BETA Physics Course Offerings

Visit: for a full list of prerequisites. Specialized junior/senior courses are also open to BETA Physics students. All students are required to meet prerequisites as listed for each course.

PHYSICS 141A Solid State Physics 4 Units

Part I. A thorough introductory course in modern solid state physics. Crystal symmetries; classification of solids and their bonding; electromagnetic, elastic, and particle waves in periodic lattices; thermal magnetic and dielectric properties of solids; energy bands of metals and semi-conductors; superconductivity; magnetism; ferroelectricity; magnetic resonances.

PHYSICS 141B Solid State Physics 3 Units

Part II. A thorough introductory course in modern solid state physics. Crystal symmetries; classification of solids and their bonding; electromagnetic, elastic, and particle waves in periodic lattices; thermal magnetic and dielectric properties of solids; energy bands of metals and semi-conductors; superconductivity; magnetism; ferroelectricity; magnetic resonances.

PHYSICS C191 Quantum Information Science and Technology 3 Units

This multidisciplinary course provides an introduction to fundamental conceptual aspects of quantum mechanics from a computational and informational theoretic perspective, as well as physical implementations and technological applications of quantum information science. Basic sections of quantum algorithms, complexity, and cryptography, will be touched upon, as well as pertinent physical realizations from nanoscale science and engineering.

PHYSICS C202 Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics 4 Units

Principles of gas dynamics, self-gravitating fluids, magnetohydrodynamics and elementary kinetic theory. Aspects of convection, fluid oscillations, linear instabilities, spiral density waves, shock waves, turbulence, accretion disks, stellar winds, and jets.

PHYSICS 205A Advanced Dynamics 4 Units

Lagrange and Hamiltonian dynamics, variational methods, symmetry, kinematics and dynamics of rotation, canonical variables and transformations, perturbation theory, nonlinear dynamics, KAM theory, solitons and integrable pdes.

PHYSICS 205B Advanced Dynamics 4 Units

Nonlinear dynamics of dissipative systems, attractors, perturbation theory, bifurcation theory, pattern formation. Emphasis on recent developments, including turbulence.

PHYSICS C207 Radiation Processes in Astronomy 4 Units

An introduction to the basic physics of astronomy and astrophysics at the graduate level. Principles of energy transfer by radiation. Elements of classical and quantum theory of photon emission; bremsstrahlung, cyclotron and synchrotron radiation. Compton scattering, atomic, molecular and nuclear electromagnetic transitions. Collisional excitation of atoms, molecules and nuclei.

PHYSICS 209 Classical Electromagnetism 5 Units

Maxwell's equations, gauge transformations and tensors. Complete development of special relativity, with applications. Plane waves in material media, polarization, Fresnel equations, attenuation, and dispersion. Wave equation with sources, retarded solution for potentials, and fields. Cartesian and spherical multipole expansions, vector spherical harmonics, examples of radiating systems, diffraction, and optical theorem. Fields of charges in arbitrary motion, radiated power, relativistic (synchrotron) radiation, and radiation in collisions.

PHYSICS 211 Equilibrium Statistical Physics 4 Units

Foundations of statistical physics. Ensemble theory. Degenerate systems. Systems of interacting particles.

PHYSICS 212 Nonequilibrium Statistical Physics 4 Units

Time dependent processes. Kinetic equations. Transport processes. Irreversibility. Theory of many-particle systems. Critical phenomena and renormalization group. Theory of phase transitions.

PHYSICS 216 Special Topics in Many-Body Physics 4 Units

Quantum theory of many-particle systems. Applications of theory and technique to physical systems. Pairing phenomena, superfluidity, equation of state, critical phenomena, phase transitions, nuclear matter.

PHYSICS C218 Modern Optical Microscopy for the Modern Biologist 3 Units

This course is intended for graduate students in the early stages of their thesis research who are contemplating using modern microscopy tools as part of their work. It endeavors to cut through the confusion of the wide array of new imaging methods, with a practical description of the pros and cons of each. In addition to providing an intuitive physical understanding how these microscopes work, the course will offer hands on experience with cutting-edge microscopes where students will be able to see firsthand how different imaging modalities perform on their own samples, and where they will be able to access computational tools for the visualization and analysis of their data.

PHYSICS 221A Quantum Mechanics 5 Units

Basic assumptions of quantum mechanics; quantum theory of measurement; matrix mechanics; Schroedinger theory; symmetry and invariance principles; theory of angular momentum; stationary state problems; variational principles; time independent perturbation theory; time dependent perturbation theory; theory of scattering.

PHYSICS 221B Quantum Mechanics 5 Units

Many-body methods, radiation field quantization, relativistic quantum mechanics, applications.

PHYSICS 226 Particle Physics Phenomenology 4 Units

Introduction to particle physics phenomena. Emphasis is placed on experimental tests of particle physics models. Topics include Quark model spectroscopy; weak decays; overview of detectors and accelerators; e+e- annihilation; parton model; electron-proton and neutrino-proton scattering; special topics of current interest.

PHYSICS C228 Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology 3 Units

A survey of physical cosmology - the study of the origin, evolution, and fate of the universe. Topics include the Friedmann-Robertson-Walker model, thermal history and big bang nucleosynthesis, evidence and nature of dark matter and dark energy, the formation and growth of galaxies and large scale structure, the anisotropy of the cosmic microwave radiation, inflation in the early universe, tests of cosmological models, and current research areas.

PHYSICS 229 Advanced Cosmology 3 Units

Advanced topics in physical and early-universe cosmology. Topics include the expanding Universe, evidence and nature of dark matter and dark energy, relativistic perturbation theory, models of cosmological inflation, the formation and growth of large scale structure and the anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background, and current research areas. The course extends the material of C228.

PHYSICS 130/230 Quantum and Nonlinear Optics 3 Units

The detailed theory and experimental basis of quantum and nonlinear optics is presented and used to exhibit basic concepts of quantum measurements and noise, stochastic processes and dissipative quantum systems. Topics covered may include the second-quantization treatment of electromagnetic fields, photodetection, coherence properties of quantum-optical fields, light-atom interactions, cavity quantum electrodynamics, several non-linear optical systems, squeezed light and its applications, aspects of quantum information science, and selected topics at the forefront of modern optics research.

PHYSICS 231 General Relativity 4 Units

An introduction to Einstein's theory of gravitation. Tensor analysis, general relativistic models for matter and electromagnetism, Einstein's field equations. Applications, for example, to the solar system, dense stars, black holes, and cosmology.

PHYSICS 232A Quantum Field Theory I 4 Units

Introduction to quantum field theory: canonical quantization of scalar, electromagnetic, and Dirac fields; derivation of Feynman rules; regularization and renormalization; introduction to the renormalization group; elements of the path integral.

PHYSICS 232B Quantum Field Theory II 4 Units

Renormalization of Yang-Mills gauge theories: BRST quantization of gauge theories; nonperturbative dynamics; renormalization group; basics of effective field theory; large N; solitons; instantons; dualities. Selected current topics.

PHYSICS 233A Standard Model and Beyond I 4 Units

Introduction to the Standard Model of particle physics and its applications: construction of the Standard Model; Higgs mechanism; phenomenology of weak interactions; QCD and the chiral Lagrangian; quark mixing and flavor physics.

PHYSICS 233B Standard Model and Beyond II 4 Units

Advanced topics in the Standard Model and beyond, selected from: open problems in the Standard Model; supersymmetric models; grand unification; neutrino physics; flat and warped extra dimensions; axions; inflation; baryogenesis; dark matter; the multiverse; other current topics.

PHYSICS 234A String Theory I 4 Units

Perturbative theory of the bosonic strings, superstrings, and heterotic strings: NSR and GS formulations; 2d CFT; strings in background fields; T-duality; effective spacetime supergravity; perturbative description of D-branes; elements of compactifications and string phenomemology; perturbative mirror symmetry.

PHYSICS 234B String Theory II 4 Units

Nonperturbative apsects of string theory. Topics selected from black holes; black branes; Bekenstein-Hawking entropy; D-branes; string dualities; M-theory; holographic principle and its realizations; AdS/CFT correspondence; gauge theory/gravity dualities; flux compactifications; cosmology in string theory; topological string theories. Selected current topics.

PHYSICS 138/238A Modern Atomic Physics 3 Units

Atomic, molecular, and optical physics is at once a precise and quantitative description of atoms, molecules and light; a generalized toolbox for manipulating and probing quantum systems; and an active field of contemporary research. This course exposes students to all these aspects. Lectures will cover topics such as atomic structure and spectra, the interaction of atoms with static and time-varying electromagnetic fields, some topics in quantum electrodynamics, methods of resonant manipulation of quantum systems, and resonance optics. Through lectures, discussion sessions, and homework assignments, students encounter contemporary research foci.

PHYSICS 238B Advanced Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics 4 Units

Contemporary topics in atomic, molecular, and optical physics are presented at an advanced level. These topics may include one or several of the following, at the discretion of the instructor: mechanical effects of light-atom interactions, ultra-cold atomic physics, molecular physics, resonance optics of multi-level atoms, and probing particle physics with atoms and molecules.

PHYSICS 240A Quantum Theory of Solids 4 Units

Excitations and interactions in solids; crystal structures, symmetries, Bloch's theorem; energy bands; electron dynamics; impurity states; lattice dynamics, phonons; many-electron interactions; density functional theory; dielectric functions, conductivity and optical properties.

PHYSICS 240B Quantum Theory of Solids 4 Units

Optical properties, excitons; electron-phonon interactions, polarons; quantum oscillations, Fermi surfaces; magnetoresistance; quantum Hall effect; transport processes, Boltzmann equation; superconductivity, BCS theory; many-body perturbation theory, Green's functions.

PHYSICS 242A Theoretical Plasma Physics 4 Units

Analysis of plasma behavior according to the Vlasov, Fokker-Planck equations, guiding center and hydromagnetic descriptions. Study of equilibria, stability, linear and nonlinear waves, transport, and laser-plasma interactions.

PHYSICS 242B Theoretical Plasma Physics 4 Units

Analysis of plasma behavior according to the Vlasov, Fokker-Planck equations, guiding center and hydromagnetic descriptions. Study of equilibria, stability, linear and nonlinear waves, transport, and laser-plasma interactions.

PHYSICS 250 Special Topics in Physics 2 - 4 Units

Topics will vary from semester to semester. See Department of Physics announcements.

PHYSICS 251 Introduction to Graduate Research in Physics 1 Unit

A survey of experimental and theoretical research in the Department of Physics, designed for first-year graduate students. One regular meeting each week with supplementary visits to experimental laboratories. Meetings include discussions with research staff.

PHYSICS C254 High Energy Astrophysics 3 Units

Basic physics of high energy radiation processes in an astrophysics environment. Cosmic ray production and propagation. Applications selected from pulsars, x-ray sources, supernovae, interstellar medium, extragalactic radio sources, quasars, and big-bang cosmologies.

PHYSICS 288 Bayesian Data Analysis and Machine Learning for Physical Sciences 4 Units

The course design covers data analysis and machine learning, highlighting their importance to the physical sciences. It covers data analysis with linear and nonlinear regression, logistic regression, and gaussian processes. It covers concepts in machine learning such as unsupervised and supervised regression and classification learning. It develops Bayesian statistics and information theory, covering concepts such as information, entropy, posteriors

PHYSICS 290 Seminars 2 Units

Graduate seminars in various fields of physics.