPHY 298R
2017 Fall
Lene Hau
Tuesday, Thursday
10:00 am to 11:29 am

Materials-related topics chosen from: Structure and Self-Assembly; Mechanical Properties; Surfaces and Interfaces; Biomaterials; Synthesis and Fabrication; Characterization Techniques; Soft Materials, and Complex Fluids.

Special Topics in Applied Physics

APPHY 299R
2017 Fall
Federico Capasso

Supervision of experimental or theoretical research on acceptable applied physics problems and supervision of reading on topics not covered by regular courses of instruction.

Special Topics in Applied Physics

APPHY 299R
2018 Spring
TBA

Supervision of experimental or theoretical research on acceptable applied physics problems and supervision of reading on topics not covered by regular courses of instruction.