Course # | Short Title | Description |
PHYS0030 | Basic Physics A | Survey of mechanics for concentrators in sciences other than physics-including premedical and life science students. Students with more advanced math training are advised to take PHYS 0050, which covers the same topics in physics. Lectures and laboratory. Six hours of attendance. |
PHYS0040 | Basic Physics B | Survey of electricity, magnetism, optics, and modern physics for concentrators in sciences other than physics-including premedical students or students without prior exposure to physics who require a less rigorous course than PHYS 0050, 0060. Lectures, conferences, and laboratory. |
PHYS0050 | Foundations of Mechanics | An introduction to Newtonian mechanics that employs elementary calculus. Intended for science concentrators. Potential physics concentrators, who do not have adequate preparation for PHYS 0070, may enroll, but are urged to continue with PHYS 0160 rather than PHYS 0060. Lectures, conferences and laboratory. Six hours of attendance. Recommended: MATH 0090 or MATH 0100. |
PHYS0070 | Analytical Mechanics | A mathematically more rigorous introduction to Newtonian mechanics than PHYS 0050. For first-year students and sophomores who have studied physics previously and have completed a year of calculus. Lectures, conferences, and laboratory. Six hours of attendance. Prerequisites: high school physics and calculus or written permission. S/NC |
PHYS0270 | Introduction to Astronomy | A complete survey of basic astronomy, more rigorous than is offered in PHYS 0220. Requires competence in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and vectors and also some understanding of calculus and classical mechanics. Laboratory work required. This course or an equivalent required for students concentrating in astronomy. The course includes conferences and evening laboratory sessions. |
PHYS0470 | Electricity and Magnetism | Electric and magnetic fields. Motion of charged particles in fields. Electric and magnetic properties of matter. Direct and alternating currents. Maxwell's equations. Laboratory work. Prerequisites: PHYS 0040, 0060, or 0160; and MATH 0180, 0200 or 0350. Labs meet every other week. |
PHYS0720/PHYS1720 Undergrads & Masters | Meth Mathematical Physics | This course is designed for sophomores in physical sciences, especially those intending to take sophomore or higher level Physics courses. Topics include linear algebra (including linear vector spaces), Fourier analysis, ordinary and partial differential equations, complex analysis (including contour integration). Pre-requisites: PHYS 0060 or 0160, MATH 0180, 0200 or 0350, or consent of the instructor. PHYS1720 Designed primarily for sophmore students in physical sciences. Basic elements of and practical examples in linear algebra, the solution of ordinary and Partial Differential Equation, Complex Analysis and Application to Contour Integrals. Intended to prepare students for the mathematics encountered in PHYS 0500, 1410, 1420, 1510 and 1530. Pre-requisites: PHYS 0060 or 0160, MATH 0180, 0200 or 0350, or consent of the instructor. |
PHYS0790 | Physics of Matter | An introduction to the principles of quantum mechanics and their use in the description of the electronic, thermal, and optical properties of materials. Primarily intended as an advanced science course in the engineering curriculum. Open to others by permission. Prerequisites: ENGN 0040, APMA 0340 or equivalents. |
PHYS1270 | Extragalactic Astronomy | This course provides an introduction to the astrophysics of galaxies, their structure and evolution, with an emphasis on physical introduction of the observations. Underlying physics concepts such as radiative transfer, nuclear reactions and accretion physics will be introduced. Intended for students at the junior level. Prerequisites: PHYS 0270 and PHYS 0470, and either MATH 0190 or MATH 0200, or instructor permission. |
PHYS1280 | Introduction to Cosmology | The course presents an introduction to the study of the origin, evolution and contents of the Universe. Topics include the expansion of the Universe, relativistic cosmologies, thermal evolution, primordial nucleosynthesis, structure formation and the Cosmic Microwave Background. Prerequisites: PHYS 0160, MATH 0190, MATH 0200, or MATH 0350, or instructor permission. |
PHYS1410 | Quantum Mechanics A | A unified treatment of quanta, photons, electrons, atoms, molecules, matter, nuclei, and particles. Quantum mechanics developed at the start and used to link and explain both the older and newer experimental phenomena of modern physics. Prerequisites: PHYS 0500 and 0560; and MATH 0520, 0540 or PHYS 0720; or approved equivalents. |
PHYS1510 | Advanced Electromagnetic Theory | Maxwell's laws and electromagnetic theory. Electromagnetic waves and radiation. Special relativity. Prerequisites: PHYS 0470; and MATH 0180, 0200, or 0350; or approved equivalents. |
PHYS1530 | Thermodynamics/Stat Mechanics | The laws of thermodynamics and heat transfer. Atomic interpretation in terms of kinetic theory and elementary statistical mechanics. Applications to physical problems. Prerequisites: MATH 0180 or 0200 or 0350. Corequisite: PHYS 1410. |
PHYS1610/PHYS2630 | Biological Physics | Introduction on structures of proteins, nucleotides, and membranes; electrostatics and hydration; chemical equilibrium; binding affinity and kinetics; hydrodynamics and transport; cellular mechanics and motions; biophysical techniques including sedimentation, electrophoresis, microscopy and spectroscopy. Suitable for undergraduate science and engineering majors and graduate students with limited background in life science. Prerequisites: MATH 0180. PHYS2630: The course is the graduate version of Phys 1610, Biological Physics. The topics to be covered include structure of cells and biological molecules; diffusion, dissipation and random motion; flow and friction in fluids; entropy, temperature and energy; chemical reactions and self-assembly; solution electrostatics; action potential and nerve impulses. The graduate level course has additional pre-requsites of Phys 0470 and 1530, or equivalents. It requires homework assignments at the graduate level. The final grades will be assigned separately from those who take the course as Phys 1610, although the two groups may be taught in the same classroom. |
PHYS1640/PHYS2640 | Introduction to Computational Physics and Data Analysis | This course introduces upper undergraduate and graduate students to computational methods in physics and data analysis techniques. It covers programming in Python and Mathematica, computational physics fundamentals, and fundamental data analysis methods including statistics, data fitting, and background estimation. The course will use the discovery of the Higgs boson as a case study. Students will engage in practical assignments and a final project to apply learned concepts. Extensive use of Google Colab and Mathematica notebooks will be made to facilitate learning and application. Students are encouraged to bring their laptops to the lectures to perform the examples with the instructor. PHYS2640: This course introduces upper undergraduate and graduate students to computational methods in physics and data analysis techniques. It covers programming in Python and Mathematica, computational physics fundamentals, and fundamental data analysis methods including statistics, data fitting, and background estimation. The course will use the discovery of the Higgs boson as a case study. Students will engage in practical assignments and a final project to apply learned concepts. Extensive use of Google Colab and Mathematica notebooks will be made to facilitate learning and application. Students are encouraged to bring their laptops to the lectures to perform the examples with the instructor. |
PHYS2010 | Tech. in Experimental Physics | No description available. |
PHYS2020 | Math. Meth. of Engineers/Physicists | An introduction to methods of mathematical analysis in physical science and engineering. The first semester course includes linear algebra and tensor analysis; analytic functions of a complex variable; integration in the complex plane; potential theory. The second semester course includes probability theory; eigenvalue problems; calculus of variations and extremum principles; wave propagation; other partial differential equations of evolution. |
PHYS2030 | Classical Theoretical Physics I | Students in the course will learn both the foundations of classical mechanics, including Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations, as well as applications of classical mechanics to physically important and illustrative systems including orbital motion, motion in rotating frames, chaos, waves, ﬂuid dynamics and solitons. |
PHYS2050 | Quantum Mechanics | Wave description of particles. Wave mechanics and the Schrodinger equation. Fundamental principles and postulates. Symmetry transformations. Time evolution and stationary states. Theory of angular momentum. Advanced topics: Quantum information, Superﬂuidity, and other topics if time permits.Prerequisites: Knowledge of basic undergraduate Hamiltonian Mechanics and Electromagnetism as well as a comfortable familiarity with standard Modern Physics. |
PHYS2070 | Advanced Quantum Mechanics | Wave description of particles. Wave mechanics and the Schrodinger equation. Fundamental principles and postulates. Symmetry transformations. Time evolution and stationary states. Theory of angular momentum. Advanced topics: Quantum information, Superﬂuidity, and other topics if time permits.Prerequisites: Knowledge of basic undergraduate Hamiltonian Mechanics and Electromagnetism as well as a comfortable familiarity with standard Modern Physics. |
PHYS2320 | Quantum Theory of Fields II | Advanced methods in quantum ﬁeld theory. The course focuses on nonperturbative approaches to quantum ﬁeld theory, including conformal ﬁeld theory, large N methods, Wilsonian renormalization, solitons, instantons and other topological defects. |
PHYS2410 | Solid State Physics I | The course provides an introduction to Solid State physics. We discuss free electrons, band theory, crystalline symmetries, semiconductors, magnetism and topological band theory. Students are expected to be familiar with quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics. |
PHYS2470 | Advanced Statistical Mechanics | The ideas of universality and renormalization group play a key role in soft and hard condensed matter physics. Renormalization group will be the central topic of the course which will also address symmetries and spontaneous symmetry breaking in condensed matter; phase transitions; mean-field theory; scaling; universality; generalized elasticity; topological defects and other topics, if time permits. |
Course # | Short Title | Description |
PHYS0030 | Basic Physics A | Survey of mechanics for concentrators in sciences other than physics-including premedical and life science students. Students with more advanced math training are advised to take PHYS 0050, which covers the same topics in physics. Lectures and laboratory. Six hours of attendance. |
PHYS0040 | Basic Physics B | Survey of electricity, magnetism, optics, and modern physics for concentrators in sciences other than physics-including premedical students or students without prior exposure to physics who require a less rigorous course than PHYS 0050, 0060. Lectures, conferences, and laboratory. |
PHYS0050 | Foundations of Mechanics | An introduction to Newtonian mechanics that employs elementary calculus. Intended for science concentrators. Potential physics concentrators, who do not have adequate preparation for PHYS 0070, may enroll, but are urged to continue with PHYS 0160 rather than PHYS 0060. Lectures, conferences and laboratory. Six hours of attendance. Recommended: MATH 0090 or MATH 0100. |
PHYS0220 | Astronomy | An introduction to basic ideas and observations in astronomy, starting with the observed sky, coordinates and astronomical calendars and cycles, the historical development of our understanding of astronomical objects. Particular emphasis is placed on the properties of stars, galaxies, and the Universe as a whole, including the basic ideas of cosmology. The material is covered at a more basic level than PHYS 0270. Knowledge of basic algebra and trigonometry is required, but no experience with calculus is necessary. The course includes evening laboratory sessions. |
PHYS0500 | Advanced Classical Mechanics | Dynamics of particles, rigid bodies, and elastic continua. Normal modes. Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations. Prerequisites: PHYS 0070, 0160 or 0050, 0060 and MATH 0180 or 0200; or approved equivalents. |
PHYS0560 | Experiments in Modern Physics | Introduction to experimental physics. Students perform fundamental experiments in modern quantum physics, including atomic physics, nuclear and particle physics, and condensed matter physics. Visits to research labs at Brown acquaint students with fields of current research. Emphasizes laboratory techniques, statistics, and data analysis. Three lecture/discussion hours and three laboratory hours each week. Required of all physics concentrators. Prerequisites: PHYS 0070, 0160 or 0050, 0060; 0470. |
PHYS1100/PHYS2100 | Intro to General Relativity | An introduction to Einstein's theory of gravity, including special relativity, spacetime curvature, cosmology, and black holes. Prerequisites: PHYS 0500 and MATH 0520 or MATH 0540 or equivalent, or permission of the instructor. Recommended: PHYS 0720. Offered every other year. PHYS2100: This graduate course in general relativity and cosmology will cover the principles of Einstein's general theory of relativity, differential geometry, the first order formulation of general relativity (Einstein-Cartan theory), experimental tests of general relativity and black holes. The second half of the course will focus on relativistic cosmology with a focus on its interface with field theory. |
PHYS1420 | Quantum Mechanics B | A unified treatment of quanta, photons, electrons, atoms, molecules, matter, nuclei, and particles. Quantum mechanics developed at the start and used to link and explain both the older and newer experimental phenomena of modern physics. Prerequisites: PHYS 0500 and 0560; and MATH 0520, 0540 or PHYS 0720; or approved equivalents. |
PHYS1560 | Modern Physics Laboratory | A sequence of intensive, advanced experiments often introducing sophisticated techniques. Prerequisites: PHYS 0470, 0500 and 0560; and MATH 0520, 0540 or PHYS 0720; or approved equivalents. |
PHYS1600/PHYS2600 | Computational Physics | This course provides students with an introduction to scientific computation, primarily as applied to physical science problems. It will assume a basic knowledge of programming and will focus on how computational methods can be used to study physical systems complementing experimental and theoretical techniques. Prerequisites: PHYS 0070, 0160 (or 0050, 0060) and 0470 (or ENGN 0510); MATH 0180 or 0200 or 0350; the ability to write a simple computer program in Fortran, Matlab, C or C++. PHYS2670: This course provides students with an introduction to scientific computation at the graduate level, primarily as applied to physical science problems. It will assume a basic knowledge of programming and will focus on how computational methods can be used to study physical systems complementing experimental and theoretical techniques. Prerequisites: PHYS 2030, 2050, 2140; the ability to write a simple computer program in Fortran, Matlab, C or C++. |
PHYS1970F | Quantum Information | Quantum information is the modern study of how to encode and transmit information on the quantum scale--in many ways fundamentally different from classical information. This course will connect a standard treatment of Quantum mechanics with information theory. Some topics will overlap with phys 1410, but information will be presented from a different viewpoint and with new applications. Topics covered will include: measurement, quantum states, bits, density of states, entanglement, quantum information processing, computing, and some special topics. Students will be expected to complete an end of term project for successfull completion of the course. |
PHYS2010 | Tech in Experimental Physics | The course aims to help PhD and MSc students learn experimental methods and develop experimental and scientiﬁc communication abilities in major areas of modern physics. We discuss the application of the scientiﬁc method. Four major experiments are conducted during the semester. Students develop skills including observing and measuring physical phenomena, analyzing and interpreting data (primarily using Python notebooks) clearly identifying and including possible sources of errors, and also reaching conclusions and publishing experimental results. Students also learn scientiﬁc presentation skills and how to read published results and references with appropriate judgment. |
PHYS2040 | Classical Theoretical Physics II | Electrostatics of conductors and dielectrics. Boundary value problems. Magnetostatics. Maxwellʼs equations and macroscopic electromagnetism. Conservation laws in electrodynamics. Electromagnetic waves and wave propagation. Special relativity. Relativistic particles and electromagnetic ﬁelds. Electromagnetic radiation. Other topics if time permits. Prerequisites: PHYS2030 and knowledge of basic undergraduate Electromagnetism. |
PHYS2060 | Quantum Mechanics | The second semester of a rigorous full-year graduate quantum mechanics course. Two areas will be emphasized: (1) Essential tools of quantum mechanics, including addition of angular momentum, perturbation and scattering theory, and an introduction to relativistic quantum mechanics. (2) Key results of quantum mechanics such as the solution of the hydrogen atom, Fermiʼs golden rule, and the spontaneous decay of excited states of atoms. |
PHYS2140 | Statistical Mechanics | This course provides a graduate level introduction to the foundations of classical and quantum statistical mechanics with applications to ideal gases (including the magnetic properties of electron gases and Bose-Einstein condensation), interacting systems, and phase transitions, including an introduction to the renormalization group and scaling at continuous phase transitions. Prerequisites: thermodynamics, statistical mechanics and quantum mechanics. |
PHYS2170 | Intro: Nuclear/Hi-Energy Physics | This course provides a comprehensive introduction to modern elementary particle physics for graduate and senior undergraduate students. The focus of the course is the detailed description of the Standard Model of particle physics, which has proven remarkably successful in describing the properties and behavior of elementary particles and ﬁelds. Topics of current interest, new developments, and outstanding problems are be highlighted. Special attention is devoted to experimental methods, which resulted in most signiﬁcant discoveries in particle physics. Prerequisites: Introductory Quantum Mechanics (PHYS0560, or PHYS1410, or equivalent). |
PHYS2280 | This course serves as a graduate-level introduction to modern cosmology, including current topics of research on both observational and theoretical fronts. Topics include relativistic cosmology, inflation and the early Universe, observational cosmology, galaxy formation. Prerequisites for undergraduates: PHYS 1280 and PHYS 1530. | |
PHYS2300 | Quantum Theory of Fields I | 2670. An introduction to the quantum theory of ﬁelds. Topics include scalar ﬁeld theory, quantum electrodynamics, path integrals, perturbation theory and an introduction to renormalization. |
PHYS2340 | Group Theory | Offered every other year. This course aims to provide a basic introduction to the elements of group theory most commonly encountered in physics, including discrete groups, Lie groups and Lie algebras. The course will place a particular emphasis on characters and the representation theory of Lie algebras. Students should have a solid background in linear algebra, and some exposure to quantum mechanics may be helpful. |
PHYS2420 | Solid State Physics II | The goal of the course is to explain the effects of interactions between the electrons on the properties of quantum materials. In particular, upon completing the course you will acquire deep understanding of the physics of conductors, symmetry broken phases and strongly interacting topological phases such as Hall effect. We will particularly concentrate on the phenomenology of these systems. |
PHYS2550 | Application of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence | This graduate-level course explores the integration of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques in various branches of physics. With a focus on practical applications, students will gain hands-on experience in leveraging ML and AI to solve complex problems, enhance data analysis, and optimize experimental design in the context of particle physics, astrophysics, and condensed matter physics. |
Course # | Short Title | Description |
PHYS0030 | Basic Physics A | Survey of mechanics for concentrators in sciences other than physics-including premedical and life science students. Students with more advanced math training are advised to take PHYS 0050, which covers the same topics in physics. Lectures and laboratory. Six hours of attendance. |
PHYS0040 | Basic Physics B | Survey of electricity, magnetism, optics, and modern physics for concentrators in sciences other than physics-including premedical students or students without prior exposure to physics who require a less rigorous course than PHYS 0050, 0060. Lectures, conferences, and laboratory. |
PHYS0050 | Foundations of Mechanics | An introduction to Newtonian mechanics that employs elementary calculus. Intended for science concentrators. Potential physics concentrators, who do not have adequate preparation for PHYS 0070, may enroll, but are urged to continue with PHYS 0160 rather than PHYS 0060. Lectures, conferences and laboratory. Six hours of attendance. Recommended: MATH 0090 or MATH 0100. |
PHYS0070 | Analytical Mechanics | A mathematically more rigorous introduction to Newtonian mechanics than PHYS 0050. For first-year students and sophomores who have studied physics previously and have completed a year of calculus. Lectures, conferences, and laboratory. Six hours of attendance. Prerequisites: high school physics and calculus or written permission. S/NC |
PHYS0100 | Flat Earth to Quantum Uncertainty: On the Nature and Meaning of Scientific Explanation | Physics has had a dramatic impact on our conception of the universe, our ideas concerning the nature of knowledge, and our view of ourselves. Philosophy, sometimes inspired by developments in physics, considers the impact of such developments on our lives. In this seminar, students will explore how classical and modern physical theory have affected our view of the cosmos, of ourselves as human beings, as well as our view of the relation of mathematical or physical structures to 'truth' or 'reality.' Through a study of physics as well as selected philosophical readings, we will consider how we can know anything, from seemingly simple facts to whether a machine is conscious. Enrollment limited to 19 first year students. Instructor permission required. |
PHYS0150 | The Jazz of Physics | This course, aimed at both students in the humanities and sciences, will explore the myriad surprising ways that jazz music is connected to modern physics. No background in physics, mathematics or music is required, as all of these foundational concepts and tools will be introduced.This course, aimed at both students in the humanities and sciences, will explore the myriad surprising ways that jazz music is connected to modern physics. No background in physics, mathematics or music is required, as all of these foundational concepts and tools will be introduced. The Jazz of Physics has three interconnected components: (1) Using concepts and analogies from music and acoustics to explore the key conceptual ideas in modern physics such as quantum mechanics/information, general relativity, particle physics, dark energy and big bang cosmology. (2) Exploring the parallels between jazz and physics through the lens of 20th century physics and jazz history, as well as key innovations in both fields with an eye towards future innovations. (3) Students will learn the tools of signification in physics and develop group projects with a final product. |
PHYS0270 | Introduction to Astronomy | A complete survey of basic astronomy, more rigorous than is offered in PHYS 0220. Requires competence in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and vectors and also some understanding of calculus and classical mechanics. Laboratory work required. This course or an equivalent required for students concentrating in astronomy. The course includes conferences and evening laboratory sessions. |
PHYS0470 | Electricity and Magnetism | Electric and magnetic fields. Motion of charged particles in fields. Electric and magnetic properties of matter. Direct and alternating currents. Maxwell's equations. Laboratory work. Prerequisites: PHYS 0040, 0060, or 0160; and MATH 0180, 0200 or 0350. Labs meet every other week. |
PHYS0720/PHYS1720 | Meth Mathematical Physics *Undergrads & Masters | This course is designed for sophomores in physical sciences, especially those intending to take sophomore or higher level Physics courses. Topics include linear algebra (including linear vector spaces), Fourier analysis, ordinary and partial differential equations, complex analysis (including contour integration). Pre-requisites: PHYS 0060 or 0160, MATH 0180, 0200 or 0350, or consent of the instructor. PHYS1720 Designed primarily for sophmore students in physical sciences. Basic elements of and practical examples in linear algebra, the solution of ordinary and Partial Differential Equation, Complex Analysis and Application to Contour Integrals. Intended to prepare students for the mathematics encountered in PHYS 0500, 1410, 1420, 1510 and 1530. Pre-requisites: PHYS 0060 or 0160, MATH 0180, 0200 or 0350, or consent of the instructor. |
PHYS0790 | Physics of Matter | An introduction to the principles of quantum mechanics and their use in the description of the electronic, thermal, and optical properties of materials. Primarily intended as an advanced science course in the engineering curriculum. Open to others by permission. Prerequisites: ENGN 0040, APMA 0340 or equivalents. |
PHYS1270 | Extragalactic Astronomy | This course provides an introduction to the astrophysics of galaxies, their structure and evolution, with an emphasis on physical introduction of the observations. Underlying physics concepts such as radiative transfer, nuclear reactions and accretion physics will be introduced. Intended for students at the junior level. Prerequisites: PHYS 0270 and PHYS 0470, and either MATH 0190 or MATH 0200, or instructor permission. |
PHYS1280 | Introduction to Cosmology | The course presents an introduction to the study of the origin, evolution and contents of the Universe. Topics include the expansion of the Universe, relativistic cosmologies, thermal evolution, primordial nucleosynthesis, structure formation and the Cosmic Microwave Background. Prerequisites: PHYS 0160, MATH 0190, MATH 0200, or MATH 0350, or instructor permission. |
PHYS1410 | Quantum Mechanics A | A unified treatment of quanta, photons, electrons, atoms, molecules, matter, nuclei, and particles. Quantum mechanics developed at the start and used to link and explain both the older and newer experimental phenomena of modern physics. Prerequisites: PHYS 0500 and 0560; and MATH 0520, 0540 or PHYS 0720; or approved equivalents. |
PHYS1510 | Advanced Electromagnetic Theory | Maxwell's laws and electromagnetic theory. Electromagnetic waves and radiation. Special relativity. Prerequisites: PHYS 0470; and MATH 0180, 0200, or 0350; or approved equivalents. |
PHYS1530 | Thermodynamics/Stat Mechanics | The laws of thermodynamics and heat transfer. Atomic interpretation in terms of kinetic theory and elementary statistical mechanics. Applications to physical problems. Prerequisites: MATH 0180 or 0200 or 0350. Corequisite: PHYS 1410. |
PHYS1610/PHYS2630 | Biological Physics | Introduction on structures of proteins, nucleotides, and membranes; electrostatics and hydration; chemical equilibrium; binding affinity and kinetics; hydrodynamics and transport; cellular mechanics and motions; biophysical techniques including sedimentation, electrophoresis, microscopy and spectroscopy. Suitable for undergraduate science and engineering majors and graduate students with limited background in life science. Prerequisites: MATH 0180. PHYS2630: The course is the graduate version of Phys 1610, Biological Physics. The topics to be covered include structure of cells and biological molecules; diffusion, dissipation and random motion; flow and friction in fluids; entropy, temperature and energy; chemical reactions and self-assembly; solution electrostatics; action potential and nerve impulses. The graduate level course has additional pre-requsites of Phys 0470 and 1530, or equivalents. It requires homework assignments at the graduate level. The final grades will be assigned separately from those who take the course as Phys 1610, although the two groups may be taught in the same classroom. |
PHYS1640/PHYS2640 | Introduction to Computational Physics and Data Analysis | PHYS1640: This course introduces upper-undergraduate and graduate students to computational methods in physics and data analysis techniques. It covers programming in Python and Mathematica, computational physics fundamentals, and fundamental data analysis methods, including statistics, data fitting, and background estimation. The course will use the discovery of the Higgs boson as a case study. Students will engage in practical assignments and a final project to apply learned concepts. Extensive use of Google Colab and Mathematica notebooks will be made to facilitate learning and application. Students are encouraged to bring their laptops to the lectures to perform the examples with the instructor. PHYS2640: This course introduces upper-undergraduate and graduate students to computational methods in physics and data analysis techniques. It covers programming in Python and Mathematica, computational physics fundamentals, and fundamental data analysis methods including statistics, data fitting, and background estimation. The course will use the discovery of the Higgs boson as a case study. Students will engage in practical assignments and a final project to apply learned concepts. Extensive use of Google Colab and Mathematica notebooks will be made to facilitate learning and application. Students are encouraged to bring their laptops to the lectures to perform the examples with the instructor. |
PHYS1970C | String Theory for Undergraduates | This course will concentrate on String Theory. It will be given at introductory/intermediate level with some review of the background material. Topics covered will include dynamical systems, symmetries and Noether’s Theorem; nonrelativistic strings; relativistic systems (particle and string); quantization, gauge fixing, Feynman’s sum over paths; electrostatic analogy; string in curved space-time; and supersymmetry. Some advanced topics will also be addressed, i.e., D-Branes and M-Theory. Recommended prerequisites: PHYS 0470 and 0500, or 0160. |
PHYS2010 | Tech. in Experimental Physics | No description available. |
PHYS2020 | Math. Meth. of Engineers/Physicists | An introduction to methods of mathematical analysis in physical science and engineering. The first semester course includes linear algebra and tensor analysis; analytic functions of a complex variable; integration in the complex plane; potential theory. The second semester course includes probability theory; eigenvalue problems; calculus of variations and extremum principles; wave propagation; other partial differential equations of evolution. |
PHYS2030 | Classical Theoretical Physics I | Students in the course will learn both the foundations of classical mechanics, including Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations, as well as applications of classical mechanics to physically important and illustrative systems including orbital motion, motion in rotating frames, chaos, waves, ﬂuid dynamics and solitons. |
PHYS2050 | Quantum Mechanics | Wave description of particles. Wave mechanics and the Schrodinger equation. Fundamental principles and postulates. Symmetry transformations. Time evolution and stationary states. Theory of angular momentum. Advanced topics: Quantum information, Superﬂuidity, and other topics if time permits.Prerequisites: Knowledge of basic undergraduate Hamiltonian Mechanics and Electromagnetism as well as a comfortable familiarity with standard Modern Physics. |
PHYS2070 | Advanced Quantum Mechanics | Wave description of particles. Wave mechanics and the Schrodinger equation. Fundamental principles and postulates. Symmetry transformations. Time evolution and stationary states. Theory of angular momentum. Advanced topics: Quantum information, Superﬂuidity, and other topics if time permits.Prerequisites: Knowledge of basic undergraduate Hamiltonian Mechanics and Electromagnetism as well as a comfortable familiarity with standard Modern Physics. |
PHYS2320 | Quantum Theory of Fields II | Advanced methods in quantum ﬁeld theory. The course focuses on nonperturbative approaches to quantum ﬁeld theory, including conformal ﬁeld theory, large N methods, Wilsonian renormalization, solitons, instantons and other topological defects. |
PHYS2410 | Solid State Physics I | The course provides an introduction to Solid State physics. We discuss free electrons, band theory, crystalline symmetries, semiconductors, magnetism and topological band theory. Students are expected to be familiar with quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics. |
PHYS2430 | Quantum Many Body Theory | This is an advanced graduate course on many body quantum theory. The subject is extremely broad and the exact topics will be chosen according to the interests of the class. The topics can include the theory of topological insulators and the general theory of interacting quantum particles. Prerequisites: A working knowledge of quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics. |
PHYS2470 | Advanced Statistical Mechanics | The ideas of universality and renormalization group play a key role in soft and hard condensed matter physics. Renormalization group will be the central topic of the course which will also address symmetries and spontaneous symmetry breaking in condensed matter; phase transitions; mean-field theory; scaling; universality; generalized elasticity; topological defects and other topics, if time permits. |
PHYS2620G | The Standard Model and Beyond | Topics to be covered will include: Yang-Mills theory, origin of masses and couplings of particles, effective field theory, renormalization, confinement, lattice gauge theory, anomalies and instantons, grand unification, magnetic monopoles, technicolor, introduction to supersymmetry, supersymmetry breaking, the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model, and dark matter candidates. Prerequisite: PHYS 2300. |
PHYS2630/PHYS1610 | Biological Physics | The course is the graduate version of Phys 1610, Biological Physics. The topics to be covered include structure of cells and biological molecules; diffusion, dissipation and random motion; flow and friction in fluids; entropy, temperature and energy; chemical reactions and self-assembly; solution electrostatics; action potential and nerve impulses. The graduate level course has additional pre-requsites of Phys 0470 and 1530, or equivalents. It requires homework assignments at the graduate level. The final grades will be assigned separately from those who take the course as Phys 1610, although the two groups may be taught in the same classroom. PHYS1610: Introduction on structures of proteins, nucleotides, and membranes; electrostatics and hydration; chemical equilibrium; binding affinity and kinetics; hydrodynamics and transport; cellular mechanics and motions; biophysical techniques including sedimentation, electrophoresis, microscopy and spectroscopy. Suitable for undergraduate science and engineering majors and graduate students with limited background in life science. Prerequisites: MATH 0180. |
PHYS1640/PHYS2640 | Introduction to Computational Physics and Data Analysis | This course introduces upper undergraduate and graduate students to computational methods in physics and data analysis techniques. It covers programming in Python and Mathematica, computational physics fundamentals, and fundamental data analysis methods including statistics, data fitting, and background estimation. The course will use the discovery of the Higgs boson as a case study. Students will engage in practical assignments and a final project to apply learned concepts. Extensive use of Google Colab and Mathematica notebooks will be made to facilitate learning and application. Students are encouraged to bring their laptops to the lectures to perform the examples with the instructor. PHYS2640: PHYS2640 |
Course # | Short Title | Description |
PHYS0030 | Basic Physics A | Survey of mechanics for concentrators in sciences other than physics-including premedical and life science students. Students with more advanced math training are advised to take PHYS 0050, which covers the same topics in physics. Lectures and laboratory. Six hours of attendance. |
PHYS0040 | Basic Physics B | Survey of electricity, magnetism, optics, and modern physics for concentrators in sciences other than physics-including premedical students or students without prior exposure to physics who require a less rigorous course than PHYS 0050, 0060. Lectures, conferences, and laboratory. |
PHYS0060 | Found: Electromagnetism/Mod Phys | An introduction to the principles and phenomena of electricity, magnetism, optics, and the concepts of modern physics. Recommended for those who wish to limit their college physics to two semesters but seek a firm grounding in the subject, including but not limited to those with some previous knowledge of physics. Lectures, conferences, and laboratory. Six hours of attendance. Prerequisite: PHYS 0050. Recommended: MATH 0100. |
PHYS0100 | Nature/Meaning Sci Explanation | Physics has had a dramatic impact on our conception of the universe, our ideas concerning the nature of knowledge, and our view of ourselves. Philosophy, sometimes inspired by developments in physics, considers the impact of such developments on our lives. In this seminar, students will explore how classical and modern physical theory have affected our view of the cosmos, of ourselves as human beings, as well as our view of the relation of mathematical or physical structures to 'truth' or 'reality.' Through a study of physics as well as selected philosophical readings, we will consider how we can know anything, from seemingly simple facts to whether a machine is conscious. Enrollment limited to 19 first year students. Instructor permission required. |
PHYS0112 | Extra-Solar Planet Astronomy | The course will cover the significant developments in the detection and characterization of extra-solar planetary systems in the past almost 30 years. We will study the techniques for detecting planets outside of our solar system, the properties of the exoplanets discovered so far, and the prospects for future discoveries, with an emphasis on the search for "Earth-analogues" and the implications for astrobiology. |
PHYS0112 | Alien Worlds: Extrasolar Planets and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life | The course will cover the signiﬁcant developments in the detection and characterization of extra-solar planetary systems in the past almost 30 years. We will study the techniques for detecting planets outside of our solar system, the properties of the exoplanets discovered so far, and the prospects for future discoveries, with an emphasis on the search for "Earth-analogues" and the implications for astrobiology. |
PHYS0113 | Squishy Physics | A freshman seminar to explore everyday applications of physics. It offers practical training on project based learning. The course involves hands-on experimentation, data analysis and presentation. The course is designed for students interested in any field of science with no pre-requisite. The topics covered include motion, forces, flow, elasticity, polymers, gels, electricity, energy, etc. Students will be guided to work on several projects over the semester. They are required to report their projects in both written and oral reports. There is no exam for the course. Students are required to register for one of the labs. |
PHYS0114 | Sci. & Technology of Energy | Energy plays fundamental roles in society. Its use underlies improvements in the living standard; the consequences of its use are having a significant impact on the Earth’s climate; its scarcity in certain forms is a source of insecurity and political conflict. This course will introduce the fundamental laws that govern energy and its use. Physical concepts to be covered: mechanical energy, thermodynamics, the Carnot cycle, electricity and magnetism, quantum mechanics, and nuclear physics. Technological applications include wind, hydro, and geothermal energy, engines and fuels, electrical energy transmission and storage, solar energy and photovoltaics, nuclear reactors, and biomass. |
PHYS0160 | Intro: Relativity/Quantum Physics | A mathematically rigorous introduction to special relativity and quantum mechanics. The second course in the three-semester sequence (PHYS 0470 being the third) for those seeking the strongest foundation in physics. Also suitable for students better served by an introduction to modern physics rather than electromagnetism. Lectures, conferences, and laboratory. Six hours of attendance. Prerequisite: PHYS 0070 or 0050. Recommended: MATH 0180 or 0200. S/NC |
PHYS0180 | Physics for Non-Physicists | This course is an introduction to many major concepts in physics. It is intended for a general audience, and calculus is not required. Along the way, we will address the question “what goes into making a scientific theory?” using the works of Euclid, Galileo, Newton and others as examples. Concepts range historically from planetary motion (addressed at least as early as Ancient Greece) to modern physics topics that are still under debate today. These concepts include (but are not limited to) motion, forces, energy, electricity and magnetism, special relativity and quantum mechanics. |
PHYS0220 | Astronomy | An introduction to basic ideas and observations in astronomy, starting with the observed sky, coordinates and astronomical calendars and cycles, the historical development of our understanding of astronomical objects. Particular emphasis is placed on the properties of stars, galaxies, and the Universe as a whole, including the basic ideas of cosmology. The material is covered at a more basic level than PHYS 0270. Knowledge of basic algebra and trigonometry is required, but no experience with calculus is necessary. The course includes evening laboratory sessions. |
PHYS0500 | Advanced Classical Mechanics | Dynamics of particles, rigid bodies, and elastic continua. Normal modes. Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations. Prerequisites: PHYS 0070, 0160 or 0050, 0060 and MATH 0180 or 0200; or approved equivalents. |
PHYS0560 | Experiments in Modern Physics | Introduction to experimental physics. Students perform fundamental experiments in modern quantum physics, including atomic physics, nuclear and particle physics, and condensed matter physics. Visits to research labs at Brown acquaint students with fields of current research. Emphasizes laboratory techniques, statistics, and data analysis. Three lecture/discussion hours and three laboratory hours each week. Required of all physics concentrators. Prerequisites: PHYS 0070, 0160 or 0050, 0060; 0470. |
PHYS1100/PHYS2100 | Intro to General Relativity | An introduction to Einstein's theory of gravity, including special relativity, spacetime curvature, cosmology and black holes. Prerequisites: PHYS 0500 and MATH 0520 or MATH 0540 or equivalent, or permission of the instructor. Recommended: PHYS 0720. Offered every other year. PHYS2100: This graduate course in general relativity and cosmology will cover the principles of Einstein's general theory of relativity, differential geometry, the first order formulation of general relativity (Einstein-Cartan theory), experimental tests of general relativity and black holes. The second half of the course will focus on relativistic cosmology with a focus on its interface with field theory. |
PHYS1170 | Intro: Nuclear/Hi-Energy Physics | A study of modern nuclear and particle physics, with emphasis on the theory and interpretation of experimental results. Prerequisites: PHYS 1410, 1420, or written permission. |
PHYS1250 | Stellar Structure | This class is an introduction to the physics of stars and their environment. The course covers the fundamental physics that set the physical properties of stars, such as their luminosity, size, spectral properties and how these quantities evolve with time. In addition, it includes a study of the physics that takes place in the gaseous environment surrounding stars, the InterStellar Medium (ISM). The ISM is very important because it contains a wealth of information on the evolutionary history of galaxies, their composition, formation and future. Prerequisites: PHYS 0270, PHYS 0500, or instructor permission. PHYS 1530 (perhaps taken concurrently) is strongly recommended but not required. |
PHYS1420 | Quantum Mechanics B | A unified treatment of quanta, photons, electrons, atoms, molecules, matter, nuclei, and particles. Quantum mechanics developed at the start and used to link and explain both the older and newer experimental phenomena of modern physics. Prerequisites: PHYS 0500 and 0560; and MATH 0520, 0540 or PHYS 0720; or approved equivalents. |
PHYS1560 | Modern Physics Laboratory | A sequence of intensive, advanced experiments often introducing sophisticated techniques. Prerequisites: PHYS 0470, 0500 and 0560; and MATH 0520, 0540 or PHYS 0720; or approved equivalents. |
PHYS1600/PHYS2600 | Computational Physics | This course provides students with an introduction to scientific computation, primarily as applied to physical science problems. It will assume a basic knowledge of programming and will focus on how computational methods can be used to study physical systems complementing experimental and theoretical techniques. Prerequisites: PHYS 0070, 0160 (or 0050, 0060) and 0470 (or ENGN 0510); MATH 0180 or 0200 or 0350; the ability to write a simple computer program in Fortran, Matlab, C or C++. PHYS2670: This course provides students with an introduction to scientific computation at the graduate level, primarily as applied to physical science problems. It will assume a basic knowledge of programming and will focus on how computational methods can be used to study physical systems complementing experimental and theoretical techniques. Prerequisites: PHYS 2030, 2050, 2140; the ability to write a simple computer program in Fortran, Matlab, C or C++. |
PHYS1610/PHYS2630 | Biological Physics | Introduction on structures of proteins, nucleotides, and membranes; electrostatics and hydration; chemical equilibrium; binding affinity and kinetics; hydrodynamics and transport; cellular mechanics and motions; biophysical techniques including sedimentation, electrophoresis, microscopy and spectroscopy. Suitable for undergraduate science and engineering majors and graduate students with limited background in life science. Prerequisites: MATH 0180. PHYS2630: The course is the graduate version of Phys 1610, Biological Physics. The topics to be covered include structure of cells and biological molecules; diffusion, dissipation and random motion; flow and friction in fluids; entropy, temperature and energy; chemical reactions and self-assembly; solution electrostatics; action potential and nerve impulses. The graduate level course has additional pre-requsites of Phys 0470 and 1530, or equivalents. It requires homework assignments at the graduate level. The final grades will be assigned separately from those who take the course as Phys 1610, although the two groups may be taught in the same classroom. |
PHYS1670/PHYS2670 | Soft Matter | This course provides an introduction to soft matter: polymers, elastomers, liquid crystals, and colloids. Students in physics, engineering, chemistry and applied mathematics may find this course useful. Familiarity with classical statistical mechanics (PHYS1530) is required. We will use scaling arguments and simple physical pictures as much as possible. |
PHYS1790/PHYS2790 | Quantum Optics | An introduction to the fundamental theory, mathematical formalism, and applications of quantum optics, the study of light and its interactions with matter at microscopic scales. Topics will include: an introduction to quantum mechanics using the bra-ket (or Dirac) notation, quantization of the electromagnetic fields, generation and detection of single photons, non-classical quantum states (single-mode states, Fock or number states, coherent and squeezed states), phasor diagrams, number-phase uncertainty, quantum theory of photoionization/photodetection, quantum description of mirrors, beam splitters, Mach-Zehnder interferometers, spontaneous emission and parametric downconversion, as well as interaction-free measurements. The course is intended for graduate and senior undergraduate students who would like to understand more advanced concepts in emerging fields, such as quantum computing. The material is self-contained, therefore students who do not have a deep background in quantum mechanics or optics will also be able to take the course proficiently |
PHYS1931S | Medical Physics | Medical Physics is an applied branch of physics concerned with the application of the concepts and methods to the diagnosis and treatment of human disease. It allies with medical electronics, bioengineering, health physics. Students will familiarize with major texts and literature of medical physics and are exposed to imaging and treatment techniques and quality control procedures. Students will acquire physical and scientific background to pose questions and solve problems in medical physics. Topics include: Imaging -imaging metrics, ionizing radiation, radiation safety, radioactivity, computed tomography, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, and Radiation Therapy -delivery systems, treatment planning, brachytherapy, image guidance. |
PHYS1970C | String Theory for Undergraduates | This course will concentrate on String Theory. It will be given at introductory/intermediate level with some review of the background material. Topics covered will include dynamical systems, symmetries and Noether’s Theorem; nonrelativistic strings; relativistic systems (particle and string); quantization, gauge fixing, Feynman’s sum over paths; electrostatic analogy; string in curved space-time; and supersymmetry. Some advanced topics will also be addressed, i.e., D-Branes and M-Theory. Recommended prerequisites: PHYS 0470 and 0500, or 0160. |
PHYS1970D | Statistical Physics in Inference and | In this course students will explore the statistical physics principles underlying probabilistic inference and various neural network architectures. The course is designed to bridge the gap between teaching approaches to modern statistical physics that are either purely theoretical, or focus largely on its applications in data analysis. To that end, there will be a conscious effort to study topics such as: MaxEnt principle, variational methods, Hebb’s rule, bias-variance tradeoff, regularization, and others with analytical derivations as well as worked-out code examples in Jupyter notebooks. The course will also provide a space for students to interrogate and reflect on the ethical, political, and policy frameworks that are urgently needed in the age of deep learning. |
PHYS2620J | (Deep) Learning | See above description. |
PHYS1970F | Quantum Information | Quantum information is the modern study of how to encode and transmit information on the quantum scale--in many ways fundamentally different from classical information. This course will connect a standard treatment of Quantum mechanics with information theory. Some topics will overlap with phys 1410, but information will be presented from a different viewpoint and with new applications. Topics covered will include: measurement, quantum states, bits, density of states, entanglement, quantum information processing, computing, and some special topics. Students will be expected to complete an end of term project for successfull completion of the course. |
PHYS1970G | Topological Matter | Topology is a study of the robust properties of geometry, the global stuff that survives wiggles. Topological matter is matter that possesses robust properties that can survive a bit of crud, to the delight of its discoverers. It has breathed new life into topics that have been in textbooks for 75 years. Topics covered include Band Theory, Berry Phase, Topological Insulators, and the Quantum Hall Effect. |
PHYS1970J | Introduction to Fluids | No Course Found |
PHYS2010 | Tech in Experimental Physics | The course aims to help PhD and MSc students learn experimental methods and develop experimental and scientiﬁc communication abilities in major areas of modern physics. We discuss the application of the scientiﬁc method. Four major experiments are conducted during the semester. Students develop skills including observing and measuring physical phenomena, analyzing and interpreting data (primarily using Python notebooks) clearly identifying and including possible sources of errors, and also reaching conclusions and publishing experimental results. Students also learn scientiﬁc presentation skills and how to read published results and references with appropriate judgment. |
PHYS2040 | Classical Theoretical Physics II | Electrostatics of conductors and dielectrics. Boundary value problems. Magnetostatics. Maxwellʼs equations and macroscopic electromagnetism. Conservation laws in electrodynamics. Electromagnetic waves and wave propagation. Special relativity. Relativistic particles and electromagnetic ﬁelds. Electromagnetic radiation. Other topics if time permits. Prerequisites: PHYS2030 and knowledge of basic undergraduate Electromagnetism. |
PHYS2060 | Quantum Mechanics | The second semester of a rigorous full-year graduate quantum mechanics course. Two areas will be emphasized: (1) Essential tools of quantum mechanics, including addition of angular momentum, perturbation and scattering theory, and an introduction to relativistic quantum mechanics. (2) Key results of quantum mechanics such as the solution of the hydrogen atom, Fermiʼs golden rule, and the spontaneous decay of excited states of atoms. |
PHYS2140 | Statistical Mechanics | This course provides a graduate level introduction to the foundations of classical and quantum statistical mechanics with applications to ideal gases (including the magnetic properties of electron gases and Bose-Einstein condensation), interacting systems, and phase transitions, including an introduction to the renormalization group and scaling at continuous phase transitions. Prerequisites: thermodynamics, statistical mechanics and quantum mechanics. |
PHYS2170 | Intro: Nuclear/Hi-Energy Physics | This course provides a comprehensive introduction to modern elementary particle physics for graduate and senior undergraduate students. The focus of the course is the detailed description of the Standard Model of particle physics, which has proven remarkably successful in describing the properties and behavior of elementary particles and ﬁelds. Topics of current interest, new developments, and outstanding problems are be highlighted. Special attention is devoted to experimental methods, which resulted in most signiﬁcant discoveries in particle physics. Prerequisites: Introductory Quantum Mechanics (PHYS0560, or PHYS1410, or equivalent). |
PHYS2280 | This course serves as a graduate-level introduction to modern cosmology, including current topics of research on both observational and theoretical fronts. Topics include relativistic cosmology, inflation and the early Universe, observational cosmology, galaxy formation. Prerequisites for undergraduates: PHYS 1280 and PHYS 1530. | |
PHYS2300 | Quantum Theory of Fields I | 2670. An introduction to the quantum theory of ﬁelds. Topics include scalar ﬁeld theory, quantum electrodynamics, path integrals, perturbation theory and an introduction to renormalization. |
PHYS2340 | Group Theory | Offered every other year. This course aims to provide a basic introduction to the elements of group theory most commonly encountered in physics, including discrete groups, Lie groups and Lie algebras. The course will place a particular emphasis on characters and the representation theory of Lie algebras. Students should have a solid background in linear algebra, and some exposure to quantum mechanics may be helpful. |
PHYS2420 | Solid State Physics II | The goal of the course is to explain the effects of interactions between the electrons on the properties of quantum materials. In particular, upon completing the course you will acquire deep understanding of the physics of conductors, symmetry broken phases and strongly interacting topological phases such as Hall effect. We will particularly concentrate on the phenomenology of these systems. |
PHYS2550 | Application of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence | This graduate-level course explores the integration of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques in various branches of physics. With a focus on practical applications, students will gain hands-on experience in leveraging ML and AI to solve complex problems, enhance data analysis, and optimize experimental design in the context of particle physics, astrophysics, and condensed matter physics. |
PHYS2620H | Quantum Computation, Information and Sensing | This course introduces the theory and practice of quantum computation and quantum information with the focus on quantum algorithms. The topics that will be covered are quantum mechanics from the quantum computing perspective, quantum measurement, quantum sensing, quantum gates, quantum algorithms, quantum error correction codes, quantum entanglement and applications in quantum communication. To demonstrate the ability to perform independent research and literature review, students will write a final report on quantum computing/quantum information topics. |
PHYS2630/PHYS1610 | Biological Physics | The course is the graduate version of Phys 1610, Biological Physics. The topics to be covered include structure of cells and biological molecules; diffusion, dissipation and random motion; flow and friction in fluids; entropy, temperature and energy; chemical reactions and self-assembly; solution electrostatics; action potential and nerve impulses. The graduate level course has additional pre-requsites of Phys 0470 and 1530, or equivalents. It requires homework assignments at the graduate level. The final grades will be assigned separately from those who take the course as Phys 1610, although the two groups may be taught in the same classroom.PHYS2790: |
PHYS1790/PHYS2790 | Quantum Optics | An introduction to the fundamental theory, mathematical formalism, and applications of quantum optics, the study of light and its interactions with matter at microscopic scales. Topics will include: an introduction to quantum mechanics using the bra-ket (or Dirac) notation, quantization of the electromagnetic fields, generation and detection of single photons, non-classical quantum states (single-mode states, Fock or number states, coherent and squeezed states), phasor diagrams, number-phase uncertainty, quantum theory of photoionization/photodetection, quantum description of mirrors, beam splitters, Mach-Zehnder interferometers, spontaneous emission and parametric downconversion, as well as interaction-free measurements. The course is intended for graduate and senior undergraduate students who would like to understand more advanced concepts in emerging fields, such as quantum computing. The material is self-contained, therefore students who do not have a deep background in quantum mechanics or optics will also be able to take the course proficiently |
Science concentrators beginning college physics in their junior or senior year, particularly premedical students, should generally take Physics 30 and 40. Some, wishing a deeper course, may want to consider Physics 50 and 60. People with A.P. credit for high school physics should certainly consider this alternative, as well as the possibilities of Physics 70 and/or 160.
Most other students should take courses above the level of Physics 40. This specifically includes those who plan (or wish to retain the option) to concentrate in any physical science, and/or most who for any reason take physics as freshmen or sophomores, particularly if they have studied physics previously. Such people should begin with Physics 50, unless they have completed a year of both physics and calculus, in which case Physics 70 should be seriously considered. Those who limit their college physics to two semesters may conclude with either Physics 60 or Physics 160. Specific recommendations for particular concentrations are available from Concentration Advisors or the contact people mentioned below.
Those who wish the strongest available foundation in physics, including but not limited to those contemplating physics or physics-related concentrations, should follow Physics 50 or 70 with Physics 160 and Physics 470.
Course Number | Description |
PHYS 0030 | This course is a broad quantitative survey of the main classes of physical phenomena, with applications. It includes much that is covered in a sound (A.P.-level) high school course and most of its syllabus corresponds to that of the MCATs. It is intended for premedical students and others beginning physics as juniors or seniors. It is not the best foundation for a physical science concentration and is largely redundant for those who have recently taken high school physics at the A.P. level. |
PHYS 0050 | This course is the basic beginning course for those building a foundation for a physical science concentration. It is appropriate for most freshmen and sophomores, especially those who have had high school physics, though such background is not required. |
PHYS 0070 | This course is a faster-paced, more extensive alternative to Physics 5 for those who have completed a year each of physics and calculus. It will cover the material of Physics 5 rapidly and proceed in each subject area to more sophisticated applications and more challenging problems. |
PHYS 0060 | Following Physics 50 or 70, this course completes the study of classical physics in two semesters, for those wishing to do this. |
PHYS 0160 | This course is an in-depth introduction to modern physics. It is the second course in the three-semester sequence (concluding with Physics 470) that provides the strongest foundation offered for physical science concentrators. Physics160 is also an available alternative to Physics 60 for students who limit their college physics to two semesters. |
Several First-Year Seminars are offered each year by the Department. Non-science concentrators, particularly those wishing to minimize the role of mathematics, are best served by the First-Year Seminars.
Mathematics is an indispensable part of the structure of physics. Since mathematics provides the logical framework where physical laws can be precisely formulated and their predictions quantified, students with highly developed mathematical skills tend to have a greater advantage in a physics course. It is therefore strongly recommended that students begin their mathematical studies at Brown as soon as possible, and at the highest level consistent with their mathematics background.
Most entering students take either MATH 190 or 350 in the fall semester, depending on their background (note that 190 is preferred over 170), followed by MATH 200 or 520 or 540 (the latter two following 350). It is strongly recommended that all sophomores take PHYS 720, “Methods of Mathematical Physics”, which will provide students with the essentials of linear algebra, Fourier analysis and differential equations, in a form most appropriate for advanced Physics courses. Note that PHYS 720 can be taken with no previous knowledge of linear algebra (the subject matter of MATH 520 and 540).
Students earning an Sc.B. in Physics must take one additional Math or Applied Math course beyond those listed above. Courses in ordinary and partial differential equations, Fourier analysis and complex analysis are highly recommended. Probability and statistics, group theory, topology and differential geometry are also good choices.
For clarification or advice on individual cases, please consult the Physics Concentration Advisor or the course instructors.
View a list of graduate and undergraduate courses on Courses@Brown, updated each semester.