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Physics and Applied Physics Courses

 
Course Code and Title AU Course Contents
PH1104 - Mechanics 3 AU
Fundamental concepts of mechanics.
  1. Fundamental quantities of nature. Systems in equilibrium, in motion with constant acceleration and non-constant acceleration. Frames of reference and Galilean Relativity.
  2. Linear Motion Newton’s three laws of motion; forces, linear momentum, impulse, work done, kinetic energy, potential energy, torque and pressure; conservation laws; collisions; systems with variable masses; rockets. Force fields - gravitation; concept of field; conservative fields; Gauss’ law; superposition.
  3. Rotational motion Orbits & Kepler’s laws; angular speed and momentum; moment of inertia; rotational dynamics; parallel and perpendicular axes theorems; kinetic energy; gyroscopes.

Prerequisite: Physics and Maths at A or H2 level, or equivalents.
Not available to students who have taken or are taking PH1011, PH1012, PH1101, PH114S, PH1801, or CY1308.

PH1105 - Optics, Vibrations and Waves  3 AU
The behaviour and properties of light and matter waves.
  1. Geometrical Optics – reflection, refraction and dispersion; lensmaker’s equation; real and virtual images; cameras, telescope and microscope.
  2. Oscillations simple harmonic motion; relative phases; pendulums; damped and driven oscillations; phasor diagrams.
  3. Waves and Sound – the wave equation; characteristics of waves; wave attenuation; phase, group velocity; Huygen’s principle, superposition and interference; sound waves; beats; standing waves; the Doppler effect.
  4. Wave Optics – electromagnetic waves; interference, diffraction; Young’s double-slit experiment; diffraction gratings; limits of resolution; interference in thin films; scattering of light; Michelson’s interferometer; spectrometers, X-ray diffraction, Bragg’s equation; polarization; the Brewster angle.

Prerequisite: Physics and Maths at A or H2 level, or equivalents.
Not available to students who have taken/are taking PH1103 or EE1002.
PH1106 - Electricity and Magnetism  3 AU
Introduction to electric and magnetic fields, and electrical circuits.
  1. Electric fields Coulomb’s law, the electric field and potential; Gauss’ law; capacitors and capacitance; currents of electricity; Ohm’s Law; microscopic model of electrical conduction; Kirchoff’s laws; RC circuits.
  2. Magnetic fields – Biot-Savart’s Law and Ampere’s law; the Lorentz force; the Hall effect; mass spectrometers; JJ Thompson’s experiment on the electron charge-mass ratio; magnetic flux; Gauss’s law of magnetism; Faraday’s and Lenz’s laws; transformers; inductors and inductance.
  3. Electrical circuits voltage, current and resistance; oscillations in circuits; LC circuits and relative phases; complex descriptions of current, voltage, and impedance; LCR circuits and electrical resonance; high pass and low pass filters.
  4. Electromagnetic Waves – properties of electromagnetic waves; the Poynting vector.

Prerequisite: Physics and Maths at A or H2 level, or equivalents.
Not available to students who have taken/are taking PH1011, PH1012, PH1102, PH1802, EE1002, PHYS1B, CY1302, or CY1306.
PH1107 - Relativity and Quantum Physics  3 AU
Fundamental concepts of special relativity, quantum physics and some basic applications.
  1. Special Relativity the Michelson-Morley experiment; Einstein’s postulates; time and causality; Lorentz transformation; world-lines and space-time diagrams; the Doppler effect; relativistic momentum and energy; mass energy equivalence.
  2. Quantum Physics - Planck’s postulate; the photoelectric effect; photons; Compton scattering; wave-particle duality; electron diffraction; de Broglie waves; Bohr’s atom and its limitations; Schrödinger’s equation; Born’s interpretation of wave functions; the uncertainty principle; the infinite square well; quantum tunneling; Schrödinger’s analysis of the hydrogen atom; atomic structure; electron spin; quantum numbers; Pauli’s exclusion principle; many-electron atoms; photomultipliers; scanning electron microscopes and scanning tunneling microscopes.
  3. Nuclear Physics and Radioactivity – radioactive decay; binding energy; activities and half-lives; fission and fusion; radiation doses.

Prerequisite: Physics and Maths at A or H2 level, or equivalents.
Not available to students who have taken/are taking PH1101, PAP111, CY1307.
PH1198 - Physics Laboratory Ia  2 AU
Basic experimental physics, including topics in mechanics, basic optics and thermal physics. The laboratory sessions are designed to provide an active learning experience where key physics concepts can be better appreciated. Students will also learn about data acquisition, error analysis, error distribution, and fitting procedures.
 
Prerequisite: Physics at A or H2 level or equivalent.
PH1199 - Physics Laboratory Ib  2 AU
Basic experimental physics, including topics in electricity and magnetism, circuits, optics and wave phenomena. The laboratory sessions are designed to provide an active learning experience where key physics concepts can be better appreciated. Students will also learn about data acquisition, error analysis, error distribution, and fitting procedures.
 
Prerequisite: Physics at A or H2 level or equivalent.
PH2101 - Quantum Mechanics I
3 AU
Basic ideas of quantization in the physical world.
  1. Schrodinger wave equation Born’s interpretation of wave functions; expectation values; time-independent Schrodinger equation; required properties of eigenfunctions; energy quantization in Schrodinger theory; quantum superposition.
  2. Solutions of time-independent Schrodinger equation plane-wave solutions; step potential; barrier potential; quantum tunneling (with examples in radioactive alpha-decay, ammonia molecule, tunnel diode, scanning tunneling microscope, etc.); square well potential; simple harmonic oscillator potential.
  3. One-electron atoms central potentials; development of the Schrodinger equation in 3-dimensions; separation of variables; eigenvalues, quantum numbers and degeneracy; eigenfunctions; probability densities; orbital angular momentum; eigenvalue equations.
  4. Magnetic dipole moments and spin orbital magnetic dipole moments; the Stern-Gerlach experiment and electron spin; spin-orbit interaction; total angular momentum.

Prerequisites: (MH1801 and PH1107) OR (MH1801 and CY1307) OR (MH1802 and MH1803 and PH1107) OR (CY1307 and CY1601 and CY1602).
Not available to students who have taken/are taking CY1303.
PH2102 - Electromagnetism  4 AU
Key concepts in electromagnetism.
  1. Electric dipole moment polarization and displacement; multipole expansions.
  2. Laplace's and Poisson's equations uniqueness theorem; method of images; electrostatic energy.
  3. Magnetic fields   magnetic dipole moment; magnetic field and flux; magnetic scalar and vector potentials; magnetization and magnetic media; permeability and susceptibility; properties of B and H; boundary conditions.
  4. Maxwell's equations; relativistic invariance; the continuity equation.
  5. Electromagnetic radiation   the wave equation; the electromagnetic spectrum; magnetic and electric energy densities; Poynting flux; momentum flux; radiation pressure; polarization.

Prerequisites: (MH1801 and MH2800 and PH1106) OR (MH1802 and MH1803 and MH2802 and PH1106) OR (CY1601 and CY1602 and CY1308).
PH2103 - Thermal Physics 4 AU
The laws and key concepts of thermodynamics.
  1. Thermodynamic equilibrium; functions of state; equations of state; perfect gases and absolute zero; the zeroth law of thermodynamics.
  2. The first law of thermodynamics work, heat, and internal energy; adiabatic, reversible and irreversible changes; heat engines, efficiency, and Carnot cycles.
  3. Clausius' theorem and the Second law of thermodynamics.
  4. Fundamental equations of thermodynamics; phase changes and latent heat; enthalpy, Helmholtz free energy and Gibb's energy; Maxwell relations; the reciprocity theorem.
  5. The third law of thermodynamics.
  6. Kinetic theory Maxwell distribution of velocities; pressure and effusion; mean free path; thermal conductivity and viscosity.
  7. Heat transport conduction, radiation, and convection as transport mechanisms; heat flux and heat diffusion equation; steady-state and initial-value problems; sinusoidally varying surface temperatures.

Prerequisites: (MH2800 and PH1104) OR (MH1803 and MH2802 and PH1104) OR (CY1601 and CY1602 and CY1308).
PH2104 - Analytical Mechanics  4 AU
Fundamental concepts of analytical mechanics.
  1. Newtonian Mechanics – motion with non-constant acceleration; potential energy and conservative force; conservative forces in three dimensions; small oscillations; coupled oscillators; central forces; orbits and trajectories; scattering; collisions in center of mass coordinates.
  2. Rotating Systems rotating coordinate systems; Coriolis forces and centrifugal forces; the Focault pendulum; rigid body rotation; inertia tensor, principal axes of inertia, and precession.
  3. Lagrangian mechanics calculus of variations; action integral; Hamilton’s principle of least action; generalised coordinates; Hamilton’s equations; canonical transformations; Liouville’s theorem; symmetries and conservation laws.

Prerequisite: (MH2800 and PH1104) OR (MH1803 and MH2802 and PH1104) OR (CY1601 and CY1602 and CY1308).
Not available to students who have taken/are taking PH2201 or MA1001.
PH2198 - Physics Laboratory IIa  2 AU Intermediate experimental physics, including topics in electronics, nuclear physics, semiconductor physics, and spectroscopy. The laboratory sessions are designed to provide an active learning experience where key physics concepts can be better appreciated. Students will also learn about data acquisition, error analysis, error distribution, and fitting procedures.

Prerequisite: PH1198.
PH2199 - Physics Laboratory IIb  2 AU Intermediate experimental physics, including topics in optics, spectroscopy, X-ray physics, and statistical mechanics. The laboratory sessions are designed to provide an active learning experience where key physics concepts can be better appreciated. Students will also learn about data acquisition, error analysis, error distribution, and fitting procedures.

Prerequisite: PH1199.
PH2301 - Physical Optics  3 AU
Basic principles of physical optics.
  1. Properties of optical waves – refraction and dispersion; interference; the Michelson interferometer; Fraunhofer and Fresnel diffraction; the resolution limit; Fourier transformations; holography.
  2. Polarization; birefringence and wave plates; Fabry-Perot etalons; optical coatings; zone plates.

Prerequisite: PH1103 or PH1105
PH2601 - Introduction to Lasers  3 AU
Introduction to lasers and their working principles.
  1. Stimulated emission of radiation – quantum transitions in atoms; stimulated emission and amplification; rate equations; saturation.
  2. Laser oscillation – feedback mechanisms; coherent optical oscillations; laser resonators; design principles for laser devices.

Prerequisite: PH1103 or PH1105.
PH3101 - Quantum Mechanics II  4 AU
Framework and basic principles of quantum mechanics.
  1. Postulats of quantum mechanics - quantum states and operators; wavefunctions; orthogonality and completeness; degeneracies; symmetries and conservation laws; the quantum-classical correspondence.
  2. Angular momentum – operators, eigenvalues and eigenstates of angular momentum; parity and rotational invariance; the hydrogen atom; angular momentum quantum numbers.
  3. Time-independent perturbation theory – non-degenerate eigenvalues; first and second order corrections; degenerate perturbation theory; the variational principle.

Prerequisite: PH2101 and MH2801.
PH3102 - Condensed Matter Physics I
 4 AU
The structure of solids, and the quantum mechanical motion of  atoms and electrons in a periodic solid.
  1. Crystal symmetry – lattice, basis, unit cell of a crystal; Miller indices; lattice planes and spacings; the reciprocal lattice and Brillouin zones; Bragg and Laue diffraction; structure factor; atomic form factor; neutron and x-ray diffraction; powder and single crystal diffraction.
  2. Sound propagation in solids – normal mode dispersion for linear atomic chains; acoustic and optical phonon modes; Born von Karman boundary conditions; density of states; lattice quantization and phonons; Einstein and Debye models of heat capacity.
  3. Electronic properties – free electron theory; density of states; the Fermi energy; Fermi surfaces; conductivity and heat capacity; the nearly-free electron model; band gaps; the Bloch theorem; the Kronig-Penny model.
  4. Distinctions between metals, semiconductors and insulators; aspects of condensed matter physics.

Prerequisite: PH1105, PH2101, and PH2103.
PH3199 - Physics Laboratory IIIa  2 AU
Advanced training in experimental physics covering a wide variety of topics: quantum physics, electrodynamics, atomic physics and spectroscopy, solid state physics, fluid mechanics, semiconductor physics, photonics, biophysics and thin film growth.
 
Prerequisites: PH2198 and PH2199.
PH3201 - Statistical Mechanics  4 AU
Postulates and key ideas in statistical mechanics, with applications to classical and quantum gases.
  1. Basic postulates of statistical mechanics – macrostates and microstates; distinguishable and indistinguishable particles; distribution functions.
  2. Temperature and entropy – state probabilities; the Boltzmann relation; the canonical ensemble; the partition function; Gibbs' entropy formula; the Third Law of thermodynamics; information theory; irreversible processes and the arrow of time.
  3. Density of states and heat capacity in black body radiation.
  4. Ideal classical gases – the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution; rotational and vibrational heat.
  5. Free electron gases – the Fermi energy and distribution function; Pauli paramagnetism; electronic contributions to heat capacity.
  6. Phonons – phonon contributions to heat capacity; the Debye approximation; the phonon gas; thermal conductivity of insulators.
  7. Phase transitions – the Weiss model of ferromagnetism; order-disorder transitions.

Prerequisite: PH3101.
PH3399 - Physics Laboratory IIIb  2 AU
Advanced training in experimental physics covering a wide variety of topics: Quantum physics, electrodynamics, atomic physics and spectroscopy, solid state physics, fluid mechanics, semiconductor physics, photonics, biophysics and thin film growth.
 
Prerequisite: PH2198 and PH2199.
PH3401 - Atomic Physics  4 AU
Atomic spectra, and the application of quantum mechanics to electron-nucleus interactions in atoms.
  1. The hydrogen atom – central potential approximation; radial wavefunctions; quantum numbers; energy levels and degeneracy; electron spin and total angular momentum; spin-orbit coupling and fine structure; Zeeman splitting.
  2. Helium atom – Coulomb repulsion and exchange; singlet-triplet splitting.
  3. Electronic configuration and the periodic table – alkali metals; residual electrostatic interaction; LS-coupling scheme; Hund's rules; hyperfine structure and isotope shift.
  4. Spectroscopy – selection rules for electric dipole interaction; Zeeman and Stark effects; inner shell transitions and x-ray spectra; modern atomic physics experiments.

Prerequisite: PH3101.
PH3403 - Cosmology
  3 AU
Fundamental aspects of standard cosmology.
  1. Big bang theory – structure formation; big bang nucleosynthesis; matter production; cosmic microwave background; inflation.
  2. Aspects of geometry in the universe – Robertson-Walker metrics; Friedmann equations.
  3. Open problems in cosmology – dark matter; dark energy; primordial gravitational waves.

Prerequisites: PH1107, PH2101, and PH2103.

PH3404 - Physics of Classical and Quantum Information
  3 AU
Relationships between physics, information theory and computer science.
  1. Computation and its physical consequences – Turing machines; the physical Church-Turing thesis; the halting problem; computational complexity; emergence.
  2. Introduction to information theory – quantifying information; Shannon entropy; correlations and mutual information.
  3. Thermodynamics of information – Maxwell's demons; Szilard Engines; Landaur's erasure; energetic limits of computation.
  4. Quantum Information – quantum bits; quantum gates; quantum non-locality; quantum entanglement.
  5. Quantum technologies – sampling of iconic quantum technologies like quantum bomb detection and quantum teleportation.

Prerequisites: PH2101 and MH1402.
PH3405 - Superconductivity, Superfluidity and Bose-Einstein Condensates
  3 AU
Macroscopic quantum phenomena: superconductivity, superfluidity, and Bose-Einstein condensates.
  1. Superconductivity – Drude theory of conduction in normal metals; superconductor properties; the Meissner effect; perfect diamagnetism; type I and type II superconductors; the London equation; Ginzburg-Landau theory; the superconducting phase transition; gauge symmetries and spontaneous symmetry breaking; the Abrikosov flux lattice; macroscopic coherent states; field operators; off-diagonal long-range order; the Josephson effect and its application in the Superconducting Quantum Interference Device (SQUID); introduction to the BCS theory.
  2. Superfluids – superfluid helium-4; macroscopic wave functions, flow quantization; rotating superfluids and vortices; phonon and roton excitations; the Tisza-Landau two-fluid model; superfluid helium-3; unconventional superconductivity.
  3. Bose-Einstein condensation (BEC) – Bose-Einstein statistics; BEC in ultra-cold atomic gases; the Gross-Pitaevskii equation.
 
Prerequisite: PH2101
PH3501 - Fluid Mechanics  4 AU
The laws governing the motion of fluids.
  1. Equations of flow – Pascal's theorem; the Bernoulli equation; Euler's equation; the Navier-Stokes equation; vorticity and divergence.
  2. Compressible and incompressible fluids – flow around objects; potential flow; viscosity, Reynolds number; laminar flow and turbulence; Kolmogorov scaling.
  3. Dynamical phenomena – sound waves; shock fronts; Rankine-Hugoniot relations; shallow-water equations; surface waves; conservation of potential vorticity.

Prerequisite: PH2104
PH3502 - Chaotic Dynamical Systems 4 AU
Modelling determinism and randomness in the physical world.
  1. Phase planes and critical points; free and damped oscillators; prey-predator models; extensions to three-dimensional phase space and beyond, e.g. rotation of rigid bodis and the Lorenz system.
  2. Integrable and non-integrable systems; Poincaré return maps.
  3. Discrete dynamics – 1D and 2D maps; fixed points and stability; period doubling; shift map and logistic map.
  4. Chaos theory – sensitivity to initial conditions (the butterfly effect); Lyapunov exponents; limits to predictability; strange attractors and fractal dimensions; the Kepler problem.
  5. Stable and unstable manifolds – homoclinic and heteroclinic tangle; lobes and turnstile transport; particle motion in 2D incompressible fluids.

 

Prerequisite: PH2104.
PH3601 - Fabrication of Micro- and Nanoelectronic Devices
4 AU
Principles and techniques for fabricating micro- and nano-electronic devices.
  1. Semiconductor-based device fabrication – ion implantation; diffusion and oxidation processes; epitaxy; thin film deposition; material and device characterization; lithography; etching and cleaning.
  2. Magnetic, organic and bioMEMS devices – fabrication and characterization techniques.

Prerequisite: PH2102
PH3602 - Photonics  4 AU
Key concepts in optical and optoelectronic technologies.
  1. Waveguide optics – optical fibres; crystal optics.
  2. Light sources and detectors – optoelectronic interactions in semiconductors; photovoltaic devices; liquid crystal optics; flat panel displays.

Prerequisites: PH2101 and PH2301.
PH3603 - Biophysics  3 AU
Biophysics and physical models of biological systems.
  1. Introduction to biophysics – working principles of common biophysical models; chemical bonds; structure and dynamics of biomolecules.
  2. Structure calculations and computer simulations.
  3. Thermodynamics and kinetics of molecular interactions.
  4. Single-molecule biophysics.
  5. Physics and medicine.

Prerequisite: PH2103.
PH4401 - Quantum Mechanics III  4 AU
Advanced topics in quantum mechanics.
  1. Scattering theory – formulation of scattering experiments; Born approximations; Green's function methods; bound and free states; resonances; Fermi's golden rule.
  2. Many-body quantum mechanics – quantum postulates for many-body systems; quantum entanglement; the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox and Bell's inequalities; the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.
  3. Identical particles – exchange symmetry; bosons and fermions; creation and annihilation operators, and second quantization; coherent states; the Pauli exclusion principle; quantum field theories.
  4. Quantum electrodynamics – the electromagnetic Hamiltonian; gauge symmetry and the Aharanov-Bohm effect; Dirac's equation; quantization of the electromagnetic field; photons; electromagnetic radiation; electromagnetic shifts of electronic energy levels.

Prerequisite: PH3101
PH4402 - Condensed Matter Physics II  4 AU
Advanced concepts in solid state physics.
  1. Basic theories and models for condensed-matter physics – approaches to the many-body problem; collective phenomena.
  2. Structure and bonding - order and disorder; types of bonding and structure; electrons in periodic potentials; the Bloch theorem; tight-binding models; 1D chain models; band structures of real materials; optical transitions and photoemission.
  3. Interactions – effective medium approximations for electron-electron interactions; Hartree-Fock theory; exchange and correlation energy; electron fluids and electrostatic screening; the exclusion principle and quasiparticles.
  4. Transport and scattering – crystal momentum; neutron scattering; electron-phonon scattering; optical conductivity; Drude theory, plasmons; transport in electric and magnetic fields; quantization of orbits, cyclotron resonance; the de Haas-van Alphen effect; Fermi surfaces; magnetoresistance oscillation; the quantum Hall effect.
  5. Semiconductors – thermal equilibrium of quasiparticles; field effect transistor; p-n junctions, LED; excitons; semiconductor heterostrutures; quantum wells; semiconductor lasers.
  6. Magnetism – origin of magnetic moments and interactions; ferromagnetism; itinerant magnetism; the Stoner model; strongly interacting systems; Mott insulators.

Prerequisite: PH3201 and PH3102
PH4403 - Surfaces and Interfaces
4 AU
Key concepts in surface and interface science, with a focus on electronic structures.
  1. Thermodynamics of surface phenomena – electronic structures; phase transitions; elementary excitations; physisorption and chemisorption; energy transfer.
  2. Schottky barrier and band offsets in semiconductors; band engineering.
  3. Analytical techniques – scanning tunneling microscopy; electron diffraction methods; photoemission; ballistic electron emission microscopy.

Prerequisite: PH3102
PH4404 - Nanoscale Physics  3 AU
Physical and transport properties in nanoscale systems.
  1. Electron gases in 2D and multilayer systems.
  2. Quantum transport in 1D – magnetotunneling; quantum capacitance; quantum conductance.
  3. Quantum dots and artificial atoms – eigenenergies and eigenstates; single particle conductance; Coulomb blockade; Kondo effect; the Aharanov-Bohm effect.

Prerequisite: PH3101 and PH3102
PH4408 - Nuclear Physics  3AU
The structure of nuclei and their properties.
  1. Properties of nuclei – nuclear radii, masses, and abundances; binding energies; spins and electromagnetic moments.
  2. Nuclear structure – deuterons; nucleon-nucleon scattering and exchange forces; the semi-empirical mass formula; the Fermi gas model; the shell model; liquid drop models with vibrational and rotational excitations; collective structure.
  3. Selection rules for alpha, beta and gamma decay processes.
  4. Nuclear lifetimes; applications of nuclear physics including fusion and fission processes.
  5. Nuclear reactors and nuclear power – neutron difussion and moderation; radiation protection and radiation shielding; safety and the environment.

Prerequisite: PH3101
PH4409 - Quantum Electronics
 4 AU
Advanced topics in photonics and optical technology.
  1. Classical linear and nonlinear optics; statistical optics.
  2. Quantum optics – physics of photoncs; semiclassical and quantum models of light-matter interaction; lasers; generation of short laser pulses.

Prerequisites: PH3101 and PH3602.
PH4410 - Econophysics  3AU
Approaches to economics and finance inspired by statistical physics.
  1. Introductory concepts – basic concepts in probability and statistics; low- and high-frequency data in economics and finance; Gaussian and fat-tailed return distributions.
  2. Time series – autocorrelations, memory, and nonstationarity; cross correlations in financial markets; time series clustering.
  3. Random matrix theory.
  4. Correlation filtering and minimal spanning trees.
  5. Agent-based models of financial markets.

Prerequisite: PH3201 or MH2500.

PH4411 - Introduction to Experimental Particle Physics  3 AU
Survey of particle physics for advanced undergraduates and beginning graduate students.
  1. Common models of nuclear and high energy particle physics – the Standard Model of quarks, leptons and the fundamental interactions; tests of conservation laws; indications of physics beyond the Standard Model.
  2. Experimental techniques in particle physics – operating principles of particle accelerators and particle detectors; accelerators; transverse and longitudinal beam dynamics; RF and plasma acceleration; electron dynamics and synchrotron radiation; detector types, including sensitivity, response, energy/space/time resolution, efficiency and dead time; covering devices for position and momentum measurements; particle identification systems; calorimeters and multipurpose systems.
  3. Current and future experimental challenges – data volume and computing problems; online collision selection; data analysis.

Prerequisite: division approval
PH4414 - Introduction to Spintronics
 3 AU
Magnetic and spintronic technologies, and their uses in hard disk drives and magnetic random access memory.
  1. Fundamentals of magnetism – origins of magnetism;  exchange interactions; types of magnetic materials and their properties; origins of magnetic hysteresis.
  2. Magnetic recording – components of magnetic recording media; recent developments.
  3. Magnetic random access memory – magnetoresistance; giant magnetoresistance; tunneling magnetoresistance; MRAM devices; emerging concepts in MRAM.

Prerequisites: PH2102 and PH3102 or equivalent.
PH4418 - Physics in the Industry
 4 AU
Survey course in applications of physics in various industries, including the electronics industry; the optics industry; the materials industry; the biomedial industry; and the financial industry.

Prerequisites: PH3101 and PH3102.
PH4501 - Statistical Mechanics II  4 AU
Advanced statistical mechanics and its applications to complex physical systems.
  1. Thermodynamic systems in equilibrium – Boltzmann and Gibbs entropy; configurational entropy and defects; mcrocanonical, canonical and grand canonical ensembles; paramagnetic salts; negative temperatures; fluctuations in energy, particle number and volume; critical opalescence.
  2. Classical and quantum models – indistinguishability; the equipartition theorem; the grand partition function; Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein statistics; the quantum to classical crossover; chemical equilibrium and Langmuir isotherms.
  3. Quantum fluids – the Ideal Bose gas and Bose-Einstein condensation; quantum liquids; black-body radiation; phonons and the Debye model; ideal Fermi gases; normal modes and elementary excitations of quantum fluids.
  4. Classical liquids – radial distribution function; internal energy and equation of state; virial expansion.

Prerequisites: PH3101 and PH3201.
PH4502 - Atmospheric Physics  4 AU
The atmosphere as a fluid system, and the physics underlying weather and the climate.
  1. Basic properties of the atmosphere – temperature structure; potential temperature; entropy models; hydrostatic balance and geopotential; pressure coordinates.
  2. Radiative balance of the Earth – radiative transfer; ozone-layer; the greenhouse effect.
  3. Fluid dynamics on the planet surface – geostrophic flow; cyclones and anticyclones; thermal-wind balance; Hadley circulation; global wind circulation;  static stability and the Brunt-Vassala frequency; gravity waves; Rossby waves.
  4. Thermal convection; adiabatic lapse rate; moist adiabat; radiative-convective equilibrium.
  5. The Antarctic ozone hole; global warming and climate change.

Prerequisites: PH2103 and PH3501.
PH4505 - Computational Physics  4 AU

Computational methods for solving physical problems, with an emphasis on practical programming using Scientific Python.

  1. Data structures for scientific programming – arrays; runtime and memory scaling analysis; numerical linear algebra; numerical eigenvalue problem solvers.
  2. Monte Carlo method for statistical mechanics simulation. Optimization and data analysis.
  3. Discretization schemes – finite-difference methods; sparse matrices; numerical integration; discrete Fourier transforms.
  4. Monte Carlo methods – Markov chains; the Markov chain Monte Carlo method for statistical modeling.

Prerequisite: PH3101.
PH4506 - Electrodynamics 4 AU
Advanced topics in electromagnetism.
  1. Electromagnetism and special relativity.
  2. Emission of electromagnetic radiation by electric charges.
  3. The scattering of charged particles by the electromagnetic field.

Prerequisite: PH2102.
PH4507 - Topics in Physics 3 AU
Survey course in research topics at the frontiers of theoretical physics. The topics vary from semester to semester, and are chosen from the fields of condensed matter physics, nanotechnology, general relativity, elementary particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology, etc.

Prerequisite: division approval.
PH4508 - Introduction to General Relativity 3 AU
Introduction to the geometric theory of gravitation.
  1. Principles of general relativity – the equivalence principle; space-time effects of gravitation; gravitational redshifts; the curvature of spacetime; the geodesic equation.
  2. Einstein's equations and their solutions – the Schwarzschild geometry for a spherical star; equation of orbit; experimental tests of general relativity; introduction to black hole physics.
 
Prerequisite: MH2801, PH2102, and PH2104.
PH4509 - Quantum Field Theory with applications in Condensed Matter Physics 4 AU
Introduction to quantum field theory (QFT).
  1. Basic concepts of QFT – mathematical techniques; the path-integral formalism of quantum mechanics; canonical quantization, Green's functions; Feynman diagrams and perturbation theory.
  2. Applications of QFT in particle physics and many-body condensed matter physics – quantum electrodynamics; the fractional quantum hall effect; mean-field theories of superfluids; renormalization group methods; the Landau-Ginzburg theory of critical phenomena.

Prerequisite: PH3101.
PH4601 - Physics of Semiconductor and Spintronics Devices  4 AU
Introduction to solid state devices, with an emphasis on the modern microelectronics industry.
  1. Semiconductor physics – electronic band structures of semiconductors; electronic properties of defects; charge carrier concentrations; drift of carriers in electric and magnetic fields; diffusion and recombination of excess carriers; p-n junction physics; junction diodes; tunnel diodes; bipolar junction transistors; metal-semiconductor contacts; metal-insulator-semiconductor interfaces; MOSFET and advanced FinFET.
  2. Magnetic materials and devices – origins of magnetism; ferromagnetism; magnetisation-reversal processes; magnetic domain walls; soft and hard magnetic materials; giant magnetoresistance; tunnelling magnetoresistance; magnetic random access memory (MRAM); magnetic recording media.

Prerequisite: PH3102.
PH4603 - Soft Condensed Matter Physics  3 AU
Introduction to the physics of soft matter, such as colloids, foams, granular media, and liquid crystals.
  1. Basic principles – atomic and molecular forces; hard-core repulsion; physics of polymers.
  2. Physics of non-ideal fluids – diffusion; electrostatics in solution; Poisson-Boltzmann theory; electrophoresis; liquid interfaces and droplets.
  3. Physics of complex matter – lipid bilayers and vesicles; membrane fluctuations, cell mechanics; colloids; liquid crystal phases; aggregates; viscoelasticity.
  4. Experimental methods – dynamic light scattering; self-assembling processes; fluorescence correlation spectroscopy; laser tweezers; tracking experiments.

Prerequisite: PH2103.
PH4604 - Topics in Applied Physics  3 AU
Survey course in research topics at the frontiers of applied physics. The topics vary from semester to semester, and are chosen from the fields of materials physics, spintronics, photonics, organic devices, nanotechnology, superconducting devices, etc.

Prerequisite: division approval.
PH4605 - Medical Physics for Radiotherapy  4 AU
Fundamentals of radiation physics, with a focus on clinical applications.
  1. Dosimetry – basic concepts and techniques; dose calculation methods; treatment planning.
  2. Radiobiology and radiotherapy; radiation safety.

Prerequisite: PH3101
PH4606 - Fundamentals and Applications of Acoustics  3 AU
Introduction to acoustics, with a focus on audible and ultrasonic sound propagation in fluids, as well as ultrasonic applications for medical  diagnosis and treatment.
  1. Introduction to acoustics – the wave equation; reflection processes; equivalent network modes; pistons; the Rayleigh integral.
  2. Solutions to the wave equation – sound speed profiles; 2D parabolic wave equation; underwater acoustic modelling; sound propagation in the ocean.
  3. Sonar equations – reflection, scattering, and backscattering processes; sonar systems and their applications in target detection and ranging.
  4. Bioacoustics – sound generation and sound perception in human beings; frequency resolution of the cochlea; sound propagation; transmission losses; sound exposure levels and impacts on marine environments; technological applications.
  5. Medical ultrasound – introduction to diagnostic ultrasound; sound emission from bubbles; therapeutic ultrasound.

Prerequisites: PH1104, PH1105, and MH2801.
PH4607/CM4017 - Biomedical Imaging and Sensing  3 AU
Medical imaging and bio-sensing techniques, with special emphasis on the underlying physical principles.
  1. Photonics-based biosensors and their applications.
  2. Medical imaging techniques – instrumentation; applications for disease diagnosis and drug discovery; comparative analysis of different biomedical imaging and sesing techniques.
 
Prerequisite: PH2301 or CM3041.
PH4608 - Plasmonics and Metamaterials  3 AU
Introduction to plasmonic waves in metallic materials, and metamaterials (artificial materials with novel electromagnetic properties).

  1. Physics of surface plasmon polaritons – conductive properties of metals; plasmonic dispersion relations; coupling light waves to plasmons.
  2. Metamaterials   basic metamaterial designs; active metamaterials; bright and dark resonances in metamaterials; near-field couplings and slow light; superconducting metamaterials; Fano resonances; toroidal dipole resonances; microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) for active metamaterials.

Prerequisite: PH2102.
PH4405 - Final Year Project
(for students admitted in 2015 or earlier)
10 AU
Two-semester research project, supervised by a faculty member, culminating in a thesis report and a seminar presentation.
 
Prerequisite: 12 AUs of PH3XXX courses.
Not available to students admitted in AY16/17 or later.
PH4406 - Industrial Internship I
(for students admitted in 2014 or earlier)
4 AU
Ten-week industrial placement (attachment) in an approved company or institution. Click here for more information.
 
Prerequisites: PH1104, PH1105, PH1106, PH1107, PH1198, PH1199, PH2101, PH2102, PH2103, PH2104, PH2198, and PH2199; or by permission.
Not available to students who have taken/are taking other internship courses (PH4407 or PH4412 or PH4413).
PH4407- Industrial Internship II
(for students admitted in 2014 or earlier)
10 AU
Twenty-two week industrial placement (internship) in an approved company or institution. Click here for more information.

Prerequisites: PH1104, PH1105, PH1106, PH1107, PH1198, PH1199, PH2101, PH2102, PH2103, PH2104, PH2198, PH2199, PH3101, and PH3102; or by permission.
Not available to students who have taken/are taking other internship course (PH4406 or PH4412 or PH4413); also not available to students admitted in AY06/07 or later.
PH4412 - Professional Attachment
(for students admitted in 2015)
4 AU
Ten-week attachment in an approved company or institution. This is a pass/fail course. Click here for more information.

Prerequisites: PH1104, PH1105, PH1106, PH1107, PH1198, PH1199, PH2101, PH2102, PH2103, PH2104, PH2198, and PH2199; or by permission.
Not available to students who have taken/are taking other internship courses (PH4406, PH4407, PH4413, PH4416, or PH4417); also not available to students admitted in AY06/07 or later.
PH4413 - Professional Internship
(for students admitted in 2015)
10 AU
Twenty-two week internship in an approved company or institution. This is a pass/fail course. Click here for more information.

Prerequisites: PH1104, PH1105, PH1106, PH1107, PH1198, PH1199, PH2101, PH2102, PH2103, PH2104, PH2198, PH2199, PH3101, and PH3102; or by permission.
Not available to students who have taken/are taking other internship courses (PH4406, PH4407, PH4412, PH4416, or PH4417) or PH4415; also not available to students admitted in AY16/17 or later.
PH4415 - Final Year Project
(for students admitted in 2016 and after)
11 AU
Two-semester research project, supervised by a faculty member, culminating in a thesis report and a seminar presentation.
Click here for more information about the Final Year Project.

Prerequisites: 12 AUs of PH3XXX courses.
Not available to students who have taken/are taking the 22-week industrial/professional internship courses (PH4407, PH4413, or PH4417), or PH4405.
PH4416 -Professional Attachment
(for students admitted in 2016 and after)
5 AU
Ten-week attachment in an approved company or institution. This is a pass/fail course. Click here for more information.

Prerequisites: PH1104, PH1105, PH1106, PH1107, PH1198, PH1199, PH2101, PH2102, PH2103, PH2104, PH2198, and PH2199; or by permission.
Not available to students who have taken/are taking other internship courses (PH4406, PH4407, PH4412, PH4413, or PH4417).
PH4417 - Professional Internship
(for students admitted in 2016 and after)
11 AU
Twenty-two week internship in an approved company or institution. This is a pass/fail course. Click here fore more information.

Prerequisites: PH1104, PH1105, PH1106, PH1107, PH1198, PH1199, PH2101, PH2102, PH2103, PH2104, PH2198, PH2199, PH3101, and PH3102; or by permission.
Not available to students who have taken/are taking other internship courses (PH4405, PH4406, PH4407, PH4412, PH4413, PH4416), or the Final Year Project (PH4415).
 
 


Physics Courses For Non-Physics Majors


 
Course Code and Title AU Course Contents
PH1011 - Physics  3 AU
Introduction to physics.
  1. Mechanics – vectors; kinematics; forces and torques; Newton's laws of motion; impulse and momentum; work and energy.
  2. Thermal physics.
  3. Electromagnetism – the electric field; the magnetic field; motion of charged particles; electrical circuits.

Prerequisite: Physics at A or H2 level, or equivalent.
Not available to students who have taken/are taking CY1305, CY1306, FE1001, FE1011, IM1091, MS1001, PH1012, PH1104, PH1106, PH114S, or PH116S.
PH1012 - Physics A  4 AU
Introduction to physics, for students without A-level physics or equivalent.
  1. Mechanics – vectors; kinematics; forces and torques; Newton's laws of motion; impulse and momentum; work and energy.
  2. Thermal physics.
  3. Electromagnetism – the electric field; the magnetic field; motion of charged particles; electrical circuits.

Not available to students who have taken/are taking CY1305, CY1306, FE1001, FE1011, FE1012, IM1090, PH1011, PH1101, PH1104, PH1106, PH114S, PH116S, AERO(2004-2011), CEE(2004-2011), or ENE(2004-2011).
PH1801 - Foundations of Physics I  3 AU
Fundamentals of physics, with an emphasis on practical applications in engineering, the biomedical sciences, and other fields. Students also learn how to read scientific material effectively, identify fundamental concepts, reason through scientific questions, and solve quantitative problems. This is a pass/fail course.
  1. Mechanics.
  2. Wave motion.
  3. Thermodynamics.

Prerequisite: mathematics at the A or H2 level, or equivalent.
Not available to students who have taken/are taking PH1101 or PH1104.
Note: for CBC students, PH1801 may be replaced with PH1101 or PH1104.
PH1802 - Foundations of Physics II  3 AU
Fundamentals of physics, with an emphasis on practical applications in engineering, the biomedical sciences, and other fields. This is a pass/fail course.
  1. Electricity and magnetism.
  2. Optics.
  3. Modern physics.

Prerequisite: PH1801.
Not available to students who have taken/are taking PH1102 or PH1106.
Note: for CBC students, PH1802 may be replaced with PH1102 or PH1106.


General Education Requirement (GER) Courses


 
Course Code and Title AU Course Contents
PH8101 - Environmental Physics  3 AU
Introduction to the physical factors that govern the environment.
  1. Physics of the atmosphere, wind and oceans; thermodynamics of the weather; solar energy; the greenhouse effect and global warming.
  2. Modeling of pollution diffusion and dispersion.
  3. Remote sensing and detection methods; hydrology; planetary science; field courses.

Prerequisite: Physics at the O level, or equivalent.
PH8102 - Physics of Sports  3 AU
Introduction to the physical principles governing human locomotion and sports.
  1. Human locomotion – running, jumping, swimming; biomechanics of skating; jumping (projectile motion); rotating motions (angular momentum); rink conditions.
  2. Physics of soccer – kicking; flight conditions (air flow and resistance, the Magnus effect).
  3. Physics of baseball – throwing (spin, curve and air flow); hitting (sweet spots).
  4. Physics in other sports – golf; sky diving.

Prerequisite: Physics at the O level, or equivalent.
 
 

Unrestricted Electives

 
Course Code and Title AU Course Contents
PH2901 - Electronics for the Experimentalist  3 AU

Principles and applications of circuits in an experimental research environment. The course includes lab sessions, which focus on hands-on prototyping of circuits and a circuit design project.

  1. Analog and digital electronics – circuit elements; tools for circuit design and board layout.
  2. Typical circuits in scientific instrumentation for data acquisition and signal processing.

Prerequisite: PH1102.
PH2999 - Undergraduate Research Experience in Physics I  3 AU
Introduction to physics research, supervised by a faculty member. Suitable for undergradautes from year 2 onwards. Research topics are determined by the faculty supervisors. This is a pass/fail course.
 
Prerequisite: division approval.
PH3901 - Thin Film Technology  3 AU
Methods for fabricating nano-scale thin-film, and their applications in modern materials technology.
  1. Thin film growth techniques – principles of thin-film deposition and growth; chemical vapour deposition; physical vapour deposition; pulsed laser deposition; electron beam epitaxy; applications in semiconductor devices.
  2. Factors determining film growth mode and quality – gas kinetics; adsorption; surface diffusion; nucleation.
  3. Characterization techniques – X-ray diffraction; scanning electron microscopy; transmission electron microscopy; atomic force microscopy.

Prerequisite: PH2302.

PH3999 - Undergraduate Research Experience in Physics II  3 AU
Introduction to physics research, supervised by a faculty member. Suitable for undergradautes from year 3 onwards. Research topics are determined by the faculty supervisors.
 
Prerequisite: division approval.
PS9888 - Making and Tinkering  4 AU
Hands-on course in applying scientific knowledge to open-ended real life problems. Students are provided with the opportunity to freely explore open problems in multiple disciplines, and design projects to tackle those problems. The end-product of the investigation is a novel object or device, designed and created by the students. The students must then present and answer questions about their project.

This is a pass/fail course, offered during Special Terms.
 
 

Other Core Requirements for Physics Majors


 
Course Code and Title AU Information
MH1401 - Algorithms and Computing I  2 AU Fundamental concepts of programming.
See the MAS course information page for details.
MH1402 - Algorithms and Computing II  2 AU Introduction to computer algorithms.
See the
MAS course information page for details.
MH1802 - Calculus for the Sciences
 4 AU Introduction to calculus and differential equations.
See the MAS course information page for details.

For physics majors admitted in AY17/18 or later.

MH1803 - Calculus for Physics  4 AU Introduction to vector calculus and partial differential equations.
See the MAS course information page for details.

For physics majors admitted in AY17/18 or later.

MH2801 - Complex Methods for the Sciences

 3 AU Introduction to complex methods, with an emphasis on physical applications.
Topics include complex numbers; complex representations of waves and oscillations; contour integration; Fourier transformations; and Green's functions.
See the MAS course information page for details.
MH2802 - Linear Algebra for Scientists

 3 AU Introduction to linear algebra, with an emphasis on physical applications.
See the
MAS course information page for details.

For physics students admitted in AY17/18 or later.

MH1800 - Calculus for the Sciences I
 3 AU Fundamental techniques of calculus.
See the
MAS course information page for details.
Only for physics students admitted in AY16/17 or earlier.
MH1801 - Calculus for the Sciences II
 3 AU Fundamental techniques of calculus.
See the
MAS course information page for details.
Only for physics students admitted in AY16/17 or earlier.

MH2800 - Linear Algebra and Multivariable Calculus
4 AU
Introduction to linear algebra and multivariable calculus.
See the
MAS course information page for details.
Only for physics students admitted in AY16/17 or earlier.
 

For GER Core Requirements, please refer to SPMS website for more information.