Course Syllabus

Physics S-10: Introduction to Theoretical Physics
Harvard Summer School: PHYS S-10 (33198)
Summer 2016
Location: Science Center 302
Meeting Time: T., Th., 12-3
This course is an accelerated introduction to the conceptual and mathematical foundations of modern theoretical physics, with a particular emphasis on analytical mechanics, relativity, and quantum theory. Topics include the general structure of physical systems, classical mechanics and field theory, orbital motion, the principle of least action, symmetries and conservation laws, special relativity, probability and information theory, and an extensive introduction to quantum theory. Examples are drawn from many areas of physics, including statistical mechanics, Newtonian mechanics, electromagnetism, general relativity, quantum information, quantum field theory, and string theory.
Prerequisites: The course is mathematically intensive and assumes a strong knowledge of high-school algebra, geometry, and trigonometry, as well as a high comfort level with abstract concepts. The course covers relevant topics from high-school physics, differential/integral calculus, and linear algebra as needed, so a familiarity with these subjects, while very helpful, is not strictly required.
Home page on the Harvard Summer School website
Course Syllabus: Syllabus
Instructor: Jacob Barandes
Office Hours:
Mondays, 12-2, Lyman 330
Teaching Fellows: Delilah Gates and Mobolaji Williams
Office Hours:
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30-10:30 (Mobolaji) and 10:30-11:30 (Delilah), both in Lyman 330.
Sections: Wednesdays, 10-1 (Delilah) or 2-5 (Mobolaji), Jefferson 356
Final Papers and Presentations: The last section of the course will consist of student presentations on their final projects, and full write-ups are due by 11:59pm on Friday, August 5.

 

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