- Astronomy Courses
- ASTRON 101 – Modern Cosmology
- ASTRON 102 – Milky Way Galaxy
- ASTRON 103 – Solar System
- ASTRON 110-6 – First-Year Seminar: Searching for ET: Science and Strategies
- ASTRON 111 – Introduction to Astrobiology
- ASTRON 120 – Highlights of Astronomy
- ASTRON 220 – Introduction to Astrophysics
- ASTRON 310-0 – Radio Astronomy
- ASTRON 314 – Planetary Astrophysics
- ASTRON 321 – Observational Astrophysics
- ASTRON 325 – Stellar Astrophysics
- ASTRON 329 – Extragalactic Astrophysics and Cosmology
- ASTRON 331 – Astrophysics (ISP)
- ASTRON 390 – Current Topics in Astronomy
- ASTRON 399 – Independent Study
- Data Science Courses
- Physics Courses
- PHYSICS 103-0 – Ideas of Physics
- PHYSICS 105-0 – Music-Sound-Timbre
- PHYSICS 110-6 – First-Year Seminar
- PHYSICS 125-1,2,3 – General Physics for ISP
- PHYSICS 126-1,2,3 – General Physics Laboratory for ISP
- PHYSICS 130-1,2,3 – College Physics (see also Physics Workshops)
- PHYSICS 135-1 – General Physics
- PHYSICS 135-1,2,3 – General Physics (see also Physics Workshops)
- PHYSICS 135-2 – General Physics
- PHYSICS 135-3 – General Physics
- PHYSICS 136-1,2,3 – General Physics Laboratory (0.34 units each)
- PHYSICS 140-1 – Fundamentals of Physics
- PHYSICS 140-2 – General Physics (Majors)
- PHYSICS 140-3 – General Physics (Majors)
- PHYSICS 238-0 – Energy and Nuclear Power
- PHYSICS 239-0 – Foundations of Modern Physics
- PHYSICS 311-1,2 – Mathematical Tools for Physical Sciences
- PHYSICS 330-1 – Classical Mechanics
- PHYSICS 330-1,2 – Classical Mechanics
- PHYSICS 330-2 – Classical Mechanics
- PHYSICS 332-0 – Statistical Mechanics
- PHYSICS 333-1 – Advanced Electricity and Magnetism
- PHYSICS 333-1,2 – Advanced Electricity and Magnetism
- PHYSICS 333-2 – Advanced Electricity and Magnetism
- PHYSICS 335-0 – Physics of Magic
- PHYSICS 337-0 – Physics of Condensed Matter
- PHYSICS 339-1,2 – Quantum Mechanics
- PHYSICS 345-0 – Introduction to General Relativity
- PHYSICS 352-0 – Introduction to Computational Physics
- PHYSICS 357-0 – Optics Laboratory
- PHYSICS 358-0 – Nanolithography
- PHYSICS 359-0 – Electronics Laboratory
- PHYSICS 360-0 – Physics Laboratory
- PHYSICS 361-0 – Classical Optics and Special Relativity
- PHYSICS 371-0 – Nonlinear Dynamics And Chaos
- PHYSICS 398 – Honors Independent Study
- PHYSICS 399 – Independent Study
This course covers the most current views about the structure of the universe, its past, present, and its future. The course is especially suitable for nonscience majors who seek to follow up ASTRON 120 with a more detailed course.
This course covers the structure of our galaxy, star formation, interstellar clouds and dust, star clusters, neutron stars and black holes, the galactic center, and the future evolution of the sun and our solar system. The course is especially suitable for nonscience majors who seek to follow up ASTRON 120 with a more detailed course.
This course studies our solar system, including the planets and their moons, the Sun, comets, asteroids, and the Earth and the Moon. It is especially suitable for nonscience majors who seek to follow up ASTRON 120 with a more detailed course.
The possibilities of extraterrestrial life and intelligence have long fascinated the public imagination. Recent discoveries of thousands of extrasolar planets and evidence of a watery past on Mars have heated the debate on whether we are alone in the universe. In this seminar, we will discuss the scientific foundations of this debate as well as the technology and strategies behind current and planned searches for extraterrestrial life and intelligence.
This course presents the modern scientific perspective on the question of life elsewhere in the universe, including the prospects for life on Mars, the discovery of extrasolar planets, and the search for extrasolar biospheres.
Acquaints students with modern ideas about the solar system, stars, galaxies, and the universe. Emphasizes fundamental principles and underlying concepts.
Use of introductory physics (mechanics, electromagnetism, thermodynamics, and modern physics) to cover astrophysical topics starting with the solar system and ending with the large-scale structure of the universe and cosmology. Prerequisites: PHYSICS 135-1,2,3 or the equivalent.
Fifty years ago, most astronomical observations were made at optical wavelengths. Today, using a variety of telescopes across the electromagnetic spectrum, astronomers are making dramatic advances in our understanding of the nature of the Universe. This course introduces students how astronomical observations are carried out at radio wavelengths. Emphasis will be placed on sources and mechanisms for radio emission using interferometric and single dish telescopes. In particular, we will discuss the role of interferometers in different wavelength bands and astronomical discoveries that have been made at radio wavelengths between meters to millimeters. We will also explain the emission mechanism (e.g., synchrotron radiation, thermal radiation) operating in the Sun, massive stars, pulsars, supernova remnants and radio galaxies at radio wavelengths. Radio Astronomy Seminar Website: http://sites.northwestern.edu/radioastronomy/
Methods of exoplanet detection. The observed architecture of exoplanetary systems. The formation and evolution of planetary systems. Modeling exoplanet interiors and atmospheres. Exoplanet habitability and the search for biosignatures. Prerequisites: PHYSICS 330-1,2 or equivalent
Geometric optics applied to the design of optical and X-ray telescopes; diffraction and the Airy disk; radio and optical interferometry and aperture synthesis; adaptive optics; recent developments in detector technology; quantum and thermal noise in astronomy. Includes independent research projects using the CCD camera and 18-inch refractor in Dearborn Observatory. Offered alternate years. Prerequisite: ASTRON 220.
Physics of stellar interiors, stellar atmospheres, and star formation. Specific topics covered include: simple stellar models, nuclear energy generation, overview of evolutionary phases, white dwarfs, neutron stars, interstellar gas and dust grains, gravitational collapse. Prerequisite: ASTRON 220.
Big bang cosmology, thermal history of the Universe, primordial nucleosynthesis, microwave background, dark matter, large scale structure, galaxy formation, spiral and elliptical galaxies, groups and clusters of galaxies. Prerequisite: ASTRON 220.
A broad survey of astronomy topics, from stars and compact objects to galaxies and cosmology. Prerequisite: PHYSICS 339-3. Limited to students enrolled in ISP or by consent of the physics department.
This course will explore in detail an area of current research interest in astrophysics. Contact the department office or instructor for specifics. May repeat for credit with change in topic. Prerequisites vary.
Advanced study on a topic of interest to the student, under the direction of a faculty member. Open to all students. Consent of the instructor required. More information about research opportunities.Return To Top
Data Science CoursesReturn To Top
Ideas of Physics is a series of independent one-quarter courses on interesting topics in physics. Course content during any year varies with faculty and student interest; recent offerings have included relativity, the physics of music, and the progress of physics through history. Ideas of Physics requires only high school mathematics and is designed for nonscience majors.
Introductory-level course dealing with the interface between art, technology, and science. Topics include MIDI, musical analysis and composition, physical acoustics and psychoacoustics, construction and acoustics of instruments, signal generation, recording, and analysis. Students have access to the Physics Department Sound Laboratory.
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This is a general physics course which uses calculus extensively. The course content is similar to that of PHYSICS 135-1,2,3 but is more advanced and intended for ISP students. (Physics majors may take PHYSICS 125-1,2,3 with permission of the department.) There are three lectures, one discussion, and one two-hour laboratory per week. A concurrent advanced calculus course (MATH 291-1,2,3) is offered by the mathematics department. Prerequisite: first-year standing in ISP or consent of the department and concurrent enrollment in 126-1,2,3.
Introductory physics laboratory for students taking 125-1,2,3. Concurrent registration required.
This is a three-quarter sequence in algebra-based physics. It is intended primarily for premedical students who need a full year of physics, but do not need to take calculus-based physics. The topics covered are similar to those of PHYSICS 135-1,2,3. There are three lectures, one discussion, and one two-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites: algebra and trigonometry and concurent enrollment in 136-1,2,3. PHYSICS 130-1,2,3 must be taken in sequential order.
Particle kinematics, Newtonian dynamics, work and energy, collisions and momentum, torque and angular momentum, rigid-body statics and dynamics, harmonic oscillations, gravitation.
This is a three-quarter sequence in calculus-based classical physics with an introduction to modern physics in the third quarter. It is intended for science and engineering majors and premedical students. There are three lectures and one discussion per week.
1. Mechanics. Prerequisites: MATH 220-0, MATH 224-0, MATH 230-0 and concurrent enrollment in 136-1. Note: MATH 230-0 may be taken concurrently with 135-1.
2. Electricity and magentism. Prerequisite: 135-1 and 136-1 and concurrent enrollment in 136-2.
3. Introduction to modern physics; wave phenomena. Prerequisite: 135-2 and 136-2 and concurrent enrollment in 136-3. Students with credit for a quarter of 135 may not later receive credit for the comparable quarter of 130. The topics covered in each quarter are:
Electrostatics, magnetostatics, DC and AC circuits, time-varying fields, Maxwell's equations.
Mechanical waves, sound waves, electromagnetic waves, geometric optics, interference and diffraction, the quantum nature of particles and light, atomic and nuclear phenomena.
Introductory physics laboratory for students taking 130-1, 2, 3 or 135-1, 2, 3. Concurrent registration required.
Physics 140-1 is the first part of a three-course sequence in classical physics intended primarily for prospective physics majors and minors and other students with a special interest in physics. The course offers an introduction to fundamental topics in classical mechanics, including kinematics, relative motion, Newton's Laws, work and energy, linear and angular momentum, and rigid body rotation, with special attention paid to establishing strong connections between physical concepts and mathematical techniques. This course will be taught in an active learning style.
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No description available.
Energy problems and different energy sources. Basics of the physics of atoms and nuclei. Chain reactions, criticality and nuclear reactors. The dream and prospects for fusion power. Prerequisites: 130-1, 2 ,3 and 136-1, 2, 3 or 135-1, 2 ,3 and 136-1, 2, 3; or equivalent.
Introduction to modern foundations of physics, including principles of waves, probability, quantum theory, and selected topics from special relativity, statistical mechanics, optics, and atomic structure. Prerequisites: Physics 135-1, 2, 3 and Physics 136-1, 2, 3 and Math 250 or equivalent, or concurrent enrollment.
Introduction to the tools necessary to solve physics problems, including integral calculus, complex numbers and complex algebra, matrices and vector spaces, differential equations, and Fourier analysis. Prerequisites: Physics 135-1 or equivalent, Math 230 or equivalent; concurrent registration in Phys 135-2. For Phys 311-2: Phys 311-1, Phys 135-2 or equivalent; concurrent registration in Phys 135-3.
Kinematics, Newton's Laws, one-dimensional oscillator, solutions of ordinary differential equations, phase space, linear systems, Laplace transforms, Fourier series, matrices.
Introduction to classical mechanics and mathematical methods of physics. The subject matter is treated so as to lead naturally to more advanced physics courses such as quantum mechanics. There are typically three lectures and one discussion section per week. Prerequisites: PHYSICS 135-1 or equivalent; MATH 234 and 311-1, 2; or MATH 240, 250, or the equivalent.
Conservation laws, collisions, torque and angular momentum, moment of inertia, multidimensional integrals, the gyroscope, gravitation, line integrals, central forces.
This course covers the basics of statistical physics, including the ideal gas, Boltzmann distributions, transport phenomena, fluctuation theory, Bose-Einstein and Fermi-Dirac statistics, and other applications. There are typically three lectures and one discussion per week. Prerequisites: PHYSICS 135-1, 2, 3, MATH 234 or the equivalent.
Review of vector calculus and basic electromagnetic phenomena. Electrostatics and magnetostatics, multipole expansion, solutions of Laplace's equation by orthogonal function expansion, images, analytic functions. Magnetic scalar and vector potentials.
There are typically three lectures and one discussion per week. Prerequisites: PHYSICS 135-1,2,3; MATH 234 and 311-1, 2; or MATH 240, 250 or equivalent.
Maxwell's equations, electrodynamics, electromagnetic wave propagation and radiation. Conservation laws, electromagnetic fields in special relativity.
This course will use magic tricks, illusion, and deception to discuss the rarely explored but often surprisingly flexible boundaries of what is physically possible. Does not fulfill 300-level requirement for majors. Prerequisites: 135-1; MATH 220, 224, or equivalent.
This course introduces the emergent properties and collective descriptions that arise when simple components of matter (e.g. atoms and molecules) are combined into larger systems with varying degrees of order. Topics from condensed matter physics will be selected with an eye toward relevance in modern technology, which typically may include electrons in solids, semiconductor and device physics, optics, magnetism, superconductivity, and nanostructures. There are typically three lectures and one discussion per week. Prerequisites: PHYSICS 339-1 or equivalent. PHYSICS 332 or equivalent recommended
This is a two-quarter introduction to quantum theory. Emphasis is placed on applications to atomic and molecular systems, with some discussion of the experimental foundations of quantum theory. Mathematical solutions for several simple systems (the harmonic oscillator, the one-electron atom, the hydrogen molecule, barrier penetration) are studied in detail. There are three lectures and one discussion per week. Prerequisites for 339-1: second-year standing in ISP or 135-1, 2, 3 or equivalent; 239; 330-1; 311-1 or MATH 240. Prerequisites for 339-2: 339-1, second-year standing in ISP or 311-2 or MATH 250, 351.
Review of special relativity and Newtonian gravity; Gravity as geometry of curved spacetime; Geodesics and conservation laws; Schwarzschild geometry; Post-Newtonian expansions and tests of general relativity; Gravitational collapse and black holes; Linearized gravity and gravitational waves; Cosmological models for the expanding Universe. Prerequisites: PHYSICS 330-1, 2 or consent of instructor.
Introduction to computing and its application to physics. Topics covered include Monte Carlo simulation of physical systems and numerical integration of equations of motion, discrete element methods in electromagnetism, simulation of simply nonlinear systems, neural networks, statistical and graphical representation of data. Prerequisites: PHYSICS 135-1,2,3 or equivalent; MATH 250 or equivalent (concurrent enrollment is sufficient); EECS 110 or equivalent prior programming experience.
Students in this laboratory course obtain hands-on experience with many optical techniques, including optical microscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, and optical scattering. Prerequisites: consent of instructor.
This advanced laboratory course involves the fabrication of metallic nanometer-scale structures by electron-beam lithography. Characterization of these structures is done by atomic force microscopy. Prerequisites: PHYSICS 135-1,2,3 or the equivalent.
Introduction to modern electronics, construction of elementary analog and digital circuits. This laboratory emphasizes independent work. There are two one-hour lectures and two three-hour laboratories per week. Prerequisites: PHYSICS 333-1,2 or consent of instructor.
Classic experiments in atomic, nuclear, and solid-state physics using modern electronics and microcomputers. This laboatory emphasizes independent work. There are two one-hour lectures and two three-hour laboratories per week. Prerequisites: PHYSICS 333-1, 2 or consent of instructor.
This course covers advanced topics following from electrodynamics, including advanced classical optics, Fraunhofer and Fresnel diffraction, radiation from accelerated charges, wave guides and/or antennae, and special relativity, including dynamics. Prerequisites: PHYSICS 333-1, 2.
This course covers the mathematics of nonlinear oscillations, fractal geometry, chaotic dynamics, the dynamics of complex systems, and physics applications of these ideas. Projects involving applications of nonlinear dynamics and chaos are integral to this course. Prerequisites: PHYSICS 330-1,2 and some familiarity with computer programming.
Individual study under the direction of a faculty member. Open only to advanced students pursuing departmental honors. More information about research opportunities.
Opportunity to study an advanced subject of interest under the individual direction of a faculty member. Open to all students; consent of instructor required. More information about research opportunities.Return To Top
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