Physics 7

Introductory Mechanics

A first course in mechanics for major-track students, Physics 7 is typically taken in the sophomore year and uses calculus, linear algebra, and basic differential euqations in the study of kinematics and dynamics of point particles; conservation principles involving energy, momentum and angular momentum; rotational motion of rigid bodies, and oscillatory motion.  Typical course text:  Kleppner and Kolenkow

Physics 13

Thermodynamics/Statistical Mechanics

A half-semester introduction to topics in thermodynamics and statistical mechanics including equipartition theorem, ideal gas, work, free energy, heat engines, the Einstein model of a solid, and phase transformations.  Typical course text:  Schroeder Parts I and II

Physics 15


A half-semester introduction to geometric and wave optics including reflection, refraction, mirrors, lenses, optical instruments, waves, polarization and Jones calculus, superposition, interference, diffraction, optical resolution, and matrix optics.

Physics 62

Physics Journal Club

A weekly, half-credit course for discussion of scientific literature, students in Physics Journal Club learn how to read journal articles, search for articles in Web of Science, organize papers in Zotero, and follow topics and people with Google Scholar alerts.  Students participate in dicussion of 1-3 articles each week, and prepare and present journal articles of their choice throughout the semester.

Physics 81/82/83

Advanced Laboratory

Juniors and seniors take two semesters of advanced laboratory, meeting weekly for 3 hours to complete in-depth experimental modules over the course of three weeks.  Experiments supervised by Dr. Smith include measurements of gamma decay lifetimes and angular correlation and Johnson and Schottkey noise.  Students write up each experiment in the style of a full-length journal article.

Physics 113

Quantum Theory

Quantum Theory is an honors seminar in advanced undergraduate quantum mechanics for juniors and seniors who have already taken Physics 5 (Spacetime and Quanta) and Physics 18 (Quantum Mechanics).  Topics include angular momentum addition and entanglement, central potentials, time-independent and time-dependent perturbation theory, and an introduction to scattering theory.  Typical course text:  Townsend