Course Descriptions

(Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.*)

Upper Division / Graduate

Physics 120

Electronic Circuits

Lecture and laboratory course that covers principles of analog circuit theory and design with linear and nonlinear components as well as practical aspects of circuit realization and debugging. Laboratory exercises include passive circuits, active filters, amplifiers, nonlinear circuits, timers, actuator drivers, and basic digital logic. Three hours of lecture/demonstration (Tu/Th) and four hours of laboratory (Tu, We or Th) per week (5 Units).

Prerequisites: Physics 2 or 4 series and Physics 2CL or consent of instructor. This course may be of interest to graduate students in any field of experimental science.

Physics 178/278

Biophysics of Neurons and Networks

Information processing by nervous system as analyzed through physical reasoning and mathematical analysis. We review of the biophysics of neurons and synapses and then consider: fundamental limits to signaling and computation by nervous systems, the dynamics of phase coupled neuronal oscillators, the computational capability of layered neuronal networks, and the dynamics and computational capabilities of recurrent neuronal networks. Three hours of lecture (Tu/Th) per week (4 Units). Offered in the Winter.

Prerequisites: Undergraduates ideally have taken Physics 100A and 110A, BILD 1, Chemistry 6C and Physics 140A; graduate students may wish to consult with the instructor. The graduate version is required for students in the Computational Neuroscience specialization.

Physics 173/BGGN 266

Contemporary Physics and Biophysics Laboratory

Project-based experiments in contemporary physics and biophysics. Students select among pulsed NMR, light scattering, holography, optical trapping, Second harmonic generation and imaging, two-photon microscopy, lifetime measuremts, voltage clamp and genetic transcription in oocytes, electrophysiology in leech, functional fluorescent imaging of muscle and neurons, bioluminescence in Arabidopsis, laser Doppler flowometry, chaotic circuit dynamics, Belousov-Zhabotinskii reaction dynamics, and spike train coding and flight control in flies. The instructor is open to new projects subject only to the availability of equipment and preparations. One hour discussion and seven hours of laboratory (Tu/Th) per week (4 Units). Offered in the Spring and led since 2013 by Prof. Jeremie Palacci

Prerequisites: Undergraduates ideally have taken Physics 120A, BILD 1 and Chemistry 6CL. The undergraduate version, Physics 173, is required for the Physics with Specialization in Biophysics degree.

Lower Division / Undergraduate

Physics 1A

Mechanics

Equilibrium and motion of particles and extended bodies in Newtonain mechanics. Includes kinematics, forces and torques, conservation of energy and momentum, collisions, orbital motion, and fluid mechanics. This is the first of a three-quarter introductory physics sequence that is geared toward life-science majors. Three hours of lecture, including interactive lecture demonstrations, per week (3 Units).

Prerequisite: Mathematics 10A,B or 20A,B and concurrent enrollment in Physics 1AL.

Physics 1B

Electricity and Magnetism

Electric fields, magnetic fields, and DC and AC circuitry. This is the second of a three-quarter introductory physics sequence that is geared toward life-science majors. Three hours of lecture, including interactive lecture demonstrations, per week (3 Units).

Prerequisite: Physics 1A, 1AL and prior or concurrent enrollment in Mathematics 10C,D or 20C. Concurrent enrollment in Physics 1BL.

Physics 2BL

Physics Laboratory - Mechanics and Electrostatics

Experiments on mechanics include gravitational force, linear and rotational motion, conservation of energy and momentum, collisions, oscillations and springs, and gyroscopes. Experiments on electrostatics involve charge, electric field, potential, and capacitance. Data reduction and error analysis are taught and used for written laboratory reports. One hour of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week (2 Units).

Prerequisite: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Physics 2B, 2BS, or 4C. Course materials fee is required.

Physics 2DL

Physics Laboratory - Modern Physics

Experiments on refraction, diffraction, and interference of microwaves, Hall effect, thermal band gap, optical spectra, coherence of light, photoelectric effect, charge-to-mass ratio of particles, radioactive decays, and plasma physics. Advanced error analysis methods are taught. One hour of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week (2 Units).

Prerequisite: Physics 2BL or 2CL and prior or concurrent enrollment in Physics 2D or 4E. Course materials fee is required.


*Attributed to Benjamin Franklyn (1706-1790)