Related Pages
Ph 1 abc
Classical Mechanics and Electromagnetism
9 units (405)

first, second, third terms
The first year of a twoyear course in introductory classical and modern physics. Topics: Newtonian mechanics in Ph 1 a; electricity and magnetism, and special relativity, in Ph 1 b, c. Emphasis on physical insight and problem solving. Ph 1 b, c is divided into two tracks: the Practical Track emphasizing practical electricity, and the Analytic Track, which teaches and uses methods of multivariable calculus. Students enrolled in the Practical Track are encouraged to take Ph 8 bc concurrently. Students will be given information helping them to choose a track at the end of fall term.
Instructors:
Patterson, Harrison, Refael, Filippone, Eisenstei
Ph 2 ab
Waves, Quantum Mechanics, and Statistical Physics
9 units (405)

first, second terms
Prerequisites: Ph 1 abc, Ma 1 abc, or equivalents.
The second year of a fiveterm introductory course in classical and modern physics. Topics to be covered include waves and introductory quantum mechanics first term, statistical physics second term. Not offered after 201314.
Instructors:
Martin, Hsieh, Cheun
Ph 2 abc
Waves, Quantum Mechanics, and Statistical Physics
9 units (306)

first, second, third terms
Prerequisites: Ph 1 abc, Ma 1 abc.
An introduction to several areas of physics including applications in modern science and engineering. Topics include discrete and continuous oscillatory systems, wave mechanics, applications in telecommunications and other areas (first term); foundational quantum concepts, the quantum harmonic oscillator, the Hydrogen atom, applications in optical and semiconductor systems (second term); ensembles and statistical systems, thermodynamic laws, applications in energy technology and other areas (third term). Although best taken in sequence, the three terms can be taken independently. First offered 201415.
Instructor:
Staff
Ph 3
Physics Laboratory
6 units (033)

first, second, third terms
Prerequisites: Ph 1 a or instructor's permission.
An introduction to experimental techniques and instruments used in the physical sciences, covering topics in classical mechanics, basic electronic circuits, and optics. Special emphasis is given to data analysis techniques based on modern statistical methods. The weekly structure of the course includes one threehour laboratory session, a conference with the instructor, a set of prelab problems, and analysis of experimental results. Graded pass/fail unless a letter grade is requested. Only one term may be taken for credit.
Instructors:
Black, Libbrech
FS/Ph 4
Freshman Seminar: Gravitational Waves
6 units (204)

first term
This course is an introduction to the physics of gravitational waves in General Relativity and beyond, gravitational wave detectors, and astrophysical sources of gravitational waves, including neutron stars, black holes, and the Big Bang. Freshmen only; limited enrollment.
Instructor:
Weinstein
Ph 5
Analog Electonics for Physicists
9 units (054)

first term
Prerequisites: Ph 1 abc, Ph 3, or equivalents (Ph 8 may be subsituted for Ph 3).
A laboratory course focusing on practical electronic circuits, with emphasis on analog electronics. The following topics are studied: RC circuits, electrical oscillations, operational amplifiers, diodes and transistors, combining circuit elements, and computer data acquisition. The course culminates in a twoweek project of the student's choosing.
Instructors:
Rice, Libbrech
Ph 6
Physics Laboratory
9 units

second term
Prerequisites: Ph 1 abc, Ph 2 b or Ph 12 b (or taken concurrently), and Ph 3 or equivalent.
Experiments in electromagnetic phenomena such as electromagnetic induction, properties of magnetic materials, and highfrequency circuits. Mobility of ions in gases; precise measurement of the value of e/m of the electron.
Instructors:
Rice, Politze
Ph 7
Physics Laboratory
9 units

third term
Prerequisites: Ph 6 or equivalent.
Experiments in atomic and nuclear physics, including studies of the Balmer series of hydrogen and deuterium, the decay of radio active nuclei, absorption of X rays and gamma rays, ratios of abundances of isotopes, and the SternGerlach experiment.
Instructors:
Rice, Politze
Ph 8 bc
Experiments in Electromagnetism
3 units (030)

second, third terms
Prerequisites: Ph 1 a.
A twoterm sequence of experiments that parallel the material of Ph 1 bc. It includes measuring the force between wires with a homemade analytical balance, measuring properties of a 1,000volt spark, and building and studying a radiowave transmitter and receiver. The takehome experiments are constructed from a kit of tools and electronic parts. Measurements are compared to theoretical expectations.
Instructor:
Pine
FS/Ph 9
Freshman Seminar: The Science of Music
6 units (204)

first term
This course will focus on the physics of sound, how musical instruments make it, and how we hear it, including readings, discussions, demonstrations, and student observations using sound analysis software. In parallel we will consider what differentiates music from other sounds, and its role psychically and culturally. Students will do a final project of their choice and design, with possibilities including a book review, analysis of recordings of actual musical instruments, or instrument construction and analysis. Freshmen only; limited enrollment.
Instructor:
Politze
Ph 10
Frontiers in Physics
3 units (201); first term

Open for credit to freshmen and sophomores
Weekly seminar by a member of the physics department or a visitor, to discuss his or her research at an introductory level; the other class meetings will be used to explore background material related to seminar topics and to answerh questions that arise. The course will also help students find faculty sponsors for individual research projects. Graded pass/fail.
Instructor:
Prince
FS/Ph 11 abc
Freshman Seminar: Research Tutorial
6 units (204)

second, third terms of freshman year and first term of sophomore year
A small number of students will be offered the opportunity to enroll in this tutorial, the purpose of which is to demonstrate how research ideas arise, and are evaluated and tested, and how those ideas that survive are developed, This is accomplished by doing individual, original projects. There will be weekly group meetings and individual tutorial meetings with the instructor. Support for summer research at Caltech between freshman and sophomore years will be automatic for those students making satisfactory progress. Graded pass/fail. Freshmen only; limited enrollment.
Instructor:
Tombrello
Ph 12 abc
Waves, Quantum Physics, and Statistical Mechanics
9 units (405)

first, second, third terms
Prerequisites: Ph 1 abc, Ma 1 abc, or equivalents.
A oneyear course primarily for students intending further work in the physics option. Topics include classical waves; wave mechanics, interpretation of the quantum wavefunction, onedimensional bound states, scattering, and tunneling; thermodynamics, introductory kinetic theory, and quantum statistics.
Instructors:
Kimble, Weinstei
FS/Ph/Bi 13
Freshman Seminar: In Search of Memory
6 units (204)

first term
An exploration of brain function based on weekly readings in an autobiographical account by a Nobel Prize willing neurobiologist. No lectures. Each week there will be reading from chapters of the book plus relevant research papers, discussing trailblazing neuroscience experiments.
Instructor:
Pine
FS/Ph 14
Freshman Seminar: Albatrosses, Beetles and Cetaceans
6 units (204)

first term
A quantitative study of some examples of physics applied to macrobiota, including flight (the range of the albatross), surface tension and walking on water (the world of insects), and acoustics (how whales communicate). In addition to learning the art of physical estimation, scaling, and the value of dimensionless numbers, this course offers the opportunity to appreciate who to apply otherwise abstract physics to everyday experience. In addition to problem sets, each student will be expected to research a specific example and present findings to the rest of the class. Freshmen only; limited enrollment.
Instructor:
Stevenson
Ph 20
Computational Physics Laboratory I
6 units (060)

first, second, third terms
Prerequisites: CS 1 or equivalent.
Introduction to the tools of scientific computing. Use of numerical algorithms and symbolic manipulation packages for solution of physical problems. Python for scientific programming, Mathematica for symbolic manipulation, Unix tools for software development.
Instructors:
Mach, Princ
Ph 21
Computational Physics Laboratory II
6 units (060)

second, third terms
Prerequisites: Ph 20 or equivalent experience with programming.
Computational tools for data analysis. Use of python for accessing scientific data from the web. Bayesian techniques. Fourier techniques. Image manipulation with python.
Instructors:
Mach, Prince
Ph 22
Computational Physics Laboratory III
6 units (060)

third term
Prerequisites: Ph 20 or equivalent experience with programming and numerical techniques.
Computational tools and numerical techniques. Applications to problems in classical mechanics. Numerical solution of 3body and Nbody systems. Monte Carlo integration.
Instructors:
Mach, Prince
Ph 50 abc
Caltech Physics League
4 units (103)

first, second, third terms
Prerequisites: Ph 1 abc.
This course serves as a physics club, meeting weekly to discuss and analyze realworld problems in the physical sciences. A broad range of topics will be considered, such as energy production, space and atmospheric phenomena, astrophysics, nanoscience, and others. Students will use basic physics knowledge to produce simplified (and perhaps speculative) models of complex natural phenomena. In addition to regular assignments, students will also compete in solving challenge problems each quarter, with prizes given in recognition of the best solutions.
Instructor:
Refael
Ph 70
Oral and Written Communication
6 units (204)

first, third terms
Provides practice and guidance in oral and written communication of material related to contemporary physics research. Students will choose a topic of interest, make presentations of this material in a variety of formats, and, through a guided process, draft and revise a technical or review article on the topic. The course is intended for senior physics majors. Fulfills the Institute scientific writing requirement.
Instructor:
Hitlin
Ph 77 abc
Advanced Physics Laboratory
9 units (054)

first, second, third terms
Prerequisites: Ph 7 or instructor's permission.
A threeterm laboratory course to familiarize students with equipment and procedures used in the research laboratory. Experiments illustrate fundamental physical phenomena in atomic, optical, condensedmatter, nuclear, and particle physics, including NMR, laserbased atomic spectroscopy, gamma and Xray spectroscopy, muon decay, weak localization, superconductivity, positron annihilation, and others.
Instructors:
Black, Libbrecht
Ph 78 abc
Senior Thesis, Experimental
9 units

first, second, third terms
Prerequisites: To register for this course, the student must obtain approval of the chair of the Physics Undergraduate Committee (Ed Stone). Open only to senior physics majors.
This research must be supervised by a faculty member, the student's thesis adviser. Laboratory work is required for this course. Two 15minute presentations to the Physics Undergraduate Committee are required, one at the end of the first term and the second at the midterm week of the third term. The written thesis must be completed and distributed to the committee one week before the second presentation. Not offered on a pass/fail basis. See Note below.
Ph 79 abc
Senior Thesis, Theoretical
9 units

first, second, third terms
Prerequisites: To register for this course, the student must obtain approval of the chair of the Physics Undergraduate Committee (Ed Stone). Open only to senior physics majors.
This research must be supervised by a faculty member, your thesis adviser. Two 15minute presentations to the Physics Undergraduate Committee are required, one at the end of the first term and the second at the midterm week of the third term. The written thesis must be completed and distributed to the committee one week before the second presentation. Not offered on a pass/fail basis. Students wishing assistance in finding an adviser and/or a topic for a senior thesis are invited to consult with the chair of the Physics Undergraduate Committee, or any other member of this committee. A grade will not be assigned in Ph 78 or Ph 79 until the end of the third term. P grades will be given the first two terms, and then changed at the end of the course to the appropriate letter grade.
Ph 101
OrderofMagnitude Physics
9 units (306)

third term
Emphasis will be on using basic physics to understand complicated systems. Examples will be selected from properties of materials, geophysics, weather, planetary science, astrophysics, cosmology, biomechanics, etc. Not offered 201314.
Ph 103
Atomic and Molecular Spectroscopy
9 units (306)

second term
Prerequisites: instructor's permission.
This course will review the basic spectroscopy of atoms and molecules, with applications to astrophysics, the terrestrial atmosphere, and the laboratory. Species to be discussed include hydrogen and simple multielectron atoms such as carbon, diatomic and polyatomic molecules, and some solids. Mechanisms and effects determining linewidths and lineshapes will be discussed for laboratory, atmospheric, and astrophysical conditions. Not offered 201314.
Ay/Ph 104
Relativistic Astrophysics
9 units (306)

second term
Prerequisites: Ph 1, Ph 2 ab.
This course is designed primarily for junior and senior undergraduates in astrophysics and physics. It covers the physics of black holes and neutron stars, including accretion, particle acceleration and gravitational waves, as well as their observable consequences: (neutron stars) pulsars, magnetars, Xray binaries, gammaray bursts; (black holes) Xray transients, tidal disruption and quasars/active galaxies and sources of gravitational waves. Interested students are encouraged to take Ay 125. Not offered 201314.
Ph 105
Analog Electronics for Physicists
9 units

first term
Prerequisites: Ph 1 abc, Ph 3, or equivalents (Ph 8 may be substituted for Ph 3).
A laboratory course focusing on practical electronic circuits, with emphasis on analog electronics. The following topics are studied: RC circuits, electrical oscillations, operational amplifiers, diodes and transistors, combining circuit elements, and computer data acquisition. The course culminates in a twoweek project of the student's choosing.
Instructors:
Rice, Libbrech
Ph 106 abc
Topics in Classical Physics
9 units (306)

first, second, third terms
Prerequisites: Ph 2 ab or Ph 12 abc, Ma 2.
An intermediate course in the application of basic principles of classical physics to a wide variety of subjects. Roughly half of the year will be devoted to mechanics, and half to electromagnetism. Topics include Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations of mechanics, small oscillations and normal modes, boundaryvalue problems, multipole expansions, and various applications of electromagnetic theory.
Instructors:
Cross, Golwala
CNS/Bi/Ph 107
Writing about Scientific Research
9 units (306)

second term
This will be a handson course in which students learn how to write a long essay or a book explaining complex scientific research. The course will focus on learning to write clearly and compellingly, to rewrite and edit, and, especially, to find one's own writing voice. In the first part of the course, students will read, analyze, and critique published works, including some early drafts of wellknown books. Together, we will study different writing styles; how chapters, articles, and books are structured; and basic narrative techniques and their execution. In the second part of the course students will select a cuttingedge scientific research topic to write about and produce a book chapter on that topic. Students' worksinprogress will be analyzed each week in class. The finished chapters will be included in a manuscript for a book one might call The Caltech Student's Guide to the Most Awesome Cutting Edge Science. Limited enrollment. Not offered 201314.
Instructor:
Mlodinow
APh/Ph 115
Physics of Momentum Transport in Hydrodynamic Systems
12 units (309)

first term
Prerequisites: ACM 95 or equivalent.
Contemporary research in many areas of physics requires some knowledge of the principles governing hydrodynamic phenomena such as nonlinear wave propagation, symmetry breaking in pattern forming systems, phase transitions in fluids, Langevin dynamics, micro and optofluidic control, and biological transport at low Reynolds number. This course offers students of pure and applied physics a selfcontained treatment of the fundamentals of momentum transport in hydrodynamic systems. Mathematical techniques will include formalized dimensional analysis and rescaling, asymptotic analysis to identify dominant force balances, similitude, selfsimilarity and perturbation analysis for examining unidirectional and Stokes flow, pulsatile flows, capillary phenomena, spreading films, oscillatory flows, and linearly unstable flows leading to pattern formation. Students must have working knowledge of vector calculus, ODEs, PDEs, complex variables and basic tensor analysis. Advanced solution methods will be taught in class as needed. Second term is APh/Ph/Ae 116.
Instructor:
Troian
APh/Ph/Ae 116
Physics of Thermal and Mass Transport in Hydrodynamic Systems
12 units (309)

second term
Prerequisites: ACM 95 or equivalent and APh/Ph 115 or equivalent.
Contemporary research in many areas of physics requires some knowledge of how momentum transport in fluids couples to diffusive phenomena driven by thermal or concentration gradients. This course will first examine processes driven purely by diffusion and progress toward description of systems governed by steady and unsteady convectiondiffusion and reactiondiffusion. Topics will include Fickian dynamics, thermal transfer in Peltier devices, LifshitzSlyozov growth during phase separation, thermocouple measurements of oscillatory fields, reactiondiffusion phenomena in biophysical systems, buoyancy driven flows, and boundary layer formation. Students must have working knowledge of vector calculus, ODEs, PDEs, complex variables and basic tensor analysis. Advanced solution methods such as singular perturbation, SturmLiouville and Green's function analysis will be taught in class as needed. First term is APh/Ph 115.
Instructor:
Troian
Ph 125 abc
Quantum Mechanics
9 units (306)

first, second, third terms
Prerequisites: Ma 2 ab, Ph 12 abc or Ph 2 ab, or equivalents.
A oneyear course in quantum mechanics and its applications, for students who have completed Ph 12 or Ph 2. Wave mechanics in 3D, scattering theory, Hilbert spaces, matrix mechanics, angular momentum, symmetries, spin1/2 systems, approximation methods, identical particles, and selected topics in atomic, solidstate, nuclear, and particle physics.
Instructors:
Wise, Cheun
Ph 127 abc
Statistical Physics
9 units (306)

first, second, third terms
Prerequisites: Ph 12 c or equivalent, and a basic understanding of quantum and classical mechanics.
A course in the fundamental ideas and applications of classical and quantum statistical mechanics. Topics to be covered include the statistical basis of thermodynamics; ideal classical and quantum gases (Bose and Fermi); lattice vibrations and phonons; weak interaction expansions; phase transitions; and fluctuations and dynamics.
Instructors:
Alicea, Motrunich
Ph 129 abc
Mathematical Methods of Physics
9 units (306)

first, second, third terms
Prerequisites: Ph 106 abc and ACM 95/100 abc or Ma 108 abc, or equivalents.
Mathematical methods and their application in physics. First term includes analytic and numerical methods for solving differential equations, integral equations, and transforms, and other applications of real analysis. Second term covers probability and statistics in physics. Third term focuses on group theoretic methods in physics. The three terms can be taken independently.
Instructors:
Schwarz, Porte
Ph 134
String Theory
9 units (306)

third term
Prerequisites: Ph 125 ab, Ph 106 ab.
A basic course in string theory designed to be accessible to a broad audience. The main topics include the motion of relativistic point particles and strings, actions, worldsheet symmetries and currents, lightcone quantization, and the spectra of relativistic open and closed strings. The course will conclude with an exploration of Dbranes, Tduality, or string thermodynamics, depending on student interest. Not offered 201314.
Ph 135 abc
Applications of Quantum Mechanics
9 units (306)

first, second, third terms
Prerequisites: Ph 125 abc or equivalent.
Applications of quantum mechanics to topics in contemporary physics. Condensedmatter physics, Quantum computing, and Particle physics will be offered first, second, third terms, respectively. Terms may be taken independently. Not offered 201314.
Ph 136 abc
Applications of Classical Physics
9 units (306)

first, second, third terms
Prerequisites: Ph 106 abc or equivalent.
Applications of classical physics to topics of interest in contemporary "macroscopic'' physics. Continuum physics and classical field theory; elasticity and hydrodynamics; plasma physics; magnetohydrodynamics; thermodynamics and statistical mechanics; gravitation theory, including general relativity and cosmology; modern optics. Content will vary from year to year, depending on the instructor. An attempt will be made to organize the material so that the terms may be taken independently. Not offered 201314.
Ph 171
Reading and Independent Study
Units in accordance with work accomplished
Occasionally, advanced work involving reading, special problems, or independent study is carried out under the supervision of an instructor. Approval of the instructor and of the student's departmental adviser must be obtained before registering. Graded pass/fail.
Ph 172
Research in Experimental Physics
Units in accordance with work accomplished
Approval of the student's research supervisor and department adviser must be obtained before registering. Graded pass/fail.
Ph 173
Research in Theoretical Physics
Units in accordance with work accomplished
Approval of the student's research supervisor and departmental adviser must be obtained before registering. Graded pass/fail.
CNS/Bi/Ph/CS/NB 187
Neural Computation
9 units (306)

first term
Prerequisites: familiarity with digital circuits, probability theory, linear algebra, and differential equations. Programming will be required.
This course investigates computation by neurons. Of primary concern are models of neural computation and their neurological substrate, as well as the physics of collective computation. Thus, neurobiology is used as a motivating factor to introduce the relevant algorithms. Topics include ratecode neural networks, their differential equations, and equivalent circuits; stochastic models and their energy functions; associative memory; supervised and unsupervised learning; development; spikebased computing; singlecell computation; error and noise tolerance.
Instructor:
Perona
Ph 199
Frontiers of Fundamental Physics
9 units (306)

third term
Prerequisites: Ph 125 abc, Ph 106 abc, or equivalent.
This course will explore the frontiers of research in particle physics and cosmology, focusing on the physics at the Large Hadron Collider. Topics include the Standard Model of particle physics in light of the discovery of the Higgs boson, work towards the characterization and measurements of the new particle's quantum properties, its implications on physics beyond the standard model, and its connection with the standard model of cosmology focusing on the dark matter challenge. The course is geared toward seniors and firstyear graduate students who are not in particle physics, although students in particle physics are welcome to attend.
Instructor:
Spiropul
Ph 205 abc
Relativistic Quantum Mechanics
9 units (306)

first, second, third terms
Prerequisites: Ph 125.
Topics: the Dirac equation, second quantization, quantum electrodynamics, scattering theory, Feynman diagrams, nonAbelian gauge theories, Higgs symmetrybreaking, the WeinbergSalam model, and renormalization.
Instructors:
Gukov, Wise
Ph 210
Theoretical Quantum Chromodynamics
9 units (306)

third term
Prerequisites: Ph 205 ab.
Applications of quantum field theory to quantum chromodynamics, including operator product expansion, twist expansion and applications to deep inelastic scattering and DrellYan; effective field theories, including chiral perturbation theory, heavy quark effective theory, and soft collinear effective theory; large Nc; introduction to lattice chromodynamics. Applications to strong interaction phenomenology and weak decays. Not offered 201314.
Ph 217
Introduction to the Standard Model
9 units (306)

first term
Prerequisites: Ph 205 abc and Ph 236 abc, or equivalent.
An introduction to elementary particle physics and cosmology. Students should have at least some background in quantum field theory and general relativity. The standard model of weak and strong interactions is developed, along with predictions for Higgs physics and flavor physics. Some conjectures for physics beyond the standard model are introduced: for example, lowenergy supersymmetry and warped extra dimensions.
Instructor:
Cheung
Ph/CS 219 abc
Quantum Computation
9 units (306)

first, second terms
Prerequisites: Ph 129 abc or equivalent.
The theory of quantum information and quantum computation. Overview of classical information theory, compression of quantum information, transmission of quantum information through noisy channels, quantum errorcorrecting codes, quantum cryptography and teleportation. Overview of classical complexity theory, quantum complexity, efficient quantum algorithms, faulttolerant quantum computation, physical implementations of quantum computation.
Instructors:
Preskill, Kitae
Ph/APh 223 abc
Advanced CondensedMatter Physics
9 units (306)

first, second, third terms
Prerequisites: Ph 125 or equivalent, or instructor's permission.
Advanced topics in condensedmatter physics, emphasizing the application of formal quantum field theory and group theory methods to manybody systems. Selected topics may include path integral and canonical formalisms, Green's function techniques and Feynman diagrams, Fermi liquid theory, Luttinger liquid theory, symmetry breaking and LandauGinzburg theory of phase transitions, group theory and its applications, field theory for interacting bosons and superfluidity, superconductivity, Kondo effect, Hubbard and tJ models, gauge theory, fractional quantum Hall effect, anyons, and topological field theory.
Instructors:
Yeh, Kitae
Ph 229 abc
Advanced Mathematical Methods of Physics
9 units (306)

second term
Prerequisites: Ph 129 abc or equivalent.
Advanced topics in geometry and topology that are widely used in modern theoretical physics. Emphasis will be on understanding and applications more than on rigor and proofs. First term will cover basic concepts in topology and manifold theory. Second term will include Riemannian geometry, fiber bundles, characteristic classes, and index theorems. Third term will include anomalies in gaugefield theories and the theory of Riemann surfaces, with emphasis on applications to string theory. Not offered 201314.
Ph 230 abc
Elementary Particle Theory
9 units (306)

first, second, third terms
Prerequisites: Ph 205 abc or equivalent.
Advanced methods in quantum field theory. First term: introduction to supersymmetry, including the minimal supersymmetric extension of the standard model, supersymmetric grand unified theories, extended supersymmetry, supergravity, and supersymmetric theories in higher dimensions. Second and third terms: nonperturbative phenomena in nonAbelian gauge field theories, including quark confinement, chiral symmetry breaking, anomalies, instantons, the 1/N expansion, lattice gauge theories, and topological solitons.
Instructors:
Gukov, Schwar
Ph 231 abc
Elementary Particle Physics
9 units (306)

first, second, third terms
Prerequisites: Ph 125 or equivalent.
An introduction to elementary particle physics, stressing experimental phenomena and their theoretical interpretations. The standard model and its confrontation with experiment will be covered. Current notions for particle physics beyond the standard model will be explored, along with possible experimental signatures. Experimental techniques will also be discussed, including an introduction to accelerator physics. Not offered 201314.
Ph 232
Introduction to Topological Field Theory
9 units (306)

second term
Prerequisites: Ph 205.
Topological field theories are the simplest examples of quantum field theories which, in a sense, are exactly solvable and generally covariant. During the past twenty years they have been the main source of interaction between physics and mathematics. Thus, ideas from gauge theory led to the discovery of new topological invariants for 3manifolds and 4manifolds. By now, topological quantum field theory (TQFT) has evolved into a vast subject, and the main goal of this course is to give an accessible introduction to this elegant subject. Not offered 201314.
Ph 235 abc
Introduction to Supersymmetry and String Theory
9 units (306)

second, third terms
Prerequisites: Ph 205.
First term: introduction to supersymmetry. After explaining the basic concepts of supersymmetry, the emphasis will be on formulating and analyzing the minimal supersymmetric extension of the standard model and supersymmetric grand unified theories. There will also be brief introductions to supersymmetric theories in higher dimensions, theories with extended supersymmetry, and supergravity. Second term: introduction to superstring theory. Topics to be discussed include relativistic strings and their quantization, perturbative string theory, low energy effective supergravity theories, pbrane solutions and pbrane world volume theories, compactification of extra dimensions, M theory and F theory, dualities relating various superstring and M theory configurations, problems and prospects. Not offered 201314.
Ph 236 abc
Relativity
9 units (306)

first, second terms
Prerequisites: a mastery of special relativity at the level of Goldstein's Classical Mechanics, or of Jackson's Classical Electrodynamics.
A systematic exposition of Einstein's general theory of relativity and its applications to gravitational waves, black holes, relativistic stars, causal structure of spacetime, cosmology and brane worlds.
Instructors:
Chen, Adhikar
Ph 237
Gravitational Waves
9 units (306)

third term
Prerequisites: Ph 236 a.
The theory and astrophysical phenomenology of gravitationalwave sources (black holes, neutron stars, compact binaries, earlyuniverse phenomena, etc.). Gravitationalwave detectors (LIGO, LISA, and others), and data analysis.
Instructors:
Chen, Adhikar
Ph 242 ab
Physics Seminar
3 units (201)

first, second terms
Topics in physics emphasizing current research at Caltech. One twohour meeting per week. Speakers will be chosen from both faculty and students. Registration restricted to firstyear graduate students in physics; exceptions only with permission of instructor. Graded pass/fail.
Instructor:
Stone
Ph 250 abc
Introduction to String Theory
9 units (306)

first, second, third terms
Prerequisites: Ph 205 or equivalent.
The first two terms will focus largely on the bosonic string. Topics covered will include conformal invariance and construction of string scattering amplitudes, the origins of gauge interactions and gravity from string theory, Tduality, and Dbranes. The third term will cover perturbative aspects of superstrings, supergravity, various BPS branes, and string dualities.
Instructor:
Schwarz
Ph 300
Thesis Research
Units in accordance with work accomplished
Ph 300 is elected in place of Ph 172 or Ph 173 when the student has progressed to the point where research leads directly toward the thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Approval of the student's research supervisor and department adviser or registration representative must be obtained before registering. Graded pass/fail.
Published Date:
July 28, 2022