Physics ulo

Physics

We offer four advanced physics courses that were originally designed to match the Stanford Physics curriculum. These courses have mandatory pre-requisites both in physics as well as mathematics. These pre-requisites help ensure student success.

Prerequisites

The flowchart below outlines what course(s) students should begin with. In order to enroll in a course, students must satisfy the given prerequisites or the equivalent.

ULO physics course map

Courses

Light and Heat (XP645)

An introduction to optics and thermodynamics. Topics: temperature, properties of matter, introduction to the kinetic theory of matter, light and electromagnetic waves, reflection and refraction of light, lens systems, interference and diffraction.

Pre-requisites: Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism or equivalent.
Required text: Physics; For Scientists and Engineers. P. Tipler, 5th, 6th or Fundamentals of Physics, Halliday, Resnick, 7th or later.

Modern Physics (XP670)

An introduction to the two pillars of modern physics. Special relativity and an introduction to general relativity, experimental basis of quantum theory, quantization of light, Hilbert space structure of qubits, multiparticle states, entangled states, incompatible observables, Bell inequalities, introduction to quantum information and quantum computing, Schrödinger equation.

Pre-requisites: Light and Heat or equivalent and Linear Algebra as corequisite.
Required text: Spacetime Physics, J. Wheeler, E. Taylor, 2nd; Quantum Mechanics, L. Susskind; Six Quantum Pieces, V. Scarani.

Intermediate Mechanics I (XP701)

Intermediate Mechanics covers much of what is generally covered in an upper division university mechanics course. The course is a sophisticated treatment of the mechanics of particles and systems. Tensors, vector calculus, Newtonian laws of mechanics and gravitation, oscillations, Green's functions, calculus of variations, Lagrangian mechanics, orbits, and physics in rotating frames of reference.

Pre-requisites: Modern Physics & Differential Equations or equivalents and Partial Differential Equations or equivalent.
Required text: Classical Dynamics; Of Particles and Systems, S. Thornton, J. Marion, 4th or later.

Intermediate Mechanics II (XP711)

Intermediate Mechanics covers much of what is generally covered in an upper division university mechanics course. The course is a sophisticated treatment of the mechanics of particles and systems. Rigid body dynamics, oscillating systems, Hamilton's principle for continuous systems, waves, general wave equation, and fluid dynamics.

Pre-requisites: Intermediate Mechanics I or equivalent and Partial Differential Equations or equivalent.
Required text: Classical Dynamics; Of Particles and Systems, S. Thornton, J. Marion, 4th or later.

Physics FAQ

XP710/XP711 Intermediate Mechanics

Show Hide

The courses were developed directly from the curriculum of Professor Peter Michelson’s courses.

XP645 Light and Heat

Show Hide

Originally developed for EPGY by Professor Mason Yearian in 1995. The thermodynamics portion of the course is now drawn mainly from Nobel-prize Winner Professor Douglass Osheroff’s course from about 10 years ago. The optics half of the course has been revamped to include a rigorous introduction to electromagnetic waves as well as interference in addition to elements of Professor Osheroff’s course.

XP670 Modern Physics

Show Hide

The Stanford University modern physics courses to focus on the two fundamental revolutions, relativity and quantum mechanics, and this course was created with this pedagogy in mind. The modern physics course provides a rigorous foundation to later explore applications of these core theories.