# Physics

The Department of Physics offers courses in physics, experimental physics, mechanics, quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity, waves and optics, thermal and statistical physics, and relativity. The department also offers physics labs.

For questions about specific courses, contact the department.

## Registration for First-Year Courses

The department offers two beginning sequences in physics:

- Physics F1201-F1202; with laboratory, but without calculus as a prerequisite; primarily for premedical students.

- Physics C1401-C1403 or Physics C1601-C1602-C2601; three-term sequences, using calculus; primarily for engineering and physical science students. For those students who have had Advanced Placement in physics and calculus, the two-term sequence Physics C2801-C2802 is offered.

For questions about specific courses, contact the department.

### Courses

Fundamental laws of mechanics. Kinematics, Newton's laws, work and energy, conservation laws, collisions, rotational motion, oscillations, gravitation.

##### Course Number

PHYS 2001##### Points

4.5#### Fall 2020

##### Times/Location

Tu Th 10:10a - 11:25aRoom TBA Building TBA

##### Section/Call Number

001/00351##### Enrollment

42 of 100##### Instructor

Rebecca Grossman, Stiliana SavinCharge, electric field, and potential. Gauss's law. Circuits: capacitors and resistors. Magnetism and electromagnetism. Induction and inductance. Alternating currents. Maxwell's equations.

##### Course Number

PHYS 2002##### Points

4.5##### Prerequisite

Physics BC2001 or the equivalent.#### Spring 2020

##### Times/Location

Tu Th 10:10a - 11:25a903 ALTSCHUL HALL

##### Section/Call Number

001/00398##### Enrollment

42 of 999##### Instructor

Janna LevinNonlinear pendula, transverse vibrations-elastic strings, longitudinal sound waves, seismic waves, electromagnetic oscillations & light, rainbows, haloes, the Green Flash; polarization phenomena - Haidinger's Brush, Brewster's angle, double refraction, optical activity; gravity & capillary waves; interference, diffraction, lenses & mirrors.

##### Course Number

PHYS 3001##### Points

5##### Prerequisite

Physics BC2002 or the equivalent.#### Fall 2020

##### Times/Location

Tu Th 10:00a - 11:30aRoom TBA Building TBA

##### Section/Call Number

001/00354##### Enrollment

15 of 15##### Instructor

Timothy Halpin-Healy, Margaret KayeWave-particle duality and the Uncertainty Principle. The Schrodinger equation. Basic principles of the quantum theory. Energy levels in one-dimensional potential wells. The harmonic oscillator, photons, and phonons. Reflection and transmission by one-dimensional potential barriers. Applications to atomic, molecular, and nuclear physics.

##### Course Number

PHYS 3006##### Points

3##### Prerequisite

BC3001 or C2601 or the equivalent.#### Spring 2020

##### Times/Location

Tu Th 10:10a - 11:25a514 ALTSCHUL HALL

##### Section/Call Number

001/00400##### Enrollment

16 of 999##### Instructor

Reshmi MukherjeeBarnard College physics laboratory has available a variety of experiments meant to complement 3000-level lecture courses. Each experiment requires substantial preparation, as well as written and oral presentations. Elementary particle experiments: detectors, cosmic ray triggers, muon lifetime.

##### Course Number

PHYS 3082##### Points

1.5Experiments illustrating phenomenological aspects of the early quantum theory: (i) Hydrogenic Spectra: Balmer Series & Bohr-Sommerfeld Model; (ii) Photoelectric Effect: Millikan's Determination of h/e; (iii) Franck-Hertz Experiment; and (iv) Electron Diffraction Phenomena. Substantial preparation required, including written and oral presentations, as well as an interest in developing the knack and intuition of an experimental physicist. This course is best taken concurrently with PHYS BC3006 *Quantum Physics*.

##### Course Number

PHYS 3086##### Points

3#### Spring 2020

##### Times/Location

F 9:00a - 10:00a510B ALTSCHUL HALL

##### Section/Call Number

001/00401##### Enrollment

14 of 999##### Instructor

Reshmi MukherjeeClassical electromagnetic wave phenomena via Maxwell's equations, including: (i) Michaelson and Fabry-Perot Interferometry, as well as a thin-film interference and elementary dispersion theory; (ii) Fraunhofer Diffraction (and a bit of Fresnel); (iii) Wireless Telegraphy I: AM Radio Receivers; and (iv) Wireless Telegraphy II: AM Transmitters. Last two labs pay homage to relevant scientific developments in the period 1875-1925, from the discovery of Hertzian waves to the Golden Age of Radio. Complements PHYS W3008 *Electromagnetic Waves and Optics*.

##### Course Number

PHYS 3088##### Points

3#### Fall 2020

##### Times/Location

F 10:30a - 12:00pRoom TBA Building TBA

##### Section/Call Number

001/00356##### Enrollment

9 of 999##### Instructor

Stiliana SavinIntroduction to physics with emphasis on quantum phenomena, relativity, and models of the atom and its nucleus. Offered in Spring 2011 only.

##### Course Number

PHYS 1001##### Points

3##### Prerequisite

No previous background in physics is expected; high school algebra is required.Introduction to physics with emphasis on quantum phenomena, relativity, and models of the atom and its nucleus.

##### Course Number

PHYS 1002##### Points

3##### Prerequisite

No previous background in physics is expected; high school algebra is required.

##### Course Number

PHYS 1291##### Points

1

##### Course Number

PHYS 1292##### Points

1##### Prerequisite

Laboratory to accompany V1201-2, V1301-2, or V1001-2.Fundamental laws of mechanics, kinematics and dynamics, work and energy, rotational dynamics, oscillations, gravitation, fluids, temperature and heat, gas laws, the first and second laws of thermodynamics.

##### Course Number

PHYS 1401##### Points

3Electric fields, direct currents, magnetic fields, alternating currents, electromagnetic waves, polarization, geometical optics, interference, and diffraction.

##### Course Number

PHYS 1402##### Points

3##### Prerequisite

PHYS C1401, or the equivalent.Mechanics, heat, electricity, magnetism, and light.

##### Course Number

PHYS 2801##### Points

4##### Prerequisite

Advanced placement in mathematics or some knowledge of differential and integral calculus and permission of the departmental representative. (A special placement meeting is held during Orientation Week.)Mechanics, heat, electricity, magnetism, and light.

##### Course Number

PHYS 2802##### Points

4##### Prerequisite

Advanced placement in mathematics or some knowledge of differential and integral calculus and permission of the departmental representative. (A special placement meeting is held during Orientation week.)Mechanics, fluids, thermodynamics.

##### Course Number

PHYS 1201##### Points

3##### Prerequisite

This course will use elementary concepts from calculus. Students should therefore have had some high school calculus, or be concurrently enrolled in MATH V1101.Electricity, magnetism, optics, and modern physics.

##### Course Number

PHYS 1202##### Points

3##### Prerequisite

This couse will use elementary concepts from calculus. Students should therefore have had some high school calculus, or be cuncurrently enrolled in MATH V1101.Lectures on current areas of research with discussions of motivation, techniques, and results, as well as difficulties and unsolved problems. Each student submits a written report on one field of active research.

##### Course Number

PHYS 1900##### Points

1##### Prerequisite

(or corequisite) Any 1000-level course in the Physics or Astronomy departments. This course may be repeated for credit only with the instructor's permission.This course does not fulfill the physics requirement for admission to medical school. No previous background in physics is expected. An introduction to physics taught through the exploration of the scientific method, and the application of physical principles to a wide range of topics from quantum mechanics to cosmology.

##### Course Number

PHYS 1001##### Points

3##### Prerequisite

high school algebra.A review of the history and environmental consequences of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons of mass destruction (WMD); of how these weapons work, what they cost, how they have spread, how they might be used, how they are currently controlled by international treaties and domestic legislation, and what issues of policy and technology arise in current debates on WMD. What aspects of the manufacture of WMD are easily addressed, and what aspects are technically challenging? It may be expected that current events/headlines will be discussed in class.

##### Course Number

PHYS 1018##### Points

3##### Prerequisite

high school science and math.Classical waves and the wave equation, Fourier series and integrals, normal modes, wave-particle duality, the uncertainty principle, basic principles of quantum mechanics, energy levels, reflection and transmission coefficients, applications to atomic physics.

##### Course Number

PHYS 1403##### Points

3##### Prerequisite

<i>PHYS W1402</i>.Laboratory work associated with the two prerequisite lecture courses. Experiments in mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, optics, wave motion, atomic physics, and nuclear physics. Note: Students cannot receive credit for both *PHYS W1493* and *W1494*.

##### Course Number

PHYS 1493##### Points

3##### Prerequisite

<i>PHYS W1401</i> and <i>W1402</i>.This course is a comprehensive, one-semester introduction to the essential ideas and mathematical structures underlying Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity. Among the topics covered will be: the relativity of simultaneity, time dilation, Lorentz contraction, velocity combination laws, time dilation over large distances, the Lorentz transformation, spacetime diagrams, the basic (seeming) paradoxes of special relativity, relativistic equations of motion and E = mc2.

##### Course Number

PHYS 2001##### Points

3##### Prerequisite

a working knowledge of high school algebra, trigonometry, and physics. Some familiarity with calculus is useful but not essential.Laboratory work associated with the three prerequisite lecture courses. Experiments in mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, optics, wave motion, atomic physics, and nuclear physics.

##### Course Number

PHYS 2699##### Points

3##### Prerequisite

<i>PHYS W1601</i> (or <i>W1401</i>), <i>W1602</i> (or <i>W1402</i>), and <i>W2601</i>.This course reinforces basic ideas of modern physics through applications to nuclear physics, high energy physics, astrophysics and cosmology. The ongoing Columbia research programs in these fields are used as practical examples. The course is preparatory for advanced work in physics and related fields.

##### Course Number

PHYS 3002##### Points

3.5##### Prerequisite

W2601 or W2802A review of the history and environmental consequences of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons of mass destruction (WMD); of how these weapons work, what they cost, how they have spread, how they might be used, how they are currently controlled by international treaties and domestic legislation, and what issues of policy and technology arise in current debates on WMD. What aspects of the manufacture of WMD are easily addressed, and what aspects are technically challenging? It may be expected that current events/headlines will be discussed in class.

##### Course Number

PHYS 3018##### Points

3##### Prerequisite

high school science and math.This course is intended as an introduction to string theory for undergraduates. No advanced graduate-level preparation is assumed, and the material will be covered at (no higher than) the advanced undergraduate level. Advanced topics such as supersymmetry, T-duality, and covariant quantization will not be covered. The focus will be on the dynamics of classical and quantum mechanical strings, with an emphasis on integrating undergraduate material in classical mechanics, relativity, electrodynamics and quantum mechanics.

##### Course Number

PHYS 4012##### Points

3##### Prerequisite

<i>PHYS W3003</i>, <i>PHYS W3008</i>, <i>PHYS W4021</i>. <i>PHYS W4023</i> would be helpful but is not required. Students should have some familiarity with tools for graphical presentation and numeric problem solving such as Mathematica and/or MatLab.Review of key concepts in quantum mechanics and special relativity. Conservation laws, decays, interactions, oscillations. Atoms, nuclei, hadrons (protons and neutrons) and quarks. Current theoertical and experimental challenges, including physics at the Large Hadron Collider.

##### Course Number

PHYS 4050##### Points

3##### Prerequisite

<i>PHYS W2601</i> or <i>W2802</i>, or the equivalent.This is a combined lecture/seminar course designed for graduate students and advanced undergraduates. The course will cover a series of cases where biological systems take advantage of physical phenomena in counter intuitive and surprising ways to accomplish their functions. In each of these cases, we will discuss different physical mechanisms at work. We will limit our discussions to simple, qualitative arguments. We will also discuss experimental methods enabling the study of these biological systems. Overall, the course will expose students to a wide range of physical concepts involved in biological processes.

##### Course Number

PHYS 4075##### Prerequisite

one year each of introductory physics and biology.This course is intended to provide an introduction to scientic computing for Physics and other physical science undergraduates. Methods of computing will be taught through solving a variety of physical science problems. Previous programming experience is useful, but not required. The course will introduce the C++ programming language and also make use of Python and MATLAB in class and in exercises. The first part of the course will introduce these software tools and explore basic numerical algorithms for dierential equations and matrices, emphasizing numerical stability and performance. These algorithms will then be used to explore physical phenomena, such as the equation of state for a simple gas, electromagnetic wave propgation and statistical mechanics systems. A brief discussion of parallel computing techniques will be included, with a chance to implement some parallel algorithms.