Introduction to Biophysics

How theory and experimental techniques from physics can be used to analyze and understand biological structure and function, including chemical, mechanical, electrical, collective, and information-processing aspects. Prerequisites: BIOLOGY 201L and knowledge of statistical physics by taking either PHYSICS 363 or CHEM 311. One course.

Thermal Physics

Thermal properties of matter treated using the basic concepts of entropy, temperature, chemical potential, partition function, and free energy. Topics include the laws of thermodynamics, ideal gases, thermal radiation and electrical noise, heat engines, Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein distributions, semiconductor statistics, kinetic theory, and phase transformations. Prerequisite: PHYSICS 264L. One course.

Intermediate Mechanics

Newtonian mechanics at the intermediate level, Lagrangian mechanics, linear oscillations, chaos, dynamics of continuous media, motion in noninertial reference frames. Prerequisite: MATH 216 or equivalent (may be taken concurrently). One course.


Elements of electronics including circuits, transfer functions, solid-state devices, transistor circuits, operational amplifier applications, digital circuits, and computer interfaces. Lectures and laboratory. Prerequisites: PHYSICS 142L, 152L, or 162L, or equivalent; MATH 212 or equivalent. One course. 


Optics and Modern Physics

Third course in sequence for physics and biophysics majors. Introductory treatments of special relativity and quantum mechanics. Topics include: wave mechanics and interference; relativistic kinematics, energy and momentum; the Schrodinger equation and its interpretation; quantum particles in one-dimension; spin; fermions and bosons; the hydrogen spectrum. Applications to crystallography, semiconductors, atomic physics and optics, particle physics, and cosmology. Prerequisites: PHYSICS 162L and MATH 212 or their equivalents. One course.

Introductory Experimental Physics II

Second in series of half-courses on experimental physics techniques for physics and biophysics majors. Focus on core physics concepts of electricity, magnetism and optics: electrostatics, magnetostatics, magnetic induction, electromagnetic waves, geometrical and physical optics. Students work in teams and use computers to collect, visualize and analyze data.