Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > Student Guide > Course Catalog 

Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Eric G Adelberger
PHYS 511
Seattle Campus

Topics in Contemporary Physics

Topics of current experimental, theoretical, or technological interest in modern physics. Offered: Sp.

Class description

This seminar class is intended to be different from any other class you have taken. The focus is on key interferometric experiments that established physical principles, provided precise measurements, or illustrated counter-intuitive aspects of quantum-mechanics. Readings are not from texts, but from short, landmark research papers. Topics range from classical interferometry, intensity iterferometry, general relativity, gravitational wave detection, quantum optics, matter wave interferometry to quantum cryptography. Each meeting will focus on a paper and you will given "Questions to Ponder" about the paper. These materials are available from the PHYS511 Web site. Class grades will be based on participation in discussions, weekly short quizes and a final original paper on a relevant topic.

Student learning goals

deepen your theoretical understanding of modern physics by applying your "book learning" to actual experiments

learn about key modern experiments that helped establish our current ideas of physics

learn a bit about basic strategies of doing experiments

learn how to read original research papers

and, hopefully, learn to feel comfortable asking questions in front of others

General method of instruction

This is a seminar in which I hope you learn as much from interacting with your fellow students as you do from me.

Recommended preparation

2 quarters of quantum mechanics and of E&M

Class assignments and grading

see above and the course Web site

see the course Web site


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 Eric G Adelberger
Date: 03/02/2010