# Courses for Physics And Astronomy

## Astronomy Courses

**ASTR C 1234x Astronomy-Physics-Geology, The Universal Timekeeper: An
Introduction to Scientific Habits of Mind**

Introduction to ideas and models of thought in the physical sciences,
adopting as its theme the use of the atom as an imperturbable clock. Lectures
develop basic physical ideas behind the structure of the atom and its nucleus
and then explore such diverse applications as measuring the age of the Shroud
of Turin, determining the diets of ancient civilizations, unraveling the
evolution of the universe, and charting the history of earth´s climate.

*Prerequisites: Prerequisite for ASTR C1235 is ASTR C1234. Working knowledge of high school algebra. Not
offered in 2015-2016.*

*3 points*

**ASTR C 1403x Earth, Moon, and Planets (lecture)**

The overall architecture of the solar system. Motions of the celestial
sphere. Time and the calendar. Life in the solar system and beyond. Students
may not receive credit for both ASTR BC1753 and ASTR C1403.

*Prerequisites: Open to any student offering astronomy in partial
fulfillment of the science requirement - some sections satisfy QUA requirement.
Recommended preparation: A working knowledge of high school algebra. BC:
Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Quantitative and Deductive
Reasoning (QUA)..*

*3 points*

**ASTR C 1404y Stars, Galaxies, and Cosmology**

Distances to, and fundamental properties of, nearby stars; nucleosynthesis
and stellar evolution; novas and supernovas; galaxies; the structure of the
universe and theories concerning its origin, evolution, and ultimate fate.
Professor Applegate's sections do not qualify for QUA. Students may not
receive credit for both ASTR BC1754 and ASTR C1404.

*Prerequisites: Open to any student offering astronomy in partial
fulfillment of the science requirement. Recommended preparation: A working
knowledge of high school algebra. Professor Applegate's sections do not qualify
for QUA. BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Quantitative and
Deductive Reasoning (QUA)..*

*3 points*

**ASTR C 1420x Galaxies and Cosmology**

The content, structure, and possible evolution of galaxies. The
'21-centimeter line': the song of interstellar hydrogen. Distribution mass,
seen and unseen, in galaxies and clusters of galaxies. Distribution of
clusters over the sky. Quasars and the nuclei of galaxies. The origin of the
universe, and the present controversy over its eventual fate.

*Prerequisites: Working knowledge of high school algebra. BC: Fulfillment
of General Education Requirement: Quantitative and Deductive Reasoning
(QUA)..*

*3 points*

**ASTR BC 1753x Life in the Universe**

Introduction to astronomy, taught at Barnard, intended primarily for
non-science majors. Includes discovery of new planets, the search for life,
gravitation and planetary orbits, the physics of the Earth and its
atmosphere, and the exploration of the solar system. Students may not receive
credit for both ASTR BC1753 and ASTR C1403. - L. Kay

*Prerequisites: Recommended preparation: Working knowledge of high school
algebra. Corequisites: Suggested parallel laboratory course: ASTR C1903. BC: Fulfillment of General Education
Requirement: Quantitative and Deductive Reasoning (QUA)..*

*3 points*

**ASTR BC 1754y Stars, Galaxies, and Cosmology**

Examines the properties of stars, star formation, stellar evolution and
nucleosynthesis, the Milky Way and other galaxies, and the cosmological
origin and evolution of the universe. Students may not receive credit for
both ASTR BC 1754 and ASTR C1404. - Jacqueline Van Gorkom

*Prerequisites: Recommended preparation: A working knowledge of high
school algebra. Corequisites: Suggested parallel laboratory course: ASTR C
1904y. BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Quantitative and
Deductive Reasoning (QUA)..*

*3 points*

**ASTR C 1836y Stars and Atoms**

Study of the life cycles of stars, from their birth in cold gas clouds to
their final throes in supernova explosions. The turn-of-the-century
revolution in physics: x-rays, radioactivity, the nuclear atom, and the
quantum theory. Energy production by nuclear fission and fusion, and its
consequences.

*Prerequisites: Recommended preparation: A working knowledge of high school
algebra.*

*3 points*

**ASTR C 1903x Earth, Moon, and Planets Laboratory**

This laboratory is for the lecture courses ASTR BC1753 or ASTR C1403. The lecture course must be taken
concurrently.

*Corequisites: ASTR BC1753 or ASTR C1403.*

*1 point*

**ASTR C 1904y Astronomy Lab II**

This laboratory is for the lecture courses ASTR BC1754 and ASTR C1404. A lecture course must be taken concurrently.

*Corequisites: ASTR BC1754 or ASTR C1404.*

*1 point*

**ASTR C 2001x Introduction to Astrophysics I**

The first term of a two-term, calculus-based introduction to astronomy and
astrophysics. Topics include the physics of stellar interiors, stellar
atmospheres and spectral classifications, stellar energy generation and
nucleosynthesis, supernovae, neutron stars, white dwarfs, interacting binary
stars.

*Prerequisites: A working knowledge of calculus. Corequisites: A course in
calculus-based general physics.*

*3 points*

**ASTR C 2002y Introduction to Astrophysics II**

Continuation of ASTR C2001. These two courses constitute a full year of
calculus-based introduction to astrophysics. Topics include the structure of
our galaxy, the interstellar medium, star clusters, properties of external
galaxies, clusters of galaxies, active galactic nuclei, cosmology.

*Prerequisites: A working knowledge of calculus. Corequisites: A course in
calculus-based general physics.*

*3 points*

**ASTR C 2900x Frontiers of Astrophysics Research**

Several members of the faculty will each offer a brief series of talks
providing context for a current research topic in the field and will then
present recent results of their ongoing research. Opportunities for future
student research collaboration will be offered.

*3 points Grading is Pass/Fail.*

**ASTR C 3101x Modern Stellar Astrophysics II**

The physics of stellar structure, stellar atmospheres, nucleosynthesis,
stellar evolution, interacting binary stars, white dwarfs, and neutron
stars.

*Prerequisites: One year of calculus-based general physics.*

*3 points*

**ASTR C 3102y Planetary Dynamics**

Planets and planetary dynamics, detecting extrasolar systems, characteristics
of extrasolar planets, astrobiology.

*3 points*

**ASTR C 3103x or y The Galaxy and the Interstellar
Medium**

*3 points*

**ASTR C 3105y Extrasolar Planets and Astrobiology**

The emerging field of extrasolar planets and astrobiology will be covered at
a quantitative level, with a major emphasis on astrophysical phenomenae and
techniques. The subject will be introduced through an investigation of
current planetary formation theories and approaches to planet detection,
including what we currently know about extrasolar planets and detailed
reference to state-of-the-art studies. An astronomer's view of the origin of
life and extreme biology will be developed and applied to questions of
cosmo-chemistry, observable life-signatures, habitable zones and other
astrophysical constraints on the development of organisms.

*Prerequisites: One year of calculus-based physics.*

*3 points*

**ASTR C 3273x High Energy Astrophysics**

*Prerequisites: One year of calculus-based general physics. Physics majors
could take this course with no previous astronomy background.*

*3 points*

**ASTR C 3601x General Relativity, Black Holes, and
Cosmology**

Introduction to general relativity, Einstein's geometrical theory of gravity.
Topics include special relativity, tensor calculus, the Einstein field
equations, the Friedmann equations and cosmology, black holes, gravitational
lenses and mirages, gravitational radiation, and black hole evaporation. - J.
Levin

*Prerequisites: One year of calculus-based general physics.*

*3 points*

**ASTR C 3602y Physical Cosmology and Extragalactic
Astronomy**

The standard hot big bang cosmological model and other modern observational
results that test it. Topics include the Friedmann equations, the standard
model of particle Physics, the age of the universe, primordial
nucleosynthesis, the cosmic microwave background, the extragalactic distance
scale, and modern observations.

*Prerequisites: One year of calculus-based general physics. Not offered in
2015-2016.*

*3 points*

**ASTR C 3646y Observational Astronomy**

Introduction to the basic techniques used in obtaining and analyzing
astronomical data. Focus on 'ground-based' methods at optical, infrared, and
radio wavelengths. Regular use of the telescope facilities atop the roof of
the Pupin Labs and at Harriman Observatory. The radio-astronomy portion
consists mostly of computer labs, In research projects, students also work on
the analysis of data obtained at National Observatories.

*3 points*

**ASTR C 3997x-C3998y Independent Research**

Variety of research projects conducted under the supervision of members of
the faculty. Observational, theoretical, and experimental work in galactic
and extragalactic astronomy and cosmology. The topic and scope of the work
must be arranged with a faculty member in advance: a written paper describing
the results of the project will be required at its completion. (A two
semester project can be designed so that the grade YC is given after the
first term.) Senior majors in Astronomy or Astrophysics wishing to do a
Senior Thesis should make arrangements in ** May of their junior
year** and sign up for a total of 6 points over their final two
semesters. Both a substantial written document and an oral presentation of
thesis results will be required.

*3 points*

## Physics Courses

**PHYS C 1001y Physics for Poets**

Introduction to physics with emphasis on quantum phenomena, relativity, and
models of the atom and its nucleus. Offered in Spring 2011 only.

*Prerequisites: No previous background in physics is expected; high school
algebra is required. BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement:
Quantitative and Deductive Reasoning (QUA).. Not offered in
2015-2016.*

*3 points*

**PHYS C 1002y Physics for Poets**

Introduction to physics with emphasis on quantum phenomena, relativity, and
models of the atom and its nucleus.

*Prerequisites: No previous background in physics is expected; high school
algebra is required. BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement:
Quantitative and Deductive Reasoning (QUA).. Not offered in
2015-2016.*

*3 points*

**PHYS V 1201x General Physics I**

Mechanics, fluids, thermodynamics.

*Prerequisites: This course will use elementary concepts from calculus.
Students should therefore have had some high school calculus, or be
concurrently enrolled in MATH V1101. Corequisites: Taken with accompanying lab
PHYS V1291-V1292, the sequence PHYS V1201-C1202 satisfies requirements for medical school. BC:
Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Quantitative and Deductive
Reasoning (QUA)..*

*3 points*

**PHYS V 1202y General Physics II**

Electricity, magnetism, optics, and modern physics.

*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. BC:
Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Quantitative and Deductive
Reasoning (QUA)..*

*3 points*

**PHYS C 1291x General Physics I Laboratory**

*Corequisites: Laboratory to accompany PHYS V1201-2, PHYS V1301-2, or PHYS V1001-2.*

*1 point*

**PHYS C 1292y General Physics II Laboratory**

*Prerequisites: Laboratory to accompany V1201-2, V1301-2, or V1001-2.*

*1 point*

**PHYS C 1401x Introduction to Mechanics and
Thermodynamics**

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.

*Corequisites: MATH V1101 or MATH V1105, or the equivalent. BC: Fulfillment of General
Education Requirement: Quantitative and Deductive Reasoning (QUA)..*

*3 points*

**PHYS C 1402y Introduction to Electricity, Magnetism, and
Optics**

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

*Prerequisites: PHYS C1401, or the equivalent. Corequisites: MATH V1102 or V1106, or the equivalent. Lab Required. BC: Fulfillment of
General Education Requirement: Quantitative and Deductive Reasoning
(QUA)..*

*3 points*

**PHYS V 1900y Seminar in Contemporary Physics and
Astronomy**

Lectures on current areas of research with discussions of motivation, techniques, and results, as well as difficulties and unsolved problems. Each student submits a written report on one field of active research.

- C. Hailey*Prerequisites: (or corequisite) Any 1000-level course in the Physics or Astronomy departments. This course may be repeated for credit only with the instructor's permission.*

*1 point*

**PHYS BC 2001x Physics I: Mechanics**

Fundamental laws of mechanics. Kinematics, Newton's laws, work and energy,
conservation laws, collisions, rotational motion, oscillations, gravitation.
- R. Mukherjee

*Corequisites: Calculus I or the equivalent. Lab Required. BC: Fulfillment
of General Education Requirement: Quantitative and Deductive Reasoning
(QUA)..*

*4.5 points*

**PHYS BC 2002y Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism**

Charge, electric field, and potential. Gauss's law. Circuits: capacitors and
resistors. Magnetism and electromagnetism. Induction and inductance.
Alternating currents. Maxwell's equations.

*Prerequisites: Physics BC2001 or the equivalent. Corequisites: Calculus II. Lab
Required. BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Quantitative and
Deductive Reasoning (QUA)..*

*4.5 points*

**PHYS C 2801x General Physics**

Mechanics, heat, electricity, magnetism, and light.

*Prerequisites: Advanced placement in mathematics or some knowledge of
differential and integral calculus and permission of the departmental
representative. (A special placement meeting is held during Orientation Week.)
Recitation Section Required. BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement:
Quantitative and Deductive Reasoning (QUA)..*

*4 points*

**PHYS C 2802y General Physics**

Mechanics, heat, electricity, magnetism, and light.

*Prerequisites: Advanced placement in mathematics or some knowledge of
differential and integral calculus and permission of the departmental
representative. (A special placement meeting is held during Orientation week.)
Recitation Section Required. BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement:
Quantitative and Deductive Reasoning (QUA)..*

*4 points*

**PHYS BC 3001x Physics III: Classical Waves &
Optics**

Nonlinear pendula, transverse vibrations-elastic strings, longitudinal sound
waves, seismic waves, electromagnetic oscillations & light, rainbows,
haloes, the Green Flash; polarization phenomena - Haidinger's Brush,
Brewster's angle, double refraction, optical activity; gravity &
capillary waves; interference, diffraction, lenses & mirrors. - T.
Halpin-Healy

*Prerequisites: Physics BC2002 or the equivalent. Corequisites: Calculus III. Lab
Required. BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Quantitative and
Deductive Reasoning (QUA)..*

*5 points*

**PHYS W 3003x Mechanics**

Newtonian mechanics. Oscillations and resonance. Conservative forces and
potential energy. Central forces. Non-inertial frames of reference. Rigid
body motion. Introduction to Lagrangian mechanics. Coupled oscillators and
normal modes.

*Prerequisites: General physics and integral calculus. BC: Fulfillment of
General Education Requirement: Quantitative and Deductive Reasoning
(QUA)..*

*3 points*

**PHYS BC 3006y Quantum Physics**

Wave-particle duality and the Uncertainty Principle. The Schrodinger
equation. Basic principles of the quantum theory. Energy levels in
one-dimensional potential wells. The harmonic oscillator, photons, and
phonons. Reflection and transmission by one-dimensional potential barriers.
Applications to atomic, molecular, and nuclear physics. - R. Mukherjee

*Prerequisites: BC3001 or C2601 or the equivalent.*

*3 points*

**PHYS W 3007y Electricity and Magnetism**

Electrostatics and magnetostatics. Laplace's equation and boundary-value
problems. Multipole expansion. Dielectric and magnetic materials. Faraday's
law. AC circuits. Maxwell's equations. Lorentz covariance and special
relativity.

*Prerequisites: BC2002 or the equivalent, and differential and integral
calculus. BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Quantitative and
Deductive Reasoning (QUA)..*

*3 points*

**PHYS W 3008x Electromagnetic Waves and Optics**

Maxwell's equations and electromagnetic potentials. The wave equation.
Propagation of plane waves. Reflection and refraction. Geometrical optics.
Transmission lines, wave guides, and resonant cavities. Radiation.
Interference of waves. Diffraction.

*Prerequisites: W3007. BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement:
Quantitative and Deductive Reasoning (QUA)..*

*3 points*

**PHYS BC 3082x Advanced Physics Laboratory**

Barnard College physics laboratory has available a variety of experiments
meant to complement 3000-level lecture courses. Each experiment requires
substantial preparation, as well as written and oral presentations.
Elementary particle experiments: detectors, cosmic ray triggers, muon
lifetime.

*1.5 points*

**PHYS W 3083y Electronics Laboratory**

Experiments in solid state electronics, with introductory lectures.

*Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor required. Registration is
limited to the capacity of the laboratory. Corequisites: W3003 or W3007.*

*2 points*

**PHYS BC 3086y Quantum Physics Laboratory**

Experiments illustrating phenomenological aspects of the early quantum
theory: (i) Hydrogenic Spectra: Balmer Series & Bohr-Sommerfeld Model;
(ii) Photoelectric Effect: Millikan's Determination of h/e; (iii)
Franck-Hertz Experiment; and (iv) Electron Diffraction Phenomena. Substantial
preparation required, including written and oral presentations, as well as an
interest in developing the knack and intuition of an experimental physicist.
This course is best taken concurrently with PHYS BC3006 *Quantum Physics*.

*BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Quantitative and Deductive Reasoning (QUA)..*

*3 points*

**PHYS BC 3088x Advanced Electromagnetism Laboratory**

Classical electromagnetic wave phenomena via Maxwell's equations, including:
(i) Michaelson and Fabry-Perot Interferometry, as well as a thin-film
interference and elementary dispersion theory; (ii) Fraunhofer Diffraction
(and a bit of Fresnel); (iii) Wireless Telegraphy I: AM Radio Receivers; and
(iv) Wireless Telegraphy II: AM Transmitters. Last two labs pay homage to
relevant scientific developments in the period 1875-1925, from the discovery
of Hertzian waves to the Golden Age of Radio. Complements PHYS W3008 *Electromagnetic Waves and Optics*. - S.
Savin

*BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Quantitative and
Deductive Reasoning (QUA)..*

*3 points*

**PHYS BC 3900x-BC3900y Supervised Individual Research**

For specially selected students, the opportunity to do a research problem in
contemporary physics under the supervision of a faculty member. Each year
several juniors are chosen in the spring to carry out such a project
beginning in the autumn term. A detailed report on the research is presented
by the student when the project is complete. - R. Mukherjee

*Prerequisites: Permission of the departmental representative required.
BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Quantitative and Deductive
Reasoning (QUA)..*

*1-5 points. 1-5 points per term.*

**PHYS W 4003y Advanced Mechanics**

Lagrange's formulation of mechanics. The calculus of variations and the
action principle. Hamilton's formulation of mechanics. Applications to rigid
body motion and normal modes.

*Prerequisites: W3003. BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement:
Quantitative and Deductive Reasoning (QUA)..*

*3 points*

**PHYS W 4021x Quantum Mechanics**

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.

*Prerequisites: W3003, W3007, BC3006. BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement:
Quantitative and Deductive Reasoning (QUA)..*

*3 points*

**PHYS W 4022y Quantum Mechanics II**

*3 points*

**PHYS W 4023x Thermal and Statistical Physics**

Thermodynamics, kinetic theory, and statistical mechanics. Energy and
entropy. Classical and quantum statistics. Ideal and real gases. Black-body
radiation. Chemical equilibrium. Phase transitions. Ferromagnetism.

*Prerequisites: BC3006. BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement:
Quantitative and Deductive Reasoning (QUA)..*

*3 points*

## Cross-Listed Courses

### Physics

W3002 From Quarks To the Cosmos: Applications of Modern Physics