The department offers a generous spectrum of more advanced and specialized courses including: general relativity, quantum computation and information, string theory, neutron physics, scattering theory, nuclear astrophysics, and computational physics. Given sufficient student interest, we also offer unique and specially designed courses.

Research groups discuss the latest developments in their fields during a variety of weekly seminars.

Highlighted courses

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Quantum Computation and Information


The course covers basic concepts in quantum computation and information including: standard qubit model of computation, quantum algorithms such as Shor's factoring and Grover's search algorithms, physics of information processing, quantum error correction, and physical implementations of quantum computers.

Amedeo Avogadro

Quantum Many-Body Theory


Elements of nonrelativistic quantum field theory: second quantization, fields, Green's functions, the linked-cluster expansion, and Dyson's equations. Development of diagrammatic techniques and application to the degenerate electron gas and imperfect Fermi gas. Canonical transformations and BCS theory. Finite-temperature (Matsubara), Green's functions, and applications.

Series of dots all connected by many intersecting lines

Biological and Artificial Neural Networks


Biological details of neurons relevant to computation. Artificial neural network theories and models, and relation to statistical physics. Living neural networks and critical evaluation of neural network theories. Student final projects will consist of programming networks and applying them to current research topics.

Graphic showing earth's gravitational field

Theory of Gravitation I


Introduction to the general theory of relativity, stress-energy tensor, parallel transport, geodesics, Einstein's equation, differential geometry, manifolds, general covariance, bending of light, perihelion advance. Modern cosmology: Robertson-Walker metric, equations of state, Friedmann equations, Hubble's law, redshift, cosmological constant, inflation, quintessence, cosmic microwave background, Big Bang nucleosynthesis, and structure formation.