A year of physics required, as well as some familiarity with basic derivatives and integrals; most importantly, a desire to see more advanced mathematics in action.
“[I liked] the chance to work in a college laboratory with extremely advanced equipment.” — Yuka Ma
This course is intended for students who already have a proficiency with math and are eager to further expand their mathematical toolboxes in preparation for serious future work in the natural sciences.
Rich examples drawn from classical and quantum wave phenomena, statistical physics, astrophysics, cosmology, engineering physics, chaos and nonlinear dynamics are used to introduce and develop crucial mathematical concepts during the morning lectures. Afternoons are devoted to hands-on experiments and computer simulations to test the physics concepts presented. There will be a science-based New York City field trip as well as a visit to one of the Columbia research labs.
Please note that, because the meeting times for this course overlap with the midday activities schedule, participants would not be able to take part in midday extracurricular activities. Also, because there is a significant overlap between the content of this class and Investigations in Theoretical and Experimental Physics; it is not recommended that students take both.
Tim Halpin-Healy received his doctorate in physics from Harvard University in 1987, following an A.B. from Princeton University in 1981. He’s been a research fellow at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences; Cambridge University, England; as well as the Departement de Physique, Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris. He is currently Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Physics at Barnard College, Columbia University. His scientific research concerns the dynamics of complexity, where the competing effects of order and disorder delicately balance, producing some of nature’s most beautiful pattern formation phenomena. The technical tools of his trade involve quantum field theory, the renormalization group, fractals and chaos.