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
2019 Fall
Kelly Miller
Tuesday, Thursday
09:00am to 11:45am

AP 50a is the first half of a one-year, team-based and project-based introduction to physics. This course teaches scientific reasoning and problem-solving skills. You will 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, but you must set attend a 75-minute section on Thursday or Friday  to work on your projects with your team in the teaching labs (w. AP50a topics include: kinematics, Newton's Laws, conservation laws, angular dynamics, and simple harmonic motion.Course Note: AP50a is designed specifically for engineering and physics majors and is equivalent in content and rigor to a standard introductory physics course for scientists and engineers such as Physics 15a, but focuses on the application of physics to real-world problems.

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Physics as a Foundation for Science and Engineering, Part II

APPHY 50B
2020 Spring
Eric Mazur
Tuesday, Thursday
09:00am to 11:45am

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.

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Introduction to Solid State Physics

APPHY 195
2019 Fall
Julia Mundy
Monday, Wednesday
03:00pm to 04:15pm

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.

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Mechanics in Earth and Environmental Science

APPHY 202
2019 Fall
James Rice
Wednesday, Friday
12:00pm to 01:15pm

Introduction to the mechanics of fluids and solids, organized around earth and environmental phenomena. Conservation laws, stress, deformation and flow. Inviscid fluids and ocean gravity waves; Coriolis dominated large scale flows. Viscosity and groundwater seepage; convective cells; boundary layers. Turbulent stream flows; flood surges; sediment transport. Elasticity and seismic waves. Pore fluid interactions with deformation and failure of earth materials, as in poro-mechanics of consolidation, cracking, faulting, and landslides. Ice sheets and glacial flow mechanics.

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Quantum and Classical Electromagnetic Interaction with Matter

APPHY 216
2019 Fall
Donhee Ham
Wednesday, Friday
09:00am to 10:15am

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.

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Electrical, Optical, and Magnetic Properties of Materials

APPHY 218
2020 Spring
Xin Li

This course covers the electrical, optical and magnetic properties of technologically important materials systems. It provides a quantitative description of structure-property relations by introducing tensor properties, crystal symmetry, Neumann's principle and Curie principle. A variety of properties of materials are then introduced, including pyroelectricity, dielectricity, piezoelectricity, ferroelectricity; pyromagnetism, magnetoelectricity, piezomagnetism, ferromagnetism; defect chemistry, transport properties and applications in semiconducting, dielectric and energy storage materials; crystal optics including birefringence, Pockels effect, Kerr effect, photoelastic effect and optical activity. Ferroelectric, ferromagnetic and topological phase transitions are also covered as special topics.

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Landmark Papers in Soft Matter

APPHY 227
2019 Fall
Jennifer Lewis
Monday, Wednesday
12:00pm to 01:15pm

A seminar course that will survey classical, landmark, papers in soft matter physics with a slight bias towards experimental works.

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Chemistry in Materials Science and Engineering

APPHY 235
2020 Spring
Joanna Aizenberg

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.

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Computational Design of Materials

APPHY 275
2020 Spring
Boris Kozinsky
Tuesday, Thursday
12:00pm to 01:15pm

This course covers theoretical background and practical applications of modern computational atomistic methods used to understand and design properties of advanced functional materials. Topics include interatomic potentials and quantum first-principles energy models, wave function and 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. Methods are applied to study microscopic and quantum-level effects in materials for energy conversion and storage, molecules, soft materials, electronic devices, and low-dimensional materials.

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Computational Physics of Solids and Fields

APPHY 278
2019 Fall
Prineha Narang
Tuesday, Thursday
01:30pm to 02:45pm

Description coming soon.

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Solids: Structure and Defects

APPHY 282
2019 Fall
Frans Spaepen
Tuesday, Thursday
09:00am to 10:15am

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

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Statistical Mechanics

APPHY 284
2019 Fall
David R. Nelson
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
12:00pm to 01:15pm

Basic principles of statistical physics and thermodynamics, with applications including: the equilibrium properties of classical and quantum gases; phase diagrams, phase transitions and critical phenomena, as illustrated by the liquid-gas transition and simple magnetic models. Time permitting, introduction to Langevin dynamics and polymer physics.

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Inference, Information Theory, Learning and Statistical Mechanics

APPHY 286
2019 Fall
Sharad Ramanathan
Tuesday, Thursday
01:30pm to 02:45pm

We will build introduce modern applications of Statistical Mechanics from information theory, to coding and compression, finding probabilistic answers to poorly posed inverse problems to unsupervised learning. Further we will study supervised learning and machine learning.   All of these topics will be taught using examples in the primary literature with an emphasis on the applications of the tools and framework we develop in the course. Applications will be taught through problems in genomics, neuroscience, mechanics, geophysics and engineering. 

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Electron Microscopy Laboratory

APPHY 291
2020 Spring
David Bell
Monday
03:00pm to 04:15pm

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.

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Introduction to Quantum Theory of Solids

APPHY 295A
2019 Fall
Subir Sachdev
Monday, Wednesday
09:00am to 10:15am

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.

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Quantum Theory of Solids

APPHY 295B
2020 Spring
Eugene Demler
Tuesday, Thursday
10:30am to 11:45am

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.

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Mesoscale and Low Dimensional Devices

APPHY 296
2020 Spring
Philip Kim
Wednesday, Friday
01:30pm to 02:45pm

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.

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Special Topics in Applied Physics

APPHY 299R
2019 Fall
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.

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Special Topics in Applied Physics

APPHY 299R
2020 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.

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