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Courses

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
2022 Fall

Eric Mazur
Tuesday, Thursday
9:45am to 12:30pm

AP 50A is the first half of a one-year, team- and project-based introduction to physics focusing on the application of physics to real-world problems. 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. Besides mastering course content and developing scientific reasoning and problem-solving skills, the course goals include strengthening self-directed learning and developing collaborative skills.

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Physics as a Foundation for Science and Engineering, Part II

APPHY 50B
2023 Spring

Eric Mazur, Doeke Hekstra
Tuesday, Thursday
9:45am to 12:30pm

AP 50B is the second half of a one-year, team- and project-based introduction to physics focusing on the application of physics to real-world problems. 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. Besides mastering course content and developing scientific reasoning and problem-solving skills, the course goals include strengthening self-directed learning and developing collaborative skills.

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Introduction to Solid State Physics

APPHY 195A
2022 Fall

Julia Mundy
Monday, Wednesday
3:00pm to 4:15pm

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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Introduction to Quantum Materials and Devices

APPHY 195B
2023 Spring

Robert Westervelt
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
3:00pm to 4:15pm

This course provides an introduction to quantum materials and devices, including low-dimensional materials, single and double quantum dots, Josephson junctions, and graphene. Their behavior is explained using quantum and semiclassical transport, the Coulomb blockade, and superconductivity. Quantum devices offer new approaches for electronics and photonics.

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Quantum and Classical Electromagnetic Interaction with Matter

APPHY 216
2023 Spring

Donhee Ham
Monday, Wednesday
1:30pm to 2:45pm

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
2022 Fall

Lene Hau
Tuesday, Thursday
10:30am to 11:45am

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
2022 Fall

Xin Li
Monday, Wednesday
9:00am to 10:15am

This course covers the electrical, optical and magnetic properties of technologically important materials. It provides a quantitative description of structure-property relation by introducing tensor property, 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. In addition, special topics will cover ferroelectric and ferromagnetic phase transitions and electrical, optical and magnetic properties of energy storage materials.

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Chemistry in Materials Science and Engineering

APPHY 235
2022 Fall

Joanna Aizenberg
Monday, Wednesday
1:30pm to 2:45pm

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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Introduction to Single-Molecule Biophysics

APPHY 242
2022 Fall

Maxim Prigozhin
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
10:30am to 11:45am

Single-molecule biophysics is a vibrant research field within the Quantitative Biology umbrella that has grown substantially over the past ~30 years. The impact of single-molecule biophysics has been significant in terms of not only the experimental and theoretical methods that have been developed, but also the scientific insights in biological and soft matter science that these tools have generated. This new course will cover the motivation behind single-molecule measurements in biology and, for the majority of the time, focus on discussing state-of-the-art experimental and computational techniques in single-molecule measurements as well as the key biological discoveries that they have enabled.

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Computational Design of Materials

APPHY 275
2023 Spring

Boris Kozinsky
Tuesday, Thursday
10:30am to 11:45am

This course covers theoretical background and practical hands-on applications of modern computational atomistic methods used to understand and design properties of advanced functional materials. Topics include classical interatomic potentials and machine learning methods, quantum first-principles electronic structure models based on wave functions and density functional theory, Monte Carlo sampling and molecular dynamics simulations of phase transitions and free energies, fluctuations and transport properties. Applications include atomistic and electronic effects in materials for energy conversion and storage, catalysis, alloys, polymers, and low-dimensional materials.

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Solids: Structure and Defects

APPHY 282
2022 Fall

Frans Spaepen
Tuesday, Thursday
9:00am to 10:15am

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

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Statistical Mechanics

APPHY 284
2022 Fall

Vinothan Manoharan
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
12:00pm to 1:15pm

Basic principles of statistical physics 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.

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Inference, Information Theory, Learning and Statistical Mechanics

APPHY 286
2022 Fall

Sharad Ramanathan
Tuesday, Thursday
1:30pm to 2:45pm

This course focuses on the modern applications of Statistical Mechanics. We will learn the basics of information theory, coding and compression. We will next learn about Bayesian Inference, priors and maximizing entropy, which will naturally lead us to regularization and compressed sensing. We will then cover learning: support vector machines, vc dimension, supervised, reinforcement and unsupervised learning. These topics, which build on each other, will be taught using examples in the primary literature with an emphasis on applying the framework we develop. Applications will be taught through problems in genomics, neuroscience, geophysics, and engineering.

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Electron Microscopy Laboratory

APPHY 291
2023 Spring

David Bell
Monday
1:30pm to 2:45pm

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
2023 Spring

Frans Spaepen
Tuesday, Thursday
9:00am to 10:15am

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
2022 Fall

Subir Sachdev
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
12:00pm to 1:15pm

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
2023 Spring

Subir Sachdev
Tuesday
3:00pm to 5:45pm

A course on the application of the principles of many-particle quantum mechanics to the properties of solids. The objective is to make students familiar with the tools of second quantization and diagrammatic perturbation theory, while describing the theory of the electron liquid, the BCS theory of superconductivity, and theory of magnetism in metals and insulators. Modern topics on correlated electron systems will occupy the latter part of the course.

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Mesoscale and Low Dimensional Devices

APPHY 296
2022 Fall

Philip Kim
Tuesday, Thursday
1:30pm to 2:45pm

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
2022 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
2023 Spring

Frans Spaepen

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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Foundations of Quantum Mechanics

ENG-SCI 200, QSE 200, CHEM 200
2022 Fall

Federico Capasso, Kang-Kuen Ni
Monday, Wednesday
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm

This course is an introduction to the foundations of quantum mechanics, with specific focus on the basic principles involved in the control of quantum systems. Schrödinger’s equation, Superposition principle, eigenvalue and time dependent problems, wave packets, coherent states; uncertainty principle. One dimensional problems: double well potentials,  tunneling and resonant tunneling; WKB approximation. Hermitian  operators and expectation values;  time evolution and  Hamiltonian, commutation rules,  perturbation theory, transfer matrix and variational methods. Crystals, Bloch theorem, superlattices.  Angular momentum, spin, Pauli matrices and Pauli equation. Coherent interaction of light with two-level systems.  quantization of the EM field, spontaneous and stimulated emission; elements of cavity QED; elements of quantum information (Qubits, entanglement, teleportation, Bell inequalities). 

Taking this course meets the quantum mechanics core course requirement for the Applied Physics model program.

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