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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Michael Schick
PHYS 578
Seattle Campus

Selected Topics in Theoretical Physics

Credit/no-credit only.

Class description

This course will consider basic approaches to the theory of polymers. Topics will include the description of ideal polymer chains, interacting polymers in solutions and melts, polymer brushes, block copolymers, and elementary dynamics. Theoretical methods will include path integral formulations, self-consistent field theory, and scaling concepts. A familiarity with Statistical mechanics will be assumed. A detailed syllabus can be found on

Student learning goals

To understand random walks and their relation to polymer configurations.

To understand the connection between polymer physics and critical phenomena, and between polymer physics and quantum mechanics.

To appreciate the immense combinations of architecture and functionality in possible polymer designs.

To understand some basic properties of biological polymers, such as DNA.

General method of instruction

There will be two eighty minute lectures a week.

Recommended preparation

Statistical Mechanics at the level of Physics 328.

Class assignments and grading

Each student will present a class presentation on a mutually acceptable topic in the last weeks of the course. There will be occasional problem sets which will also account for part of the class grade.

Sucessful completion of the problem sets, and mastery of the material presented to the class.

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Michael Schick
Date: 09/12/2011