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Course Listing

For a snapshot of courses being offered by Harvard School of Engineering over the next four years, visit our multi-year course planning tool.

 

Physics as a Foundation for Science and Engineering, Part I

APPHY 50A
2020 Fall

Eric Mazur
Tuesday, Thursday
07:30am to 08:45am

AP 50A is the first half of a one-year, calculus-based introduction to physics focusing on the application of physics to real-world problems to teach scientific reasoning and problem-solving skills. The course is designed specifically for engineering and physics majors and is equivalent in content and rigor to a standard calculus-based introductory physics course. You will work in teams on three, month-long projects, each culminating in a project fair. Projects will involve a combination of construction of simple devices from kits provided to you, measurements taken in and around the home, and simulations. Besides mastering course content, such as kinematics, Newton's Laws, conservation laws, rotations, oscillations and waves, the course goals include self-directed learning and collaborative skills. In the online version of this course, you will carry out many activities asynchronously at your own convenience. Most of the face-to-face time with the staff (Tu/Th 7:30 am or 4:30 pm) will be spent to address specific difficulties and individual needs of the various teams.

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Physics as a Foundation for Science and Engineering, Part I

APPHY 50A
2020 Fall

Eric Mazur
Tuesday, Thursday
04:30pm to 05:45pm

AP 50A is the first half of a one-year, calculus-based introduction to physics focusing on the application of physics to real-world problems to teach scientific reasoning and problem-solving skills. The course is designed specifically for engineering and physics majors and is equivalent in content and rigor to a standard calculus-based introductory physics course. You will work in teams on three, month-long projects, each culminating in a project fair. Projects will involve a combination of construction of simple devices from kits provided to you, measurements taken in and around the home, and simulations. Besides mastering course content, such as kinematics, Newton's Laws, conservation laws, rotations, oscillations and waves, the course goals include self-directed learning and collaborative skills. In the online version of this course, you will carry out many activities asynchronously at your own convenience. Most of the face-to-face time with the staff (Tu/Th 7:30 am or 4:30 pm) will be spent to address specific difficulties and individual needs of the various teams.

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Physics as a Foundation for Science and Engineering, Part II

APPHY 50B
2021 Spring

Eric Mazur, Doeke Hekstra

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
2020 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); x-ray diffraction; electrons in solids (Bloch theorem) and electronic band structures; metals and insulators; semiconductors (and their applications in pn junctions and transistors); magnetism; superconductivity.

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Mechanics in Earth and Environmental Science

APPHY 202
2020 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
2021 Spring

Donhee Ham

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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Foundations of Modern Optics

APPHY 217
2020 Fall

Lene Hau, Fawwaz Habbal
Tuesday, Thursday
01:30pm to 02:45pm

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.

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Electrical, Optical, and Magnetic Properties of Materials

APPHY 218
2021 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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Introduction to Soft Matter

APPHY 225
2020 Fall

Jennifer Lewis
Monday, Wednesday
12:00pm to 01:15pm

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.

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Computational Design of Materials

APPHY 275
2021 Spring

Boris Kozinsky

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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Statistical Mechanics

APPHY 284
2020 Fall

Eugene Demler
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 nonequilibrium phenomena including Langevin dynamics and Boltzmann equation.

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Inference, Information Theory, Learning and Statistical Mechanics

APPHY 286
2020 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
2021 Spring

David Bell

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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Kinetics of Condensed Phase Processes

APPHY 292
2021 Spring

Frans Spaepen

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.

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Introduction to Quantum Theory of Solids

APPHY 295A
2020 Fall

Prineha Narang, David Bell
Monday, Wednesday
09:00am to 10:15am

This is an introductory graduate level course in solid-state physics. Lattices and symmetries. Phonons. Electronic Structure of Crystals. Metals, semiconductors, and insulators will be covered. Electrical, optical, and thermal properties of solids will be treated based on an atomic scale picture and using the independent electron approximation. Additional topics from the theory of interacting electrons, including introduction to magnetism and superconductivity, and an introduction to topological insulators.

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Quantum Theory of Solids

APPHY 295B
2021 Spring

Subir Sachdev

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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Special Topics in Applied Physics

APPHY 299R
2020 Fall

Federico Capasso

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

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Special Topics in Applied Physics

APPHY 299R
2021 Spring

Federico Capasso

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

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