Physics

Departmental Office: 704 Pupin; 212-854-3348
http://www.columbia.edu/cu/physics

Director of Undergraduate Studies: Dr. Jeremy Dodd, 924 Pupin; 212-854-3969; dodd@phys.columbia.edu

The physics major offers a rigorous preparation in the intellectual developments of modern physics, along with extensive exposure to the mathematical and experimental techniques required to conduct basic and applied research in physics.

For the major, the department offers a set of required courses well-suited to prepare students for the most rigorous course of graduate study. These can be supplemented by elective courses in a variety of advanced topics. Although most majors go on to graduate work in physics, the intellectual skills acquired in the study of physics can also provide the basis for work in a variety of other scientific and nonscientific areas.

The physics concentration is for students who are interested in physics but are uncertain about graduate study in physics; for those who want to explore other subjects along with physics; for those who want to find a physics- or technology-related job after graduation; or for those who are considering a professional school such as law or medicine. The department helps concentrators custom design programs to ensure maximum flexibility in meeting students’ intellectual needs and career goals. With appropriate selection of courses, the concentrator can explore other subjects yet maintain the option of graduate study in physics.

Research is an extremely important component of the Columbia physics experience. Because the department has a very small student-to-faculty ratio, essentially all physics majors and concentrators engage in experimental, computational, or theoretical research under the close supervision of a faculty member during part, if not all, of their time at Columbia.

Registration for Introductory Courses

The department offers a stand-alone one-semester course for nonscience majors, one introductory sequence in physics intended primarily for preprofessional students, and three introductory sequences in physics for engineering and physical science majors. Students are given credit for courses from only one of the different sequence groups.

Mixing courses across the sequences is strongly discouraged; however, physics majors who begin their studies with PHYS UN1401 Introduction To Mechanics and Thermodynamics - PHYS UN1402 Introduction To Electricity, Magnetism, and Optics should take PHYS UN2601 Physics, III: Classical and Quantum Waves as the third-semester course.

Introductory Sequences

Nonscience Majors:

PHYS UN1001 Physics for Poets

Preprofessional Students:

PHYS UN1201
 - PHYS UN1202
General Physics I
and General Physics II
Accompanying laboratory course:
PHYS UN1291
 - PHYS UN1292
General Physics Laboratory
and General Physics Laboratory II

Engineering and Physical Science Majors:

Select one of the following sequences with accompanying laboratory course:
Sequence A:
Introduction To Mechanics and Thermodynamics
and Introduction To Electricity, Magnetism, and Optics
and Introduction to Classical and Quantum Waves
Sequence B:
Physics, I: Mechanics and Relativity
and Physics, II: Thermodynamics, Electricity, and Magnetism
and Physics, III: Classical and Quantum Waves
Sequence C:
Accelerated Physics I
and Accelerated Physics II

Sequence A is a self-contained group of three courses, while Sequences B and C anticipate more course work in the Physics Department. Students considering a physics major are strongly encouraged to begin one of these sequences in their first year.

Laboratory

Many of the introductory courses include a laboratory, as indicated. A $75 per term laboratory fee is charged for all 1000-level and 2000-level laboratories.

Advanced Placement

Students may earn a maximum of 6 credits in physics. The department grants 6 credits for a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Physics B exam, but the student is not entitled to any exemptions. The amount of credit is reduced to 3 if the student takes a 1000-level physics course.

The department grants 3 credits for a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Physics C/MECH exam, but the student is not entitled to any exemptions. The amount of credit is reduced to 0 if the student takes PHYS UN1001PHYS UN1201, PHYS UN1401 or PHYS UN1601.

The department grants 3 credits for a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Physics C/E&M exam, but the student is not entitled to any exemptions. The amount of credit is reduced to 0 if the student takes PHYS UN1001, PHYS UN1202,PHYS UN1402 or PHYS UN1602.

Professors

  • Igor Aleiner
  • Boris Altshuler
  • Elena Aprile
  • Dmitri Bassov
  • Andrei Beloborodov
  • Allan Blaer (emeritus)
  • Gustaaf Brooijmans
  • Norman Christ
  • Brian Cole
  • Frederik Denef
  • Richard Friedberg (Barnard emeritus)
  • Brian Greene (Mathematics)
  • Miklos Gyulassy (emeritus)
  • Charles J. Hailey
  • Timothy Halpin-Healy (Barnard)
  • Sven Hartmann (emeritus)
  • Emlyn Hughes
  • Lam Hui
  • Laura Kay (Barnard Astronomy)
  • Tsung Dao Lee (emeritus)
  • Szabolcs Marka
  • Robert Mawhinney
  • Andrew Millis
  • Alfred H. Mueller
  • Reshmi Mukherjee (Barnard)
  • John Parsons
  • Aron Pinczuk (Applied Physics)
  • Malvin Ruderman
  • Frank Sciulli (emeritus)
  • Michael Shaevitz
  • Michael Tuts (Chair)
  • Yasutomo Uemura
  • Erick Weinberg
  • William Zajc

Associate Professors

  • Janna Levin (Barnard)
  • Alberto Nicolis
  • Abhay Pasupathy
  • Ozgur Sahin (Biology)
  • Tanya Zelevinsky

Assistant Professors

  • Cory Dean
  • Brian Humensky
  • Bradley Johnson
  • Georgia Karagiorgi
  • Brian Metzger
  • Rachel Rosen
  • Sebastian Will

Senior Lecturer in Discipline

  • Jeremy Dodd

Adjunct Professor

  • Morgan May

Lecturer

  • Burton Budick
  • Joel Gersten

On Leave

Tony Heinz

Amber Miller

Guidelines for all Physics Majors, Concentrators, and Interdepartmental Majors

Majors and concentrators should plan their programs of study with the director of undergraduate studies before the beginning of the junior year.

Prospective physics majors are strongly encouraged to begin one of the introductory physics sequences in their first year. Majors should aim to acquire as extensive a background in mathematics as possible.

The department considers laboratory experience to be an essential part of the physics curriculum. Majors and concentrators can gain such experience in the intermediate-level laboratories, the electronics laboratory, and through experimental research in faculty research groups.

Grading

A grade of C- or better must be obtained for a course to count toward the majors or the concentration. The grade of P is not acceptable, but a course that was taken P/D/F may be counted if and only if the P is uncovered by the Registrar's deadline.


Major in Physics

Physics Courses

The major in physics requires a minimum of 41 points in physics courses, including:

Introductory Sequences
Select one of the following sequences:
Sequence A: Students with a limited background in high school physics may elect to take:
Introduction To Mechanics and Thermodynamics
and Introduction To Electricity, Magnetism, and Optics
and Physics, III: Classical and Quantum Waves
Sequence B:
Physics, I: Mechanics and Relativity
and Physics, II: Thermodynamics, Electricity, and Magnetism
and Physics, III: Classical and Quantum Waves
Sequence C: Students with advanced preparation in both physics and mathematics may be eligible to take:
Accelerated Physics I
and Accelerated Physics II
Core Physics Courses
Mechanics
Electricity and Magnetism
Electromagnetic Waves and Optics
Quantum Mechanics
Quantum Mechanics II
Thermal and Statistical Physics
Elective Courses
Select at least six points of the following courses:
From Quarks To the Cosmos: Applications of Modern Physics
Advanced Mechanics
Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology
Solid-State Physics
Mathematical Methods of Physics
Introduction to General Relativity
Introduction to Particle Physics
With the permission of the Director of Undergraduate Studies, 4000- or 6000-level courses offered in this or other science departments
Laboratory Work at the Intermediate Level *
Select one of the following options:
Option 1:
Intermediate Laboratory Work (two semesters)
Electronics Laboratory
Option 2:
Intermediate Laboratory Work (three semesters)
Senior Seminar
PHYS UN3072 Seminar in Current Research Problems
*

Approved experimental work with a faculty research group may satisfy one semester of the laboratory requirement.

Mathematics Courses

Calculus through MATH UN1202 Calculus IV or MATH UN1208 Honors Mathematics B; and MATH UN3027 Ordinary Differential Equations or the equivalent.

Recommended cognate courses: MATH UN2010 Linear Algebra, MATH UN3007 Complex Variables, and MATH UN3028 Partial Differential Equations.


Concentration in Physics

The concentration in physics requires a minimum of 24 points in physics, including one of the introductory sequences.


Interdisciplinary Major

It is also possible to major in astrophysics, biophysics, and chemical physics. Students interested in these areas should consult with the director of undergraduate studies and with cognate departments (astronomy, biological sciences, chemistry).

PHYS UN1001 Physics for Poets. 3 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement

Prerequisites: high school algebra.

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.

Spring 2017: PHYS UN1001
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHYS 1001 001/22892 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
428 Pupin Laboratories
Szabolcs Marka 3 127/140

PHYS UN1018 Weapons of Mass Destruction. 3 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement

Prerequisites: high school science and math.

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.

Spring 2017: PHYS UN1018
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHYS 1018 001/76198 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
301 Pupin Laboratories
Szabolcs Marka 3 153/140

PHYS UN1201 General Physics I. 3 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement

Prerequisites: some basic background in calculus or be concurrently taking MATH V1101x Calculus I.,The accompanying laboratory is PHYS UN1291-UN1292

The course will use elementary concepts from calculus. The accompanying laboratory is PHYS W1291x-W1292y. Basic introduction to the study of mechanics, fluids, thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, optics, special relativity, quantum mechanics, atomic physics, and nuclear physics.

Spring 2017: PHYS UN1201
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHYS 1201 001/18383 T Th 6:10pm - 7:25pm
301 Pupin Laboratories
Cory Dean 3 108/140
Fall 2017: PHYS UN1201
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHYS 1201 001/22186 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
301 Pupin Laboratories
Michael Shaevitz 3 160/160
PHYS 1201 002/23538 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
428 Pupin Laboratories
Bradley Johnson 3 49/130
PHYS 1201 003/19467 T Th 6:10pm - 7:25pm
428 Pupin Laboratories
Burton Budick 3 61/130

PHYS UN1202 General Physics II. 3 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement

Prerequisites: This couse will use elementary concepts from calculus. Students should therefore have had some high school calculus, or be cuncurrently enrolled in MATH V1101.
Corequisites: Taken with accompanying lab PHYS V1291-2, the sequence PHYS V1201-2 satisfies requirements for medical school.

Electricity, magnetism, optics, and modern physics.

Spring 2017: PHYS UN1202
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHYS 1202 001/60626 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
301 Pupin Laboratories
Michael Shaevitz 3 162/160
PHYS 1202 002/63885 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
428 Pupin Laboratories
Jeremy Dodd 3 99/130
PHYS 1202 003/25739 T Th 6:10pm - 7:25pm
428 Pupin Laboratories
Burton Budick 3 50/130

PHYS UN1291 General Physics Laboratory. 1 point.

Same course as PHYS W1291x, but given off-sequence.

Corequisites: PHYS W1201y.

This course is the laboratory for the corequisite lecture course and can be taken only during the same term as the corresponding lecture.

Spring 2017: PHYS UN1291
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHYS 1291 001/61966 M 1:00pm - 4:00pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 13/15
PHYS 1291 002/76375 M 4:10pm - 7:10pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 9/15
PHYS 1291 003/74858 T 1:00pm - 4:00pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 12/15
PHYS 1291 004/64480 T 7:30pm - 10:30pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 9/15
PHYS 1291 005/17809 W 1:00pm - 4:00pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 12/15
PHYS 1291 006/64268 W 7:30pm - 10:30pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 5/15
PHYS 1291 007/61869 Th 1:00pm - 4:00pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 14/15
PHYS 1291 008/74156 Th 7:30pm - 10:30pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 9/15
PHYS 1291 009/67925 F 1:00pm - 4:00pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 6/15
Fall 2017: PHYS UN1291
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHYS 1291 001/21452 M 1:00pm - 4:00pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 15/15
PHYS 1291 002/10062 M 1:00pm - 4:00pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 15/15
PHYS 1291 003/67323 M 4:10pm - 7:10pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 15/15
PHYS 1291 004/22799 M 4:10pm - 7:10pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 15/15
PHYS 1291 005/75863 M 7:30pm - 10:30pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 15/15
PHYS 1291 006/68967 M 7:30pm - 10:30pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 3/15
PHYS 1291 007/72385 T 1:00pm - 4:00pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 15/15
PHYS 1291 008/29961 T 1:00pm - 4:00pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 15/15
PHYS 1291 009/16186 T 4:10pm - 7:10pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 9/15
PHYS 1291 010/64117 T 4:10pm - 7:10pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 5/15
PHYS 1291 011/23167 T 7:30pm - 10:30pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 9/15
PHYS 1291 012/27691 T 7:30pm - 10:30pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 0/15
PHYS 1291 013/74065 W 1:00pm - 4:00pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 15/15
PHYS 1291 014/28513 W 1:00pm - 4:00pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 14/15
PHYS 1291 015/13394 W 4:10pm - 7:10pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 15/15
PHYS 1291 016/11326 W 4:10pm - 7:10pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 12/15
PHYS 1291 017/67817 W 7:30pm - 10:30pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 7/15
PHYS 1291 018/19821 W 7:30pm - 10:30pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 1/15
PHYS 1291 019/68973 Th 1:00pm - 4:00pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 15/15
PHYS 1291 020/29005 Th 1:00pm - 4:00pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 15/15
PHYS 1291 021/75327 Th 4:10pm - 7:10pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 6/15
PHYS 1291 022/69519 Th 4:10pm - 7:10pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 1/15
PHYS 1291 023/14769 Th 7:30pm - 10:30pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 10/15
PHYS 1291 024/28004 Th 7:30pm - 10:30pm
Room TBA
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 1/15
PHYS 1291 025/12938 F 1:00pm - 4:00pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 13/15
PHYS 1291 026/23661 F 1:00pm - 4:00pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 0/15

PHYS UN1292 General Physics Laboratory II. 1 point.

Corequisites: PHYS W1201x-W1202y.

This course is the laboratory for the corequisite lecture course (PHYS W1201x-W1202y) and can be taken only during the same term as the corresponding lecture.

Spring 2017: PHYS UN1292
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHYS 1292 001/25415 M 1:00pm - 4:00pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 14/15
PHYS 1292 002/64628 M 1:00pm - 4:00pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 15/15
PHYS 1292 003/74037 M 4:10pm - 7:10pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 14/15
PHYS 1292 004/77349 M 4:10pm - 7:10pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 13/15
PHYS 1292 005/64687 M 7:30pm - 10:30pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 14/15
PHYS 1292 006/10789 M 7:30pm - 10:30pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 7/15
PHYS 1292 007/26909 T 1:00pm - 4:00pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 15/15
PHYS 1292 008/64016 T 1:00pm - 4:00pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 14/15
PHYS 1292 009/21826 T 4:10pm - 7:10pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 11/15
PHYS 1292 010/67061 T 4:10pm - 7:10pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 11/15
PHYS 1292 011/75591 T 7:30pm - 10:30pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 13/15
PHYS 1292 013/28570 W 1:00pm - 4:00pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 15/15
PHYS 1292 014/28837 W 1:00pm - 4:00pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 13/15
PHYS 1292 015/63092 W 4:10pm - 7:10pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 16/15
PHYS 1292 016/70747 W 4:10pm - 7:10pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 15/15
PHYS 1292 017/29301 W 7:30pm - 10:30pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 14/15
PHYS 1292 018/66164 Th 1:00pm - 4:00pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 15/15
PHYS 1292 019/13901 Th 1:00pm - 4:00pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 12/15
PHYS 1292 020/67374 Th 4:10pm - 7:10pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 15/15
PHYS 1292 022/16213 Th 7:30pm - 10:30pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 14/15
PHYS 1292 023/12305 F 1:00pm - 4:00pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Giuseppina Cambareri 1 12/15

PHYS UN1401 Introduction To Mechanics and Thermodynamics. 3 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement

Corequisites: MATH V1101 or the equivalent.

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.

Fall 2017: PHYS UN1401
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHYS 1401 001/18908 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
301 Pupin Laboratories
William Zajc 3 32/160
PHYS 1401 002/13337 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
428 Pupin Laboratories
3 8/140

PHYS W1402 Introduction To Electricity, Magnetism, and Optics. 3 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement

Prerequisites: PHYS W1401.
Corequisites: MATH V1102 or the equivalent.

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

PHYS UN1403 Introduction to Classical and Quantum Waves. 3 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement

Prerequisites: PHYS W1402.
Corequisites: MATH V1201 or the equivalent.

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.

Fall 2017: PHYS UN1403
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHYS 1403 001/72043 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
428 Pupin Laboratories
Rachel Rosen 3 100/130

PHYS UN1493 Introduction to Experimental Physics. 3 points.

Prerequisites: PHYS W1401 and W1402.

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.

Fall 2017: PHYS UN1493
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHYS 1493 001/61060 T 3:00pm - 3:55pm
301 Pupin Laboratories
3 13/13
PHYS 1493 001/61060 T 4:10pm - 7:10pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
3 13/13
PHYS 1493 002/21714 T 3:00pm - 3:55pm
301 Pupin Laboratories
3 12/13
PHYS 1493 002/21714 T 7:30pm - 10:30pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
3 12/13
PHYS 1493 003/61205 W 1:00pm - 4:00pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
3 13/13
PHYS 1493 003/61205 T 3:00pm - 3:55pm
301 Pupin Laboratories
3 13/13
PHYS 1493 004/19894 T 3:00pm - 3:55pm
301 Pupin Laboratories
3 13/13
PHYS 1493 004/19894 W 4:10pm - 7:10pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
3 13/13
PHYS 1493 005/16957 T 3:00pm - 3:55pm
301 Pupin Laboratories
3 13/13
PHYS 1493 005/16957 W 7:30pm - 10:30pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
3 13/13
PHYS 1493 006/23968 Th 1:00pm - 4:00pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
3 13/13
PHYS 1493 006/23968 T 3:00pm - 3:55pm
301 Pupin Laboratories
3 13/13
PHYS 1493 007/23867 T 3:00pm - 3:55pm
301 Pupin Laboratories
3 13/13
PHYS 1493 007/23867 Th 4:10pm - 7:10pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
3 13/13
PHYS 1493 008/71940 T 3:00pm - 3:55pm
301 Pupin Laboratories
3 13/13
PHYS 1493 008/71940 Th 7:30pm - 10:30pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
3 13/13
PHYS 1493 009/12172 F 1:00pm - 4:00pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
3 13/13
PHYS 1493 009/12172 T 3:00pm - 3:55pm
301 Pupin Laboratories
3 13/13
PHYS 1493 010/67765 M 1:00pm - 4:00pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
3 13/13
PHYS 1493 010/67765 T 3:00pm - 3:55pm
301 Pupin Laboratories
3 13/13
PHYS 1493 011/21701 T 3:00pm - 3:55pm
301 Pupin Laboratories
3 13/13
PHYS 1493 011/21701 M 4:10pm - 7:10pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
3 13/13
PHYS 1493 012/22577 T 3:00pm - 3:55pm
301 Pupin Laboratories
3 7/13
PHYS 1493 012/22577 M 7:30pm - 10:30pm
5th Flr Pupin Laboratories
3 7/13

PHYS W1494 Introduction to Experimental Physics. 3 points.

Prerequisites: PHYS W1401 and W1402.

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.

PHYS UN1601 Physics, I: Mechanics and Relativity. 3.5 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement

Corequisites: MATH V1102 or the equivalent.

Fundamental laws of mechanics, kinematics and dynamics, work and energy, rotational dynamics, oscillations, gravitation, fluids, introduction to special relativity and relativistic kinematics. The course is preparatory for advanced work in physics and related fields.

Fall 2017: PHYS UN1601
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHYS 1601 001/62274 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
301 Pupin Laboratories
Thomas Humensky 3.5 8/180

PHYS UN1602 Physics, II: Thermodynamics, Electricity, and Magnetism. 3.5 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement

Prerequisites: PHYS W1601.
Corequisites: MATH V1201 or the equivalent.

Temperature and heat, gas laws, the first and second laws of thermodynamics, kinetic theory of gases, electric fields, direct currents, magnetic fields, alternating currents, electromagnetic waves. The course is preparatory for advanced work in physics and related fields.

Spring 2017: PHYS UN1602
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHYS 1602 001/10916 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
428 Pupin Laboratories
Thomas Humensky 3.5 119/180

PHYS W2001 Special Relativity. 3 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: a working knowledge of high school algebra, trigonometry, and physics. Some familiarity with calculus is useful but not essential.

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.

PHYS UN2601 Physics, III: Classical and Quantum Waves. 3.5 points.

Prerequisites: PHYS W1402 or W1602.
Corequisites: MATH V1202 or the equivalent.

Classical waves and the wave equation, geometrical optics, interference and diffraction, Fourier series and integrals, normal modes, wave-particle duality, the uncertainty principle, basic principles of quantum mechanics, energy levels, reflection and transmission coefficients, the harmonic oscillator. The course is preparatory for advanced work in physics and related fields.

Fall 2017: PHYS UN2601
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHYS 2601 001/76382 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
329 Pupin Laboratories
Jeremy Dodd 3.5 69/100

PHYS W2699 Experiments in Classical and Modern Physics. 3 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement

Prerequisites: PHYS W1601 (or W1401), W1602 (or W1402), and W2601.

Laboratory work associated with the three prerequisite lecture courses. Experiments in mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, optics, wave motion, atomic physics, and nuclear physics.

PHYS UN2801 Accelerated Physics I. 4.5 points.

Prerequisites: Advanced Placement in physics and mathematics, or the equivalent, and the instructor's permission. (A special placement meeting is held during Orientation.)

This accelerated two-semester sequence covers the subject matter of PHYS W1601, W1602 and W2601, and is intended for those students who have an exceptionally strong background in both physics and mathematics. The course is preparatory for advanced work in physics and related fields. There is no accompanying laboratory; however, students are encouraged to take the intermediate laboratory, PHYS W3081, in the following year.

Fall 2017: PHYS UN2801
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHYS 2801 001/22373 T Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
329 Pupin Laboratories
Brian Cole 4.5 5/100

PHYS UN2802 Accelerated Physics II. 4.5 points.

Prerequisites: PHYS W2801.

This accelerated two-semester sequence covers the subject matter of PHYS W1601, W1602 and W2601, and is intended for those students who have an exceptionally strong background in both physics and mathematics. The course is preparatory for advanced work in physics and related fields. There is no accompanying laboratory; however, students are encouraged to take the intermediate laboratory, PHYS W3081, in the following year.

Spring 2017: PHYS UN2802
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHYS 2802 001/14518 T Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
329 Pupin Laboratories
Robert Mawhinney 4.5 36/70

PHYS W3002 From Quarks To the Cosmos: Applications of Modern Physics. 3.5 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: W2601 or W2802

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.

PHYS UN3003 Mechanics. 3 points.

Prerequisites: general physics, and differential and integral calculus.

Newtonian mechanics, oscillations and resonance, conservative forces and potential energy, central forces, non-inertial frames of reference, rigid body motion, an introduction to Lagrange's formulation of mechanics, coupled oscillators, and normal modes.

Spring 2017: PHYS UN3003
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHYS 3003 001/75008 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
329 Pupin Laboratories
John Parsons 3 46/70

PHYS UN3007 Electricity and Magnetism. 3 points.

Prerequisites: general physics, and differential and integral calculus.

Electrostatics and magnetostatics, Laplace's equation and boundary-value problems, multipole expansions, dielectric and magnetic materials, Faraday's law, AC circuits, Maxwell's equations, Lorentz covariance, and special relativity.

Fall 2017: PHYS UN3007
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHYS 3007 001/71505 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
329 Pupin Laboratories
Abhay Pasupathy 3 47/100

PHYS UN3008 Electromagnetic Waves and Optics. 3 points.

Prerequisites: PHYS W3007.

Maxwell's equations and electromagnetic potentials, the wave equation, propagation of plane waves, reflection and refraction, geometrical optics, transmission lines, wave guides, resonant cavities, radiation, interference of waves, and diffraction.

Spring 2017: PHYS UN3008
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHYS 3008 001/20109 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
329 Pupin Laboratories
Bradley Johnson 3 45/70

PHYS W3018 Weapons of Mass Destruction. 3 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement, BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Reason and Value (REA).

Prerequisites: high school science and math.

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.

PHYS UN3072 Seminar in Current Research Problems. 2 points.

May be taken for Pass/Fail credit only.

A detailed study of a selected field of active research in physics. The motivation, techniques, and results obtained to the present, as well as the difficulties and unsolved problems. For Physics majors only. Priority given to seniors; juniors by permission of the instructor.  

Spring 2017: PHYS UN3072
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHYS 3072 001/27725 M 5:30pm - 6:45pm
814 Pupin Laboratories
Alberto Nicolis 2 6/15
PHYS 3072 002/77416 M 5:30pm - 6:45pm
703 Northwest Corner
Georgia Karagiorgi 2 12/15

PHYS UN3081 Intermediate Laboratory Work. 2 points.

May be repeated for credit by performing different experiments. The laboratory has available fifteen individual experiments, of which two are required per 2 points.

Prerequisites: PHYS W2601 or PHYS W2802. Primarily for junior and senior physics majors; other majors must obtain the instructor's permission.

Each experiment is chosen by the student in consultation with the instructor. Each section meets one afternoon per week, with registration in each section limited by the laboratory capacity. Experiments (classical and modern) cover topics in electricity, magnetism, optics, atomic physics, and nuclear physics.

Spring 2017: PHYS UN3081
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHYS 3081 002/72661 Th 1:10pm - 5:00pm
6th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Elena Aprile 2 11/15
PHYS 3081 003/68328 F 1:10pm - 5:00pm
6th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Morgan May 2 14/15
Fall 2017: PHYS UN3081
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHYS 3081 001/75150 M 1:10pm - 5:00pm
6th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Elena Aprile 2 8/15
PHYS 3081 002/16760 Th 1:10pm - 5:00pm
6th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Cory Dean 2 0/15
PHYS 3081 003/21153 F 1:10pm - 5:00pm
6th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Morgan May 2 11/15

PHYS UN3083 Electronics Laboratory. 3 points.

Enrollment limited to the capacity of the laboratory.

Prerequisites: PHYS W3003 or W3007. May be taken before or concurrently with this course.

A sequence of experiments in solid-state electronics, with introductory lectures.

Spring 2017: PHYS UN3083
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHYS 3083 001/23354 M W 1:10pm - 4:00pm
513 Pupin Laboratories
John Parsons 3 10/12

PHYS UN3500 Supervised Readings in Physics. 3 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement

Prerequisites: the written permission of the faculty member who agrees to act as supervisor, and the director of undergraduate studies' permission.

Readings in a selected field of physics under the supervision of a faculty member. Written reports and periodic conferences with the instructor.

Fall 2017: PHYS UN3500
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHYS 3500 001/25373  
Jeremy Dodd 3 0

PHYS UN3900 Supervised Individual Research. 1-5 points.

Prerequisites: the written permission of the faculty member who agrees to act as supervisor, and the director of undergraduate studies' permission.

For specially selected physics majors, the opportunity to do a research project in contemporary physics under the supervision of a faculty member. A detailed report on the research is presented by the student when the project is completed.

Fall 2017: PHYS UN3900
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHYS 3900 001/71946  
Jeremy Dodd 1-5 1

PHYS G4003 Advanced Mechanics. 3 points.

Lagrange’s formulation of mechanics, calculus of variations, the Action Principle, Hamilton’s formulation of mechanics, rigid body motion, Euler angles, continuum mechanics, introduction to chaotic dynamics

PHYS GU4003 Advanced Mechanics. 3 points.

Prerequisites: differential and integral calculus, differential equations, and PHYS W3003 or the equivalent.

Lagrange's formulation of mechanics, calculus of variations and the Action Principle, Hamilton's formulation of mechanics, rigid body motion, Euler angles, continuum mechanics, introduction to chaotic dynamics.

Spring 2017: PHYS GU4003
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHYS 4003 001/22513 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
329 Pupin Laboratories
Brian Cole 3 31/45

PHYS W4011 Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: PHYS W1403, W2601 or W2802; MATH V1202 or V1208; students are recommended but not required to have taken PHYS W3003 and W3007.

An introduction to the basics of particle astrophysics and cosmology. Particle physics - introduction to the Standard Model and supersymmetry/higher dimension theories; Cosmology – Friedmann-Robertson-Walker line element and equation for expansion of universe; time evolution of energy/matter density from the Big Bang; inflationary cosmology; microwave background theory and observation; structure formation; dark energy; observational tests of geometry of universe and expansion; observational evidence for dark matter; motivation for existence of dark matter from particle physics; experimental searches of dark matter; evaporating and primordial black holes; ultra-high energy phenomena (gamma-rays and cosmic-rays).

PHYS GU4012 String Theory. 3 points.

Prerequisites: PHYS W3003, PHYS W3008, PHYS W4021. PHYS W4023 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.

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.

Spring 2017: PHYS GU4012
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHYS 4012 001/72877 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
414 Pupin Laboratories
William Zajc 3 4/30

PHYS GU4018 Solid-State Physics. 3 points.

Prerequisites: PHYS W4021 and W4023, or the equivalent.

Introduction to solid-state physics: crystal structures, properties of periodic lattices, electrons in metals, band structure, transport properties, semiconductors, magnetism, and superconductivity.

Spring 2017: PHYS GU4018
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHYS 4018 001/29128 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
420 Pupin Laboratories
Aron Pinczuk 3 19/30

PHYS G4019 Mathematical Methods of Physics. 3 points.

Highlights of complex analysis, differential equations, integral equations, Green’s functions, special functions, Fourier and other transforms, approximation methods, group theory and representations, differential geometry and manifolds.  Emphasis on applications to physical problems

PHYS GU4019 Mathematical Methods of Physics. 3 points.

Prerequisites: differential and integral calculus; linear algebra; PHYS W3003 and PHYS W3007; or the instructor's permission.

This course will present a wide variety of mathematical ideas and techniques used in the study of physical systems. Topics will include: ordinary and partial differential equations; generalized functions; integral transforms; Green’s functions; nonlinear equations, chaos, and solitons; Hilbert space and linear operators; Feynman path integrals; Riemannian manifolds; tensor analysis; probability and statistics. There will also be a discussion of applications to classical mechanics, fluid dynamics, electromagnetism, plasma physics, quantum mechanics, and general relativity.

Fall 2017: PHYS GU4019
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHYS 4019 001/70892 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
420 Pupin Laboratories
Brian Metzger 3 23/100

PHYS G4021 Quantum Mechanics. 3 points.

The formulation of quantum mechanics in terms of state vectors and linear operators, three dimensional spherically symmetric potentials, the theory of angular momentum and spin, time-independent and time-dependent perturbation theory, scattering theory, identical particles

PHYS GU4021 Quantum Mechanics. 3 points.

Prerequisites: W3003, W3007, BC3006.

Formulation of quantum mechanics in terms of state vectors and linear operators. Three dimensional spherically symmetric potentials. The theory of angular momentum and spin. Identical particles and the exclusion principle. Methods of approximation. Multi-electron atoms.

Fall 2017: PHYS GU4021
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHYS 4021 001/67220 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
428 Pupin Laboratories
Emlyn Hughes 3 34/100

PHYS GU4022 Quantum Mechanics II. 3 points.

Prerequisites:PHYS UN4021.Formulation of quantum mechanics in terms of state vectors and linear operators, three-dimensional spherically symmetric potentials, the theory of angular momentum and spin, time-independent and time-dependent perturbation theory, scattering theory, and identical particles.Selected phenomena from atomic physics, nuclear physics, and elementary particle physics are described and then interpreted using quantum mechanical models.

Spring 2017: PHYS GU4022
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHYS 4022 001/64588 T Th 8:40am - 9:55am
329 Pupin Laboratories
Emlyn Hughes 3 53/60

PHYS G4023 Thermal and Statistical Physics. 3 points.

Pre or co-requisite: G4021. Thermodynamics, kinetic theory, and methods of statistical mechanics; energy and entropy; Boltzmann, Fermi, and Bose distributions; ideal and real gases; blackbody radiation; chemical equilibrium; phase transitions; ferromagnetism

PHYS GU4023 Thermal and Statistical Physics. 3 points.

Prerequisites: PHYS W4021 or the equivalent.

Thermodynamics, kinetic theory, and methods of statistical mechanics; energy and entropy; Boltzmann, Fermi, and Bose distributions; ideal and real gases; blackbody radiation; chemical equilibrium; phase transitions; ferromagnetism.

Fall 2017: PHYS GU4023
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHYS 4023 001/27342 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
329 Pupin Laboratories
Frederik Denef 3 49/100

PHYS W4040 Introduction to General Relativity. 3 points.

Prerequisites: PHYS W3003, PHYS W3007 or the equivalent.

Tensor algebra, tensor analysis, introduction to Riemann geometry. Motion of particles, fluid, and fields in curved spacetime. Einstein equation. Schwarzschild solution; test-particle orbits and light bending. Introduction to black holes, gravitational waves, and cosmological models.

PHYS W4050 Introduction to Particle Physics. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: PHYS W2601 or W2802, or the equivalent.

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.

PHYS GU4051 Advanced Laboratory Work. 2 points.

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission.

The laboratory has 13 available individual experiments, of which two are required per 2 points. Each experiment requires two (four-hour) laboratory sessions. Registration is limited by the laboratory capacity. May be repeated for credit with different experiment selection. Experiments (classical and modern) cover topics in electricity, magnetism, optics, atomic physics, and nuclear physics.

Spring 2017: PHYS GU4051
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHYS 4051 002/69473 Th 1:10pm - 5:00pm
6th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Elena Aprile 2 0/0
PHYS 4051 003/73559 F 1:10pm - 5:00pm
6th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Morgan May 2 0/0
Fall 2017: PHYS GU4051
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHYS 4051 001/66692 M 1:10pm - 5:00pm
6th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Elena Aprile 2 0/0
PHYS 4051 002/71308 Th 1:10pm - 5:00pm
6th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Cory Dean 2 0/0
PHYS 4051 003/27564 F 1:10pm - 5:00pm
6th Flr Pupin Laboratories
Morgan May 2 0/0

PHYS W4075 Biology at Physical Extremes. 0 points.

Prerequisites: one year each of introductory physics and biology.

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.

PHYS W4080 Scientific Computing. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: PHYS W3003, PHYS W3008, PHYS W4021, PHYS W4023 or the instructor permission.

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.

PHYS G4302 General Relativity and Black Holes. 3 points.

Special relativity and its role in physics, the Newtonian theory of gravity from Einstein’s viewpoint, the equivalence principle, differential geometry and geodesics, Einstein’s equations, light bending and gravitational lensing, Newtonian thermodynamics of black holes

PHYS G4386 Geometrical Concepts In Physics. 3 points.

Material from topology and differential geometry with illustrations of their use in electrodynamics, general relativity, and Yang-Mills theory.  In particular, topological and differential manifolds, tensors, vector bundles, connections, and Lie groups